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Momentum builds on Maize Road near 37th Street North, developers and brokers say

Friday, June 22 2012 12:00 AM

Momentum builds on Maize Road near 37th Street North, developers and brokers say

Wichita Business Journal by John Stearns, Reporter

Several projects are pushing commercial real estate development farther north on North Maize Road.

In particular, the area around 37th Street North, where Menards opened in March 2011, is getting more attention.

Credit a better economy, thawing bank lending, good demographics and, now, the city of Maize’s commercial incentive plan, among other factors, say local developers and brokers.

Among the activity:

• hree dental specialist offices are teaming up on a 15,000-square-foot building under construction on the west side of Maize Road, north of 37th, in Marv Schellenberg’s Hampton Lakes medical park.

• cross Maize Road, a new Sonic Drive-In is planned for one of the 10 pad sites in the Stonebridge development anchored by Menards.

• letter of intent for a non-restaurant business is in place for Stonebridge’s corner at 37th.

• ork will start this summer on an O’Reilly Auto Parts store just south of the Goodwill thrift store on the west side of Maize Road south of 37th.

“In the last 90 days, we’ve had more inquiries than we’ve had in the last 18 months,” says Schellenberg, who also has the Hampton Lakes Retail Center north of the medical park. That center just signed a new tenant, InMotion Spine Muscle Joint, a chiropractic and acupuncture clinic that will open in mid-July. It’s leasing 1,750 square feet. Terms weren’t released.

Schellenberg says traffic in the area has risen sharply since Menards opened.

Tom Lassley of Keller Williams Commercial likens Maize Road to Rock Road.

“We’re on the cusp of seeing it really explode,” he says.

Brad Saville, of Landmark Commercial Real Estate, which markets Stonebridge and has an ownership interest in it, sees momentum building.

 “The activity breeds activity,” he says, especially with the appearance of national retailers, known for doing extensive homework on their locations.

Saville worked on the O’Reilly deal, and Landmark’s David Leyh, worked on Sonic.

More plans to pop soon

Community Bank of Wichita bought a parcel at the northwest corner of 37th and Maize back in 2010 for a third branch.

The bank has west-side customers but no west-side location, President Steve Carrsays, and it sees the budding development along North Maize Road.

“We want to be a part of that growth,” Carr says.

A new branch could be operating within a couple years, he says.

Properties north of 29th are listed for about $10 to $12 per square foot, but there have been some sub-$10 deals, says Curt Robertson of InSite Real Estate Group . Prices south of 29th have run higher.

Schellenberg says he’s in talks for the last 3,262 square feet at Hampton Lakes Retail Center and for pad sites. The Hampton space, which could be divided, starts at $14.50 per square foot, triple net.

Lassley represents about a dozen parcels in the Wyn-Wood development northeast of 37th and Maize. He says he’s talking to numerous people, including national companies. Prices for the parcels range from about $175,000 to $960,000, depending on size and location.

While he’d like business to be better, it keeps improving, he says. And there’s no denying the area’s appeal.

“It’s a gold mine waiting to happen,” he says.

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