August 30, 2011
Polsinelli selected the long-stalled West Edge project as the location for its new Kansas City office. Caymus Real Estate LLC will develop a new nine-story, 250,000 square foot building at 48th Street between Roanoke Parkway and Belleview Avenue. The decision keeps the City’s second largest law firm in Kansas City, Missouri and its 500 lawyers and staff on the Country Club Plaza.

“There are state and local incentive approvals and other hurdles that still need to be crossed, but if those are received, we will move forward with the project of keeping our Kansas City office on a Plaza location and combining it with our downtown office,” said Polsinelli Chairman Russ Welsh.

Approximately two years ago, Polsinelli performed an exhaustive analysis of the office building. The firm’s contractors, architects, real estate experts and financial advisors determined, as many others have, that the project was not viable. During the last few months, the firm collaborated with the developer and its architects to reevaluate the West Edge option, and to consider disassembling the half finished structure and replacing it with an office building that meets the needs of a national law firm.

Under the decisive leadership of Mayor Sly James and the assistance of Council Members Jan Marcason and Jim Glover as well as the state of Missouri, Caymus and the firm believe they have found answers for many of the problems that plagued the West Edge project for years.

“It was my pleasure to work to find a solution that helps keep Polsinelli headquartered in Kansas City. The West Edge location helps to replace an abandoned project, eliminates the controversy of the site on the Plaza, and retains a valuable corporate citizen and its employees in Kansas City. I would call that a win for everyone. I appreciate the extraordinary effort Polsinelli has made to make this deal work. I am very pleased we were able to find an arrangement that benefits the neighborhood, the city and the firm,” said Mayor Sly James.

Based in Kansas City, Caymus Real Estate will oversee the development of the new building, which will include a retail component and a 120-room boutique hotel to be located on the neighboring property.

“We’re ecstatic that Caymus, working with Polsinelli and 360, has the opportunity to develop a first-class, mixed-use project, for which Kansas Citians can truly be proud,” said David Harrison, principal with Caymus Real Estate LLC.

The design of the new Polsinelli 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.

“There is no doubt that the project, had it been completed and occupied by its intended tenant, would have been a great success,” said Marvin Manlove, senior principal at 360 Architecture. “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.”

Polsinelli conducted a metro area search to locate its new Kansas City office, which employs 500 lawyers and staff. The Polsinelli law firm was one of the first law firms to locate on the Plaza in 1972. The decision to embrace the Plaza for its new headquarters reaffirms its commitment to the Plaza and Kansas City, and maintains the firm’s history.

“We think our clients and the community are going to like this revitalized West Edge project,” said Welsh. “And, for the first time since our merger in 2009, both our downtown and Plaza lawyers and staff will be working under one roof.”

To view a rendering of the new building, click here.