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Saville's next phase of development slated near Lowe's on North Maize

Thursday, October 21 2010 12:00 AM

Premium content from Wichita Business Journal - by Chris Moon

Date: Thursday, October 21, 2010, 6:55pm CDT

Developer Brad Saville says additional streets will go in this winter at Central Park Place.

Wichita developers Brad Saville and Christian Ablah say they are preparing to begin work on streets and sewers for the next phase of their Central Park Place retail development on North Maize Road.

Construction will start this winter.

The sewer work will be paid for through special assessments at the site. The streets will be privately funded, says Saville, president of Landmark Commercial Real Estate. The cost of the project hadn’t been finalized.

The work comes as the developers seek to maintain momentum for the project located across the street from Slawson Cos.’ NewMarket Square.

Central Park Place is anchored by a Lowe’s store. Recently, Saville and Ablah were able to lease up an 8,960-square-foot strip center on a pad site that contains Five Guys Burgers and Fries and three other tenants. And Saville says he’s gotten a commitment — although it’s not yet finalized — from restaurant Panda Express for one of three pad sites on the second phase of the development.

The streets and sewers will provide access to Panda Express, which also is expected to go under construction this winter.

The second phase also has room for 120,000 square feet of retail space for an anchor and junior anchor tenant toward the back of the site. Saville says he’s working with one potential anchor tenant that he’d like to announce by the end of the year.

“I’d like to see the whole thing completed by the end of 2012,” he says.

Strip center sale

To generate capital for the street work, Saville and Ablah recently sold the Five Guys center to Wichita’s Builders Inc. The price wasn’t disclosed.

Builders Inc. broker Dennis Fitzroy has said the real estate firm plans to hold the center for the long term.

Saville says he and Ablah generally want to retain ownership of the buildings and land at Central Park Place but considered the sale necessary.

“The sale of that strip center made it possible to proceed on the developing of the infrastructure for that north 12 acres,” he says.

Design work for the road is expected to be complete Dec. 1. Kansas City’s Ozark Civil Engineering Inc. is the designer.

Also at play with the development is a proposed community improvement district that Saville and Ablah want to create to allow for a one-cent tax on retail sales at the development. The revenue would pay for land acquisition and infrastructure construction.

The Wichita City Council is in the process of finalizing its policy for CIDs.

Saville says the tax district will be critical for the next phase of Central Park Place. He says deals are difficult to put together as tenants get more aggressive in seeking favorable terms on land and build-to-suit leases.

“We won’t be able to develop unless we have it,” he says.

Across the street, a NewMarket Square broker says the large retail center doesn’t compete much with Central Park Place. April Reed says the two target different markets — NewMarket for soft-goods retailers; Central Park Place for hard-goods sellers.

“We really haven’t run into it too much where people have put that over our heads,” she says. “The fact that we built up such a large center and this is where the soft-goods stores are, and if you’re in the soft-goods category, they like to be with their friends.”

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