Commercial Real Estate

The Globe Building Gets a New Makeover


The historic transfer facility on Main Street will be converted into office lofts by 2014. This will be developer Brad Nicholson’s second attempt to renovate the building.

Renovating the historic Globe Building at 1712 Main St. has been a labor of love for prominent Crossroads Arts District developer Brad Nicholson.

The man behind the renovation of the former TWA Headquarters (now inhabited by the Barkley advertising agency) and other rehab projects throughout downtown has played a significant role in transforming Kansas City’s abandoned warehouses and dilapidated factories into ultra-posh office spaces and lofts.

The Globe Building’s $6.8 million makeover serves as yet another example of the city’s slow-but-steady transition from an old-school manufacturing community into a hotbed for tech-savvy and creative thinkers.

Like the TWA Headquarters, the Globe Building has been on the National Register of Historic Places since the early 2000s. Constructed in 1902 for the expansion of the Globe Building and Transfer Co., it is one of the last transfer buildings still standing in the central business district.

The Globe Building has seen a number of tenants throughout the years with its most recent inhabitant being Retro Inferno. However, the building has been completely vacant since the retro furnishings retailer left the ground floor more than 10 years ago.

Déjà Vu

This is Nicholson’s second attempt to renovate the 43,000-square-foot, seven-story Globe Building. When a previous attempt during the recession failed, he decided to put the building on the market last year for $1.5 million.

But I could not find anybody who could pull it off,” he told the Kansas City Business Journal.

Nicholson’s plan is to convert the transfer facility into open-style office lofts framed by heavy timber and brick, a layout that is aesthetically pleasing by today’s design standards and also conducive to collaborative working environments. This should attract tech startups and other creative-minded companies, according to John Williams of Metroloft LLC, the for-fee developer on the project.

But renovating the Globe Building won’t be an inexpensive or easy task, Williams admits. For starters, it will require significant roof repairs, utility upgrades and structural work in the basement to make the building safe for inhabitants. The design plan also calls for the addition of two windows per floor on the building’s northern façade to bring in more natural light.

However, the project is expected to receive $2.25 million in federal and state historic tax credits, not to mention the Planned Industrial Expansion Authority Board granted the project an abatement that will waive all property taxes for the first decade, then 50 percent of the taxes for the following decade.

According to Nicholson, construction should be completed by the second quarter of 2014.

Source: The Kansas City Business Journal