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$23 million Development at old Spaghetti Works Factory

Friday, December 15 2017 4:20 PM
By   –  Reporter, Wichita Business Journal

A planned $23 million Spaghetti Works development in downtown Wichita is set to come before the City Council next week.

According to city documents, a proposed community improvement district that would include apartments at the Spaghetti Works building (619 E. William), along with a build-out for retail and office space, will come before the council on Tuesday.

Seneca Property LLC, which is registered to Wichita developer Nick Esterline, and Sunflower Wichita LLC, registered out of Overland Park, plan to turn the Spaghetti Works into a 41-unit apartment complex.

"We view this as a transformative project," Esterline says. "This is an exciting project not only for that area, but for downtown as a whole. I think we're at a critical point where there are opportunities to take the city to the next level. There's a lot of momentum right now."

The developers plan to also build for 8,000-square-feet of retail space and another 27,000-square-feet of Class A office space that would face Douglas Avenue and sit adjacent to Naftzger Park, according to city documents.

The Spaghetti Works building was purchased by Seneca Property and Sunflower in 2016.

TGC Development, which is also an Esterline group, and Landmark Commercial Real Estate are also part of the development team, according to a release from TGC spokesman Blake Heiman.

"Our offices have been close to this site for 16 years," Esterline says. "This development can be kind of a catalyst for the area from the arena over to Union Station and to the new Cargill facility. We think this will help pull everything together, like the (Goody Clancy) downtown master plan outlined back in 2010."

The apartments component to the project is just the latest in a string of planned downtown apartment complexes that have been revealed in recent months. Others, like the Colorado Derby Lofts at 201 N. Water, are already under construction.

"We're confident (about the market for downtown apartments)," Heiman says. "I have friends who are already wanting to lease there."

Jason Gregory, executive vice president for Downtown Wichita, agrees that the development would act as a key piece in the effort to bring the Goody Clancy plan together.

"We view this as a game-changer," Gregory says. "The role of this site in the master plan was always very important. It's a huge linchpin. It would also be key to the redevelopment of Naftzger Park, which is exactly how we envision these types of public/private investments to work."

In a CID, businesses charge up to an extra 2 percent tax on purchases to generate funds to support development costs. The developers are also asking for industrial revenue bonds for a sales tax exemption on construction costs.

In the current proposal, Shelden Architecture would do the designing and Hutton Construction would be the general contractor, according to Heiman.


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