Koch Industries to expand Wichita headquarters, add jobs

07/12/2014 4:33 PM

07/12/2014 4:33 PM

Koch Industries is ramping up its hiring and plans to add a 210,000-square-foot building to its 37th Street North headquarters campus, the company said Thursday.

The three-story building will be on the northwest side of the campus and will stretch across 37th, requiring the company to reroute a section of the street by a quarter of a mile north. Koch said it would pay for the cost of moving the road and is working with the city of Wichita to do that.

“There was no other spot” on the campus to put the building, Koch spokeswoman Melissa Cohlmia said. She said the repositioning of 37th will not affect the road where it currently intersects at Hillside and at Oliver.

The new building will have the capacity to house 745 employees. Koch companies in Wichita employ more than 2,800 people. The company currently has 150 openings.

“We have more than a dozen Koch companies with a presence here in Wichita,” said Dave Robertson, Koch Industries president and chief operating officer, in a news release. “Our growth has come about as a result of exciting innovations of all kinds. Our goal is to continue this rate of innovation as well as the pursuit of other opportunities and acquisitions. The result of all this is that Koch will create new jobs in Wichita.”

Construction of the building will begin in the fall of 2013 and is the first phase of a long-term master plan to handle potential future growth, according to the release. The new building will be connected to another existing building by a three-story, covered walkway as well as an underground tunnel, Cohlmia said.

She said the company is not disclosing the cost of the project, which will also include the addition of a 745-slot parking lot north of the new building.

Howard + Helmer is the architect and Professional Engineering Consultants is the engineer. Both are Wichita firms.

The possible expansion of Koch’s campus was announced in May of this year when the company said it was outgrowing its 1,025,000-square-foot Wichita headquarters, which comprises eight buildings..

One of the largest private companies in the United States, Koch owns a variety of businesses that are involved in refining, chemicals and biofuels; fertilizers; polymers and fibers; commodity trading and services; forest and consumer products; and ranching.

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