Koch Industries to expand Kansas headquarters

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) -- Koch Industries announced plans Thursday to expand its Wichita headquarters to make space for 745 more workers.

Koch has businesses dealing in everything from fertilizer to chemicals, minerals and pipelines.

"We have more than a dozen Koch companies with a presence here in Wichita," Dave Robertson, president and chief operating officer of Koch Industries, said in a news release. "Our growth has come 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."

Koch already employs more than 2,800 people in Wichita. Across its subsidiaries nationwide, the company has roughly 2,400 unfilled jobs, including more than 150 open at its Wichita headquarters.

To house more workers, it plans to build a three-story, 210,000-square-foot office building that will be finished in mid-2015. Construction is expected to begin next fall.

Once the building is completed, the company expects to add 745 jobs in Wichita, Koch spokeswoman Melissa Cohlmia said.

The office building, which will include a cafe and training space, will be connected to other buildings on the Koch campus via walkways and tunnels. It is the first phase of a long-term plan to handle future growth, the company said.

Koch said in May it had outgrown its more than 1 million-square-foot headquarters and was considering an expansion. Koch had already renovated space on the campus that wasn't being used fully and then decided to move forward with the expansion.

Plans include rerouting, at the company's cost, a city street one-quarter mile north of its present location to make room for the new building, more parking and future growth.