February 23, 2007

Power & Light District Exceeds MBE/WBE Goals - Communications Initiative Launched


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                   

Contact: Jennifer Brandt, (816) 842-1045                                                                         

Power & Light District Exceeds MBE/WBE Goals

Communications Initiative Launched

(Kansas City, MO – February 20, 2007) - The Cordish Company hosted a community meeting on Tuesday, February 20, 2007, at its downtown Kansas City office to announce that the Power & Light District has met and exceeded the minority and women business enterprise (MBE/WBE) goals set in the construction of the District.   Cordish also announced its efforts to increase public awareness of the quality MBE/WBEs in the Kansas City metropolitan area and broker communication between Power & Light tenants and the minority/women construction community.  The Power & Light District is a major focal point of downtown Kansas City’s rebirth.

Zed Smith, Director of Asset Management for The Cordish Company, first outlined the Power & Light District’s MBE/WBE project goals and status.  In the area of Professional Services, with completion at 84%, MBE participation is 12% and WBE participation is 12%.  When the project is completed, it is anticipated that MBE and WBE participation will be 13% and 19% respectively.  This will yield an MBE/WBE participation total of 32%, which will exceed the 21% MBE/WBE goal for Professional Services established by the City’s Human Relations Department. 

In the Construction Services area, with 54% of the total project under contract, total current contracted MBE/WBE participation is at 17% (14% MBE, 3% WBE).  At the conclusion of the

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project, MBE/WBE participation is projected to reach the 22% mark (15% MBE, 7% WBE), which meets the goal established by the City’s Human Relations Department.

“We have worked very hard with our prime contractors, the City of Kansas City, and the minority and women contractor community to meet and exceed the expectations for MBE/WBE participation on the Power & Light District project,” said Smith.  “Our accomplishment in Kansas City has truly been a team effort.  As a company, we take pride in our track record and history as it relates to working with minority and women-owned businesses throughout the country.  We have developed projects in many cities with superior results, and our success in Kansas City simply validates our commitment to an inclusive process.”

Kansas City Mayor Kay Barnes made remarks and joined with leadership from Kansas City’s MBE/WBE community and business and civic organizations in welcoming Cordish’s announcement.  “The success of The Cordish Company and the Power & Light District in meeting and exceeding MBE/WBE goals, in addition to today’s announced communications initiative, demonstrates how a public/private partnership can create wide reaching and inclusive results,” said Mayor Kay Barnes. 

The remainder of the meeting focused on Cordish’s commitment to the MBE/WBE contracting industry.  Executives were on hand from each of the three general contractors Cordish has hired to construct the Power & Light District – J.E. Dunn Construction, Turner Construction, and Walton Construction - to speak about the programs each contractor has instituted to promote diversity in the construction industry.  Recent graduates from Walton Construction’s Diversity Program, The Turner School of Construction Management, and J.E. Dunn’s Minority Contractor Business Development program were also introduced.

“The Cordish Company has retained these three locally based general contractors not only for their skill, integrity, and reputation, but also for their commitment to help area MBE/WBEs achieve quality growth within the construction industry.” said Smith. 

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Smith then announced Cordish’s communications strategy to encourage contact between Power & Light District tenants and local MBE/WBEs.  Cordish will send out a list of certified MBE/WBE contractors to Cordish’s tenants and general contractors; encourage tenants to submit their plans to minority/women planning rooms; add a link on its website to the City’s Human Relations Department website; host a “meet and greet” event bringing together tenants and MBE/WBE entities; provide a link on its website to tenants’ general contractors with contact information; and meet regularly with tenant general contractors to review MBE/WBE policy.

“The Cordish Company feels it is important to update the community on an ongoing basis of the MBE/WBE participation goals we have set and discuss how we are fulfilling those goals.  All along this project has been about building relationships and bringing people together, and with this communications initiative we’re continuing to do that,” said Smith.  “We want to help make Power & Light tenants aware of the local MBE/WBE community and help make that community aware of opportunities they may have in our development.”

“We have worked very closely in partnership with The Cordish Company to ensure that the established MBE/WBE participation goals are met.  We are also encouraged by their increased outreach initiatives on this very important project,” said City Manager Wayne Cauthen. 

“Cordish is part of the Kansas City community,” continued Smith.  “We value leveraging MBE/WBE business opportunities, and we’ll serve as a conduit to get information out into the community to help that process.” 

About the Power & Light District

The Power & Light District will create a vibrant, new nine block neighborhood in downtown Kansas City which will redefine the City from its skyline to its sidewalks.  The District will link together the renovated Bartle Hall Convention Center, the new Sprint Center, offices, hotels, entertainment, cultural destinations and residential developments.  Developed in partnership with the City of Kansas City and the State of Missouri, the $850 million mixed-use District will anchor $2 billion of complimentary development efforts in downtown Kansas City, such as

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the new H&R Block world-wide headquarters.  The combination of entertainment, retail, nightlife and residential with imaginative and innovative design will create a unique and vibrant neighborhood.  The retail and entertainment portion of the Power & Light District will feature the country’s premier concepts.  Gordon Biersch, Mosaic, Famous Dave’s Barbecue, Jos. A. Bank, and Chipotle will join previously announced tenants such as the Bristol Seafood Grill, ChinaBAR, Vinino, Cosentino’s Downtown Gourmet Market, AMC’s flagship arts movie theater in the revitalized Empire Theater, and a 3,000 capacity live music venue in the Midland Theater.  The Power & Light District will feature vibrant lighting and landscaping, outdoor seating for restaurants, and a permanent performance stage to provide live entertainment.

About The Cordish Company

The Cordish Company (www.cordish.com), now in its fourth generation of family ownership, is a multi-billion dollar conglomerate including one of the leading real estate development companies in the <st1:country-region>United States</st1:country-region>.  The Company has diverse development expertise with divisions focused on Entertainment & Mixed-Use, Gaming & Lodging, Sports Anchored Districts, Shopping & Lifestyle Retail, Office and Residential.  The Cordish Company also owns and manages a diverse group of operating businesses, ranging from restaurants/clubs to live music promotion to film/media distribution.  The company values itself on the quality of its operations, its long-term relationships, and high level of integrity in all of its endeavors. 

Best known for its real estate expertise, The Cordish Company is the largest and most successful developer of entertainment districts and concepts in the <st1:country-region>United States</st1:country-region>. In particular, the company has unparalleled experience in creating and revitalizing high-profile destinations in urban core locations. Many of the Cordish Company's projects involve public/private partnerships and are of unique significance to the cities in which they are located. Prime examples are the company's prominent role in the redevelopment of four highly successful projects in Baltimore's world-famous Inner Harbor; Atlantic City, NJ; Hollywood, FL; Charleston, SC; Houston, TX; Louisville, KY; and Tampa, FL.  The company currently has over one billion dollars in construction in cities such as Kansas City, MO; St. Louis, MO; Pittsburgh, PA; Atlantic City, NJ; Houston, TX, etc.

The Cordish Company has received the highest possible national awards in its various areas of expertise. In real estate, the Cordish Company has received an unprecedented six Urban Land Institute Awards of Excellence.


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