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Lower Cost of Living Lures California Companies to Kansas City

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Lower housing and living costs can make Kansas City more attractive to businesses on the coasts.

Whether your tastes run toward a home in the suburbs or a downtown loft, affordable housing is a big draw for the metro area, said Jessica Nelson, managing director of TeamKC: Life + Talent for the Kansas City Area Development Council.

Housing costs in Kansas City come in at 20 percent less than the U.S. average, and the difference can be even more stark in some circumstances. A 3,000-square-foot home that’s less than 5 years old, with a three-car garage on three-fourths of an acre will cost you $465,000 in Kansas City. In New York City, that same property would cost $8.75 million.

Nelson said she often sends real estate listings to potential recruits to showcase what the area has to offer. Savings also can be found in lower-cost amenities. A YMCA membership for two adults in Kansas City is $88 vs. $204 in Dallas. “Day-to-day purchases, such as gym memberships, movie tickets or a cup of coffee, are important and a good selling point that people don’t think about,” Nelson said.

The low cost of living and lower costs for key goods and services help Kansas Citians feel like their wallets are fatter. And this, of course, can help businesses and organizations as they try to lure top talent to our area, such as the two California-based companies that made the decision to locate major operations in Kansas City in the past year. San Francisco-based law firm Sedgwick LLP moved a 100-person administrative office to the Crown Center area. Sungevity Inc., an Oakland-based solar power company, expects to bring approximately 600 jobs to the area.

[Kansas City Business Journal]