Kansas City’s central business district (CBD) has received a great deal of media attention over the past two years for good reason. With over 3,000 new residential units delivered, the new KC Streetcar and the national trend of Millennials moving to urban areas, there has been plenty of momentum for the area and much discussion of the “live-work-play” environment. After a long period of decline, the urban core of Kansas City is experiencing a powerful revitalization.

In all the excitement surrounding the CBD, however, another trend may be getting overlooked. Through the first three-quarters of 2016, absorption in the CBD (the Downtown, Crossroads and Crown Center submarkets) was more or less flat after accounting for the conversion of office space to residential use and a unique listing in the Crown Center complex.

Meanwhile, the suburban office market posted 580,000 square feet of positive absorption during the same period. Yes, Kansas City is in the process of rediscovering and reinventing the CBD, but the performance of the suburban market remains strong.

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