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Keller Williams shifts plans for HQ

The real estate company foresees a summer move into the current Mid-Missouri Bank operations center

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Keller Williams Greater Springfield is set to move into its new headquarters this summer after quietly shifting plans for its new space.

With an original plan to build a $4.5 million headquarters off of East Battlefield Road and U.S Highway 65, Keller Williams Greater Springfield will now occupy a building at 1619 E. Independence St., the current home of Mid-Missouri Bank’s operations center. Additional plans are underway to build a mixed-use retail center next door to its future headquarters for companies that provide ancillary real estate services.

Keller Williams real estate agent Rhett Smillie said plans to build from the ground up changed when the proposed site near Battlefield Road revealed costly issues during the bidding process.

“There were some challenges with that piece of ground,” Smillie said, declining to disclose specifics. “Keller Williams is a company that shares its profit with their agents, and we were concerned about it being detrimental to that.”

The newly selected land on Independence Street is already a construction zone. Just south of Mid-Missouri Bank’s current building, crews are building a $4 million operations center for the bank. It’s expected to be complete in late August, said Mid-Missouri Bank Marketing Director Andrew Moore. He said the bank’s operations team will leave the Independence location April 30 and operate from the Republic branch until the new building is ready.

The Keller Williams team will then take control of the 23,000-square-foot building May 1, Moore said.

The real estate company will renovate the building and likely move in by July 1, said Dan Holt, the local operating partner for Keller Williams. Project costs and renovation details have yet to be determined. Buxton Kubik Dodd Design Collective has been hired on as architect, though principal Brian Kubik said no renovation plans had been set as of press time.

“It mostly fit our space requirements, and while it needs a remodel, it fit our needs and protected our agents’ profit share,” Smillie said, adding the company will lease the space.

Greene County assessor records show the Independence Street building is owned by Glenngary LLC, which comprises Holt, Smillie and Keller Williams real estate agent Adam Graddy, according to Missouri secretary of state filings.

Keller Williams began searching for new digs several years ago because it was at full capacity at its 2925 E. Battlefield Road office in Clairemont Commons.

“We are completely out of space,” he said. “We’re almost doubling in square footage at the new location.”

Holt said real estate agents have been spread out around town while the company sought a new location for consolidation.

Behind the future Keller Williams headquarters, plans also are underway to create a mixed-use business center that highlights real estate services.

Glenngary is project developer of Independence Marketplace, which is designed to comprise roughly 10,000 square feet that can be divided into seven 1,400-square-foot spaces.

Holt said the ownership group is seeking insurance companies, mortgage lenders and title loan companies as tenants.

“It serves us wisely to look for tenants who are directly related to real estate,” Holt said. “We are simply going to be separated by a parking lot.”

Smillie said the space for ancillary services was always part of the plan for a new headquarters, adding the planned building off Battlefield Road would have included the mixed-use space in the 30,000-square-foot headquarters – not as a separate project.

At Independence Marketplace, Holt said two undisclosed companies – a title company and a mortgage lender – have signed letters of intent to lease space in the complex.

“Our grand vision is that a cafe will take on the north end,” Holt said. “We think there’s a huge opportunity to service lunch needs and a lot of agents could use a coffee shop for meetings.”

Smillie declined to disclose project costs, but the building permit lists an estimated valuation of $1 million. Kyle Yarbrough, architect with Buxton Kubik Dodd, said building permits were still under review by the city and a construction schedule had not been set as of press time.

A portion of the Independence Marketplace, which will be constructed by BP Builders LLC, also may be used as overflow space for the future headquarters, Holt said, noting the company anticipates employee growth in the next few years.

Keller Williams ranked No. 8 in Springfield Business Journal’s 2019 Dynamic Dozen fastest-growing companies awards, with 2018 revenue of $774.5 million and 378 employees. The employee count grew by 30% from 2016-18, according to past SBJ reporting.

In SBJ’s December 2019 real estate section, Keller Williams reported 477 active licensed residential agents and 10 commercial agents.

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