Fast-growing Rabo AgriFinance has chosen the Office Park at Eberly Farm for its new Wichita office, which is the company’s territory headquarters.
“We simply wanted more room that we could tailor to fit our needs,” says Sarah Kolell, vice president and director of public relations.
The company has 10 employees. It’s taking 5,000 square feet at the complex, which is across from Via Christi Clinic on West 21st Street between 119th and 135th streets.
“Their selection of this location for their offices in Wichita makes a very strong statement about the quality and the character of our development,” says Dan Unruh of InSite Real Estate Group.
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He and InSite’s Curt Robertson handled the Rabo deal.
“We see their selection of our location as a validation of the fact that Class A office space can be built and leased in northwest Wichita,” Unruh says.
Rabo is part of Rabobank in the Netherlands.
“We are an agricultural finance company,” says Kolell, who is in Rabo’s St. Louis headquarters. “All we do is agriculture.”
She says the new Office Park at Eberly Farm space will allow for more employees in the future.
“In the last 10 years, as an organization, we’ve grown about 85 percent,” she says.
Since 2010, the company has gone from 20 field offices nationally to 51, and the number of employees has jumped from 297 in 2010 to 554 now.
“It’s really important to us that we hire people who understand and value agriculture,” Kolell says. “It’s a very specific field.”
She says there can be quite a bit of volatility, especially with cattle and wheat.
“Our knowledge and understanding and really our commitment to agriculture really sets us apart,” she says. “That’s really what’s enabled us to grow.”
She says Rabo likes that the Office Park at Eberly Farm is closer to its rural clients and provides visibility for the brand.
Rabo will move from its current space at 2872 N. Ridge Road next year.
SPT Architecture designed the interior of Rabo’s space, and Hutton Construction is the general contractor.
Unruh says there’s still about 7,000 square feet left to lease at the Office Park at Eberly Farm and another 45,000 square feet left to develop.
“It’s all dependent upon the market and how quickly demand grows for space in that area.”
Demand hasn’t been as strong as Unruh says he first expected when building at the complex in 2012.
“After 2008, we anticipated a faster recovery in the office market generally and got a little ahead of ourselves with a speculative project, but we were prepared for that outcome,” he says.
“We anticipated growth to go more westward than it has,” Unruh says. “Instead, it grew more northerly toward Maize.”
He says more westward growth is happening now, in part thanks to the Northwest YMCA, the “quality residential communities” in the area and western migration in the county in general.
“We’re starting to see more interest in property along the West 21st Street corridor.”