Northwest Wichita will soon run on Dunkin,' too.
Franchisee Dan Day is preparing to open his seventh Dunkin' location in the Wichita area — this one in front of the Sam's Club at 29th Street and Maize Road. It's been a long wait; the closest Dunkin' for residents in the city's far northwest corner is the one at West Street and Kellogg.
"The most we've heard from customers is they wanted us to come to two places — one was 47th and Broadway, and the other was Maize Road," Day said.
He just opened a location in February in a shopping center at 409 E. 47th St. South, so Maize Road was the natural place to open next.
"I've been looking there for a long time to find the right deal," Day said. "A lot of the problem was they weren't built to have a drive-through on it, or it was really difficult to get to the drive-through."
Finally, the right deal came together at 29th and Maize. And once Hobby Lobby and QuikTrip opened across the street, Day said he knew he was in the right place.
Earlier this summer, Sam's sold a vacant pad site to the west of the store to a development group called Mountain Pass Investments LLC, which includes Landmark Commercial Real Estate's Scott Harper and Brad Saville. They split the site into two, 3/4-acre lots, and the Dunkin' will go up on the southern parcel, which will eventually have driveway access coming off of Maize. Harper and Saville will develop the site, and Day's NewDays LLC will lease and operate the store.
"I think it's a great use for that property, and I expect it will open very strongly," Harper said.
Day said he expects to open the Dunkin' in early 2022 depending on construction delays and weather. Jaco General Contractor is the builder on the project.
It will be a 2,000 square-foot store, and Day said the design will be the brand's "next gen" prototype, similar to the one that recently opened at 47th and Broadway and in Derby.
He said about 30% of business is now digital orders, so a lot of Wichitans are gravitating toward online ordering and store pickup.
At the Maize Road location, Day said he's also exploring a new design feature that has a double drive-through, where there will be two order boxes that narrow into one pick-up window lane. He said the store likely won't open with the double drive-through in operation, but it could be added on later.
"That'll be one of the few that Dunkin' has," he said. "I thought while I'm building a building I might as well and prepare for it."
The Dunkin' concept is doing well in Wichita, he said.
"I think America in general, but especially Wichita, has a really positive view of Dunkin,' they enjoy their products," Day said. "Over 50% of our business is coffee, so everybody's latched onto the coffee."
Likewise, the Maize Road location won't be the last Dunkin' we see opening in Wichita. Day said he has more deals working elsewhere in the area but couldn't say yet where they are.
"I think we've got a few more that I think people will really like where we're going," he said.
Vacant lots up and down Maize Road are becoming few and far between, especially ones that allow the types of restaurant and retail uses tenants are looking for.
"In years past a lot of groups who looked at 21st and Maize Road felt that 29th was a little bit too far north," Harper said, "but as that's almost completely filled out at this point."
Landmark is listing the adjacent site to the north of the future Dunkin' — across from the IHOP — either as a ground lease or build-to-suit. Harper said it will likely be another quick-serve restaurant concept.
"We have a couple groups that we're in discussions with, but nothing finalized," he said. "But yeah, that'd be the most likely outcome is another small QSR with a drive-through."
Article by Shelby Kellerman from the Wichita Business Journal.