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City confirms Amazon distribution center is coming to northeast Wichita

Thursday, July 2 2020 5:45 PM

A speculative warehouse building in northeast Wichita will be the site of an Amazon distribution center — a huge grab for Wichita's industrial market.

The city announced the news Thursday.

"There have been rumors spreading that Wichita was in the running for one of the smaller distribution sites for Amazon and I just want to confirm that is true," Mayor Brandon Whipple said during his weekly media briefing.

The city says the company will move into the just-finished warehouse at 4044 N. Toben St., a new 136,580-square-foot building that's in the growing Webb Business Park near 39th Street and Webb Road, just north of K-96.

A development group called Webb Industrial LLC, which includes Ivan Crossland Jr., Dave Murfin and Steve Barrett, first went public with their plans for the building last summer.

Scott Rigby, assistant city manager, says Amazon will begin operations this fall after crews finish tenant improvements.

He said the company plans to bring "well over" 100 jobs to the distribution center, plus additional contracted positions for product delivery and placement.

J.P. Weigand & Sons' Bradley Tidemann handled the deal.

"I worked with them for three or four years on different projects and this is the first one we finally landed on," he said. "It was a good deal for everybody. They ended up taking the whole building."

For the project, developers took advantage of the city's speculative warehouse building program that was designed to address what many in commercial real estate industry say is the ongoing need for existing industrial space in Wichita.

"Wichita was simply not on the list for a lot of these type of facilities simply because we did not have that type of product that they're looking for," Rigby said Thursday during the media briefing.

The developers received $11 million in industrial revenue bonds, which do not require taxpayer commitment, to help finance the construction of the warehouse on Toben Street.

Rigby said Amazon's move confirms and validates the spec program, which began in 2017.

"The days where a company comes and waits for 15 to 18 months to build a facility, those days are gone," he said. "Much like Amazon, which promises next-day delivery, they're looking for facilities that are ready to go immediately."

The northeast Wichita property sits on 10 acres of land, just west of WSU Tech and the National Center for Aviation Training.

"The key to these buildings is the 30-foot clearing height which allows them to stack their product. They get a more efficient layout," Tidemann said about the project back in October. "We always need to have space readily available for tenants.

"It's just like the housing market. You've got to have houses for people to buy when they come."


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