163: Brokering the $527M West Bottoms Project, with Gib Kerr

Welcome to the CRE Clarity Podcast with Jeremy Goodrich. Our guest today is Gib Kerr, a commercial broker and the Managing Director of Cushman and Wakefield. In this episode, we dive deep into a special project: the revitalization of the West Bottoms in Kansas City. We discuss how Gib got involved in this massive project, what he learned along the way, and why he believes that urban cores around the country are here to stay. Join us!

Learn more about Gib and his story at creclarity.com!

“I was the one of the only brokers who really stuck around in downtown when everyone else was bailing out.”


Gib grew up in a CRE broker family in Kansas City. Following in his family’s footsteps, he embarked on his own brokerage career over 30 years ago. Gib specializes in historic buildings and the urban landscape of Kansas City. He saw significant growth in the city’s downtown area in recent years.

“Construction costs have gone up 40, 50% in the recent years and interest rates have doubled so it’s a really challenging time for developers.” 


Gib dives into a project he began in the 1980s: the West Bottoms district in Kansas City. As a broker, he played a key role in the area’s development. Recently, through Cushman & Wakefield, Gib facilitated the sale of many of these buildings to a buyer focused on revitalizing the entire West Bottoms.

Gib shares some of the lessons he learned from this massive project.

  • Development-friendly local government is key: For large-scale projects, collaboration with a local government that offers incentives is crucial.
  • The rise of walkable urban areas: The trend of revitalizing urban areas with concentrated density and walkable environments is here to stay.

“Urban cores around the country are coming back and they’re here to stay.”


Toward the end of the conversation, Gib shares what he’s most excited about currently.  He draws a parallel between the present and the financial crisis of 2008-2010. With maturing loans exceeding $500 billion yearly, he anticipates a rise in distressed assets, potentially creating historically good buying opportunities for investors. However, he is concerned about the future of office buildings.

Finally, Gib shares one point of clarity with the listeners – the return to the urban core is a trend that will continue in the years to come, so be on the lookout for that!

About our Guest, Gib Kerr

Gib Kerr serves as the Managing Director for Cushman & Wakefield’s Kansas City office.

Gib leads the capital markets team in Kansas City specializing in investment property sales and urban development. Over the last ten years, Gib has brokered over $2.2 billion worth of new development projects in downtown Kansas City.

Prior to joining Cushman & Wakefield, Gib served as managing principal of Sperry Van Ness in Kansas City and as vice president of Tower Properties. Previously, Gib was a principal of Colliers Turley Martin/Kerr & Company and worked as an asset manager with Wachovia Bank in North Carolina overseeing a national portfolio of office and investment properties.

Mentioned in the show:

  1. His LinkedIn
  2. https://www.gibkerr.com/
  3. https://www.cushmanwakefield.com/
  4. www.shineinsurance.com/
  5. The REI Clarity Framework

Need an instant insurance ballpark for your next Multifamily deal?! Answer 9 simple questions and we’ll give you a sense of what insurance should be. Visit us here for everything you need to know: https://www.shineinsurance.com/ballpark/ 

Special thanks to Gib Kerr for taking the time to share so many great insights with us

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Show produced by Eni Horvath