Urban Outfitters plans $350M investment near Kansas Speedway

By: - August 5, 2020 5:02 pm
Gov. Laura Kelly, U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran and other public and business leaders discuss details of the Urban Outfitters investment during a virtual news conference Wednesday. (Screenshot/Kansas Reflector)

Gov. Laura Kelly, U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran and other public and business leaders discuss details of the Urban Outfitters investment during a virtual news conference Wednesday. (Screenshot/Kansas Reflector)

Urban Outfitters announced plans Wednesday to invest $350 million in a new, 880,00-square-foot distribution center to be built in Wyandotte County.

The multinational retail company, which sells clothing and other consumer goods, says it will create 2,000 jobs through the long-term investment.

State officials said public incentives involved with the deal won’t be finalized or announced for another six to eight weeks.

As part of the deal, Urban Outfitters has agreed to assist workers with child care and pay at least $18 per hour. Additionally, the company committed to using businesses owned by women and minorities during construction.

David Ziel, chief development officer for Urban Outfitters, said the project represents a major commitment by the company to the people of Kansas.

“This is a strategic piece,” Ziel said. “We’re not about building after building. We’re about a culture.”

The new facility will be built on land owned by NASCAR near the Kansas Speedway.

Gov. Laura Kelly said the investment will help jumpstart a Kansas economy reeling from the worst public health crisis in a century. More than 200,000 Kansans have filed unemployment claims as a result of COVID-19.

“Today’s announcement has furthered our resolve that Kansas is on the right path,” Kelly said. “This is a transformational project for our state.”

Appearing with Kelly, Ziel and others during a virtual news conference, U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran said the investment by Urban Outfitters sets the stage for other developments.

“The arrival of your company to our state gives us the opportunity to use you,” Moran said. “In fact, I believe that other companies will look directly at Kansas because you’ve chosen our state to be your new home. And we look forward to taking advantage of who Urban Outfitters is to bring other partners and other neighbors to the neighborhood.”

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Sherman Smith
Sherman Smith

Sherman Smith is the Kansas Press Association’s journalist of the year. He has written award-winning news stories about the instability of the Kansas foster care system, misconduct by government officials, sexual abuse, technology, education, and the Legislature. He previously spent 16 years at the Topeka Capital-Journal. A lifelong Kansan, he graduated from Emporia State University in 2004 as a Shepherd Scholar with a degree in English.

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