General Contractor Establishes New Home in Lee’s Summit

Gail BryantWhat's Happening

A new general contractor has joined the Lee’s Summit business community. GPS-KC is a full-service general contractor & construction manager, which offers design-build, pre-construction, owner’s representative, and staff augmentation services for small-to-medium manufacturing and development projects.

Partners Mike Skidmore and Austin Christensen have been in the Kansas City construction industry for 15 years. They worked together at CRB, where they specialized in pharmaceutical manufacturing and other FDA-regulated facilities. During that time, Skidmore worked on a particularly challenging project in Texas, where he was introduced to GPS, a local contractor that had decades of experience in the central Texas area.

After the pair left CRB, Skidmore stayed in touch with GPS, even bringing them on for some projects at his new company. Through their collaboration, Skidmore got to know the President of GPS well.

“We realized our business minds kind of aligned and there was a good working relationship,” said Skidmore.

When a project he was working on in Chicago was sidelined halfway through, Skidmore decided to forge his own path.

“That was the catalyst to going ahead and opening the office here locally and starting a division of GPS. It was just kind of a crossroads for me at that time for my career,” said Skidmore. 

He opened the Kansas City office in December of 2019, with Christensen who left his leadership role, opening & growing a Kansas City office for Kadean, to join GPS as a Partner about a year later. The group is pursuing and have worked on projects ranging from 200,000-800,000 square feet including clean manufacturing, lab & life sciences, industrial warehouse, office tenant improvement, healthcare, mixed use retail, and multifamily.  The company was a subcontractor for renovations at the Kansas City Chiefs Official Pro Shop at Arrowhead and is currently an owner’s representative for the POAH Hawthorne apartment renovations in Independence.   GPS-KC’s largest project to date has been a food facility renovation at Cereal Ingredients in Leavenworth, KS which provides contract manufacturing for Kellogg’s and General Mills. 

GPS-KC joined the Lee’s Summit Economic Development Council in 2021.

“Lee’s Summit was very welcoming and willing to support,” said Christensen. “Everybody we’ve ran into so far has been open to talk and help.”

For Skidmore, who grew up in Lee’s Summit, opening his business in his hometown was exciting.

“Especially for someone who saw the small community it was 25 years ago, and then now look at it and see the growth and the commerce, and Downtown is cool,” Skidmore said. “It’s fun to be around.”

That is precisely what the pair looks forward to contributing to. Christensen said working close to home allows him an opportunity to feel like he is making a difference when he drives by past projects.

“When you’re doing work locally, you get to see those reminders a lot more often,” said Christensen. “It just has a little bit different feel to it when you get to build projects close to home.”

Over the next year, GPS-KC plans to scale up its Kansas City division, with the potential to more-than-double its current number of employees.

LSEDC President & CEO Rick McDowell said he is excited to have GPS-KC as part of the business community and the organization.

“The GPS-KC leadership has a long professional history in our area. We are glad they chose our community to grow their business and we look forward to the contributions that they will bring in terms of jobs, investment and quality construction services.”