While there has been plenty of talk about store closings in the retail sector, plan on seeing just as many store openings in 2018. Discounters will be opening hundreds of stores this year with Dollar General taking the lead by adding as many as 900 new stores. Dollar Tree, Family Dollar, Aldi and Five Below are next in line experiencing major growth. Also, plan on seeing fewer big-box anchored retail centers and more grocery and restaurant anchored shopping centers.
The retail market will continue to be active in Wichita and the surrounding areas. In the northeast quadrant, Chicken N Pickle is currently under construction at the Plazzio development. Chick N Max recently opened at 21st and Greenwich and Buffalo Wings & Rings is under construction at Greenwich Place. Kendra Scott, a national high-fashion jewelry store, recently opened at the Waterfront. Starbucks will be opening a new location at Kellogg and Greenwich and Fuzzy’s Taco Shop recently opened on north Rock Road. Wichita State University is continuing to undergo a major renovation as part of their Innovation Campus with two new retail strip centers called Braeburn Square. The first tenants should be announced soon. Revolutsia, Wichita’s first development made of shipping containers, opened this month. The site is located just west of Central and Hillside. The first tenants include German restaurant Prost, Little Lion Ice Cream, Taco-Tes, Salon Memoir, Azteka’s Boutique and several more will be announced soon.
In west Wichita, Warren Palace 8 Theatre has been torn down to make way for a new Cracker Barrel Old Country Store. Around the corner at Maple and Ridge, Chick-fil-A is under construction on a pad site in front of Lowe’s. Additionally, Green Lantern Car Wash, their largest location in Wichita, is being built at Kellogg and West Street. Qdoba just announced their second Wichita location next to T-Mobile. Hardee’s third Wichita location recently opened on 13th and Tyler Road at Tyler Pointe.
South Wichita is experiencing activity as well. Gander Outdoors will be opening in the new Steeple Bay development at I-235 and Seneca. Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers is under construction at I-235 and Meridian, across from the South YMCA. VASA Fitness just entered the market with their 70,000 sf fitness center that is almost complete at Harry and Georgetown.
Central Business District
The downtown Wichita market will continue to see exciting growth in 2018. WAVE, an indoor-outdoor concert and event venue is under construction at 2nd and St. Francis. It will have the capacity to hold over 3,000 people. Prepare to see major activity at the corner of Douglas and St. Francis, with the renovation of Naftzger Park and the 60,000 sf office and retail Spaghetti Works District redevelopment. The former Value Center on the northwest corner of Douglas and St. Francis is being renovated into a daycare facility, and 86 Cold Press recently expanded into a space over 3,000 sf. Norton’s Brewing Company opened in a renovated 9,000 sf building complete with outdoor beer garden. Meddy’s is under construction with their third Wichita location just south of Douglas and Washington. River Vista Apartments are wrapping up construction with 200 units along the river. Broadway Autopark, a parking garage converted to apartments, is more than half leased and has two commercial tenants on the ground floor. Colorado Derby Lofts, a 109-unit apartment building at 201 N. Water, just finished construction as well.
– Krista Lowry Racine, CCIM; Christi Royse, CCIM; & Leisa Lowry, CCIM