Almost two years ago, Landmark Commercial Real Estate took over the old Hooters spot on North Rock Road with a vision to transform it into a multi-tenant, mixed-use commercial strip center.
When it's finished late this summer, the building at 3151 N. Rock Road will have an entirely new look, with Aspen Dental as an anchor tenant.
"We just wanted to kind of clean it up and give it a more modern design," said Landmark agent Scott Harper, who is partnering with company founder and CEO Brad Saville on the redevelopment project. "The old design was a little tired and really kind of branded the building a little bit as a former Hooters restaurant. And it was just time to move on from that."
Aspen Dental, which signed a lease in January on about 3,500 square-feet, will enter the Wichita market with the move.
"There's still a lot of concepts who want to be on Rock Road," Harper said. "And I would say Aspen Dental is a perfect example of that."
The Hooters closed in April 2018 after the popular restaurant chain decided not to renew the lease, media reports say at the time.
Hooters was the only tenant in the 8,500 square-foot building, which was built in 1989.
Before that, Harper said it used to be an office building that housed an insurance claims office. The building has also been an Amarillo Grill restaurant.
"I think it's a good example of adaptive reuse occurring over time as markets and supply and demand changes, how good properties in good locations don't necessary go away or cease to be, they just become something different to meet the current demand," he said.
There's another 1,500 to 5,000 square feet still available for lease in the rest of the strip, and Landmark is looking for either one or two tenants to fill it up.
"I think a restaurant makes a lot of sense," Harper said. "Other medical-type services. A lot of times you'll see those clumped together."
Just to the north of the building is an urgent care clinic.
A retail store is a possibility, although Covid-19 has certainly dealt a blow to the industry, Harper said. Retailers have pushed pause on real-estate conversations given the uncertainty in the market, he says, but now they may be taking steps to move forward.
"The typical story out there is the deal you've lost because of Covid, but whether somebody is getting bigger or getting smaller or need something different, change creates opportunity," he said. "And so there might be a retailer out there who has decided they need a smaller footprint, but it still needs a location."
Larry Cook Construction is the contractor on the redevelopment project, which is basically stripping the building down to three walls and a slab and almost starting from scratch. Hooters' signature stone entryway was knocked down Thursday.
Harper said he expects being able to hand the keys over to tenants in late summer or early fall, but Aspen Dental likely won't move until late 2020 after it completes some interior finishes.
Article by Shelby Reynolds
May 28, 2020, 4:07pm