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Landmark Real Estate News

Liquor store opens in Lexington Square, others sign lease with strip mall

Friday, March 21 2008 12:00 AM
Lexington Square sat empty more than six months after it was built.

Co-developer Mike Hampton says businesses were reluctant to be the first to go into the empty four-front shopping center just south of the busy intersection of Maple and Maize Road. But once he opened Rolling Hills Wine & Spirits in January, two more tenants were quick to move forward with leasing space.

Now, Kline's Meats and Avon Beauty Direct are headed for April openings. A Mexican restaurant could eventually call the last space home, too. Hampton says he is in talks with a restaurant operator, whom he declined to name, about locating there. Work on the interior of the sites is ongoing.

"It's done its job of helping to fill the center," Hampton says of the more than 3,000-square-foot liquor store that features 55-degree wine and beer caves. Rolling Hills is the first liquor store in the area to feature a wine cave, which ensures the product is shipped and stored at the same temperature, Hampton says.

Having Kline Meats as a neighbor, he says, is a good fit for the Rolling Hills liquor store because of the one-stop convenience it could provide for customers.

"We're (the businesses) going to feed off each other," he says.

Located at 375 S. Maize Road, Hampton says Lexington Square benefits from being near a busy intersection and looks forward to it being filled. Other developments around the area, such as the Lillie Medical Park farther south on Maize will help the center too.

"We're excited," Hampton says.

Lexington Square is Hampton's first development in Wichita, but the president of Aztec Stucco Inc. -- a Valley Center-based company -- also dabbles in property management for various businesses. George Shammas is the shopping center's other developer.

Hampton says development is a hobby that he is using to build a portfolio.

Aztec is doing the work on the remaining three spaces in Lexington Square. Landmark Commercial Real Estate is handling the leasing.

Reviving 'A Wichita Tradition'
Scott Kline is no stranger to the meats business.

A third-generation butcher, Kline has been in the business for more than 20 years, working for several different entities along the way. But now he is starting his own business.

"Bringing back a Wichita tradition," Kline says.

He plans to open the 2,600-square-foot Kline's Meats in Lexington Square in early April. The business, which Kline describes as a "neighborhood butcher shop," will feature a variety of meats and cuts ranging from prime beef to sausages. He says he will use high-quality Nature Source Angus beef in the store as well as pork from Yoder Meats in Yoder.

"You're going to get the best of both worlds," he says.

In addition, Kline will sell a variety of smoked meats, lunch meats, cheeses and sausages -- using his
own recipe. He says he is going to try to have a little bit of everything on hand.

The main goal, Kline says, is to provide "good, old-fashioned service and quality" at his business.

Kline's Meats will be open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and will employ four or five
people. Kline says he could eventually employ between 10 and 15.

Like Hampton, Kline says the business is in a favorable location with the Maize Road traffic, and being next door to a liquor store is a natural fit.

He signed a lease on the site in January, but worked on his business plan for nearly two years. Starting a business wasn't without its challenges.

But "it's starting to really roll right now," Kline says.

The Avon business is slated for 1,100-square-foot space next door to Kline's Meats. The owner declined to comment.

Better Approach
With shopping centers such as Lexington Square popping up all over town, some landlords struggle to attract tenants.

But Don Piros, a realtor with Landmark Commercial, says the approach to filling these shopping centers is getting better. More and more sites are pre-leasing spaces before construction starts, he says.

The ability to attract business to shopping centers, Piros says, depends on traffic flow and location.

"I think every sector is different," he says.

With Lexington Square perched along Maize Road not far from Kellogg, Piros says the shopping center is in a good location. And with Lillie Medical Park poised to employ more than 300 people just south of the site -- and the increase in traffic that could accompany it -- he says the need for retail and restaurant spaces in that area is clear.

Lexington Square
Address: 375 S. Maize Road.
Owner: Lexington Square LLC.
Size: 10,570 square feet in one, four-front building.
Anchor: Rolling Hills Wine & Spirits.

[email protected] | 266-6172

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