News
June 20, 2012

The development project that includes national law firm Polsinelli Shughart’s new nine-story 253,000 square foot headquarters building, boutique hotel and retail space was officially named Plaza Vista during a traditional steel topping out ceremony today. When Plaza Vista is complete, it will bring a new vitality and energy to one of Kansas City’s most important neighborhoods.

The new name for the project, being constructed at 48th Street between Roanoke Parkway and Belleview Avenue was announced by project developer Dave Harrison, president of VanTrust Real Estate LLC., at a news conference alongside Polsinelli Shughart Chairman Russ Welsh and Kansas City Mayor Sly James.

Harrison commented, “It has been exciting for VanTrust to be able to work with Polsinelli Shughart, 360 Architecture and JE Dunn Construction to develop this incredible, first-class, mixed-use project for which Kansas Citians all can truly be proud. The decision to embrace Plaza Vista for its new headquarters reaffirms Polsinelli Shughart’s commitment to the Plaza and Kansas City.”

“We are grateful for the support of the state of Missouri, the City and the community as a whole who have worked with us to ensure that our headquarters would remain in Kansas City,” Welsh said. “Our firm began 40 years ago just a few blocks east of Plaza Vista, so it’s most appropriate that the new Polsinelli Shughart headquarters is a part of and help bolster the long-term success of the Country Club Plaza area.”

“Plaza Vista is an incredible project and keeps the city’s second largest law firm in Kansas City, Missouri, and its 500 lawyers and staff on the Country Club Plaza. That is a win for everyone in Kansas City. I appreciate the extraordinary effort Polsinelli Shughart has made to ensure this deal worked out for the betterment of the neighborhood, the city, the state and the firm,” Mayor Sly James added.

Since its successful 2009 merger with Shughart Thomson & Kilroy, P.C., Polsinelli Shughart has maintained two offices in Kansas City – in the downtown area at Twelve Wyandotte Plaza (120 West 12th Street) and at the western edge of the Country Club Plaza (700 West 47th Street). The firm also has and will maintain an office in suburban Overland Park, Kansas, housing approximately 50 attorneys.

“For the first time since our successful merger, all of our Kansas City attorneys and staff will be able to work under one roof,” Welsh said.

Approximately two years ago, Polsinelli Shughart performed an exhaustive analysis of the Plaza Vista site. The firm was assisted in its search for a headquarters property by a team from Block Real Estate Services LLC, led by Kenneth Block, managing principal.

The firm’s contractors, architects, real estate experts and financial advisors determined, as many others had, that the project was not viable. But Polsinelli Shughart, collaborating with the developer and its architects, and with the assistance of the City and the State, revaluated the option of disassembling the half finished structure and replacing it with an office building that met the needs of a national law firm.

Under the decisive leadership of Mayor James and the assistance of Council Members Jan Marcason and Jim Glover as well as the state of Missouri, VanTrust and the firm believed they had found answers for many of the problems that plagued the project for years. The steel topping out ceremony today indeed proved that was true.

Based in Kansas City, VanTrust Real Estate is overseeing not only the development of the new Polsinelli Shughart headquarters building, but also inclusion of a retail component and an approximately 130-room boutique hotel to be located on the neighboring property. Plaza Vista also includes a 940-space underground parking garage.

According to the projects architects – 360 Architecture – the design of the new Polsinelli Shughart headquarters strengthens the Plaza experience to the west along 48th Street. It creates open, urban spaces at the corners and encourages pedestrian connections to enhance the scale and fabric of the neighborhood. It will create a series of generous patios, terraces and plazas along Belleview Avenue, 48th Street and Roanoke Parkway.

“Marvin Manlove, senior principal at 360 Architecture said, “This new project sets reasonable and sustainable goals not of specialization, but of flexibility, contextual sensitivity, and market responsibility. We’re proud to be part of a project that is going to greatly enhance the west end of the Plaza.”

For more information contact Public Relations Manager Heather McMichael, 816-223-8780, hmcmichael@polsinelli.com

About Polsinelli Shughart

With more than 600 attorneys, Polsinelli Shughart (www.polsinelli.com) is a national law firm and recognized leader in the areas of health care, financial services, real estate, life sciences, energy and business litigation. Serving corporate, institutional and individual clients, the firm builds enduring relationships by creating value through our legal services - with passion, ingenuity and a sense of urgency. The firm has offices in Chicago; Dallas; Denver; Kansas City; Los Angeles; New York; Phoenix; St. Louis; Washington, D.C.; and Wilmington, DE. In California, Polsinelli Shughart LLP.