Midwest Research Institute buys building in North Kansas City

Kansas City Business Journal — Thursday, February 3, 2011

By David Twiddy, Staff Writer

Midwest Research Institute, which has seen a surge in new projects in recent years, has bought a commercial building in North Kansas City to hold additional lab and office space.

The Kansas City-based nonprofit research organization said Thursday that it had bought a nearly 90,000-square-foot facility at 1222 Ozark St. in Paseo Industrial Park and will begin occupying the site in mid-March. A spokeswoman declined to give a price for the purchase.

The new building will provide space for existing areas of research as well as new types of client services, said Thomas Sack, MRI’s director of technical services.

“We were delighted to find suitable space so quickly and only eight miles from our headquarters operation,” Sack said in a release.

MRI’s headquarters underwent a $28 million expansion and LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) upgrade in 2009 with the expectation that it would serve the company’s needs for five years. But a decision for MRI to begin pursuing research projects as a lead contractor dramatically increased the amount of activity and employees at the organization.

CEO Michael Helmstetter said in December that MRI had started looking for new space. He said about 50employees initially would move into the new space, which eventually would accommodate 80 to 100 employees.

Agents with Kessinger/Hunter and Co. brokered both sides of the deal, with Patrick McGannon representing the seller and Joseph Accurso representing MRI.