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HIgh Traffic Sites Attracting Some Commercial Deals

Friday, December 4 2009 12:00 AM
Commercial projects might be drying up, but they’re not gone.

Witness Mukesh Dharod’s Genesh Inc., which is busily growing the company’s Burger King franchises across the Wichita metro area. The latest is coming in an abandoned Taco Bueno at 200 S. Rock Road.

Absorbing vacated retail space — for scrape-and-builds and to renovate — is a growing trend in the restaurant business, said one of the brokers involved in the Burger King deal, Brad Saville of Landmark Commercial, representing Taco Bueno.

“People are definitely doing deals,” said Phil Hammond, vice president for sales at Kansas City-based Land Source, representing Genesh.

“We’re looking for diamonds in the rough, so people who own properties where the demographics are already there, the traffic’s already there are fine. They’ll move it right.”

Hence the company’s interest in the Rock Road location, which is across the street from Towne East Square. The 2,550-square-foot building was built in 2006 and went on the market in May 2008.
 Dharod’s Genesh owns 44 Burger Kings, including 11 in Wichita — a number that’s growing with a new store opening on South Meridian, the Rock Road store and one going in at 71st and K-15 in Derby.

The company also operates an Augusta store and properties in Great Bend, Newton, Hutchinson and El Dorado. Don Arnold of NAI John T. Arnold in Wichita is the local broker for Genesh.
 There’s a common theme in the Genesh projects: high-traffic locations.

“If you look at the areas that Mukesh is putting Burger Kings, those areas are developed,” he said. “They have the demographics, the traffic count, and you’re not having to count on future development to be successful. We’ve opened four units throughout Kansas and Missouri and (have) just blown away projections because the areas are already developed.”

The Rock property is being renovated by Genesh, but the other locations have been leveled and new stores are being built, Hammond said.

Those kinds of projects are a growing trend, Saville said, an alternative to more costly locations like the corners of strip centers.

“By renovating former restaurant locations, the upfront construction cost is significantly less,” he said.

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