VanTrust Named Master Developer of New Century Expansion

New Public/Private Partnership Bolsters First Multimodal Hub in Southern Johnson County

New Century Business Park is expanding with the development of more than 845 acres on the north and east sides of the airport. The Airport Commission (JCAC) recently recommended approval of a Master Development Agreement that named VanTrust Real Estate as the Master Developer, with the Johnson County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) subsequently approving that recommendation on October 8, 2020. 

In keeping with the density and variety of uses contemplated in the approved Preliminary Development Plan for the existing airport business park, the proposed conceptual master plan contemplates having up to 6.5M square feet of new vertical construction. The development will have a variety of building sizes up to 1.5M square feet, along with approximately 150 acres of rail laydown yards.

Most unique about this development plan is that many of the sites have the ability to be rail-served. These proposed new facilities and improvements represent a private investment at the New Century AirCenter Business Park of $278,415,690 over the span of approximately 10 years.

“Creating new economic development opportunities at the New Century AirCenter have been a long time coming,” said BOCC Chairman Ed Eilert. “This is going to bring jobs and added revenue to Johnson County, which will help the county’s airports continue to be as self-sufficient as possible and not rely on tax dollars.”

“We are thrilled to work with VanTrust on this exciting development opportunity,” said Aaron Otto, executive director, Johnson County Airport Commission. “VanTrust’s wholistic approach will unlock the economic value of these properties and generate a substantial and durable revenue stream through long-term ground leases that will enhance the Airport’s financial self-sufficiency for years to come.”

As a statutory requirement, a cost benefit analysis of the proposed project was performed by the county, which illustrated a positive return on investment for all taxing jurisdictions ranging from 33.3% to 387.5%. Property taxes on the new construction are projected to generate approximately $135,000,000 over the next 33 years, as compared to an estimated of up to $178,000 over the same time period, under current conditions. 

According to Otto, the benefits of this development include railyard improvements, approximately 2,675 new, permanent jobs, more than $672,813,505 in estimated payroll, along with an estimated 1,875 construction jobs with payroll earnings of $96,750,000 over the next 10 years.  

In addition to its prime location within the Southwestern Johnson County submarket, this development is the only site in the metro area that offers available land allowing laydown yards, outdoor storage, access to a major railroad via short line railroad services, and access to domestic air transport via New Century AirCenter. 

“We knew when we first received the RFP for this project that it represented an opportunity to partner with the Johnson County Airport Commission and the county in the execution of a long term vision that would bring lasting benefits to the residents of Johnson County,” stated Rich Muller, executive vice president of VanTrust. “We are excited to have been selected to lead this effort and look forward to kicking off what will be a significant expansion of the Southwest Johnson County industrial submarket.”

About New Century Business Park

New Century Business Park is located next to New Century AirCenter, one of two airports owned and operated by the Johnson County Airport Commission. New Century AirCenter is the third-busiest airport in Kansas and sits on more than 2,500 acres. Along with convenient interstate highway access, the Business Park also has a short line railroad with more than six miles of track providing on-call rail service to the BSNF transcontinental mainline. It is a true multimodal center and one of the few logistics parks in the United States where air, rail, and road come together.

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