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Wednesday, June 25, 2014

QuikTrip buys old south-side Dillons

BY BILL WILSON
The Wichita Eagle

QuikTrip has purchased a former Dillons location at Lincoln and Hydraulic across the street from a current QT store, the Tulsa-based convenience store chain confirmed Thursday.

But it's unclear when or if QT will build on the site. That decision will depend on legislative action this session on liquor sales, company spokesman Mike Thornbrugh said.

"Perhaps (there are) no plans at this time," Thornbrugh said in an e-mail. "Waiting for Kansas to pass single strength beer and spirits. Their actions will determine what we do, if anything."

The Kansas Senate is considering a bill that would allow convenience stores and grocery stores to sell full-strength alcoholic beverages.

Maize investor Chuck Woodard owned the building. Grant Tidemann of J.P. Weigand & Sons brokered the deal. Currently, the building serves as storage for QT.

Tulsa-based QuikTrip has been systematically "tweaking" some of its older 3,200-square-foot Wichita stores, expanding and replacing some with 4,600-square-foot new ones to accommodate the chain's growing inventory of fresh breakfast and lunch foods.

They're also being developed with an eye toward more gasoline pumps and larger spaces for traffic to flow through, as evidenced by the new store nearing completion downtown at Douglas and Washington.

QuikTrip is evaluating its older Wichita locations, turning to the "scrape and builds," building a new store while the old one remains open, then knocking down the old building for parking and gas pump space, Thornbrugh said late last year.

The company will build on a new site when inadequate space for a scrape and build exists on the current site, he said.

Dillons spokeswoman Sheila Lowrie said the building was leased by the grocer in 1975 and occupied until it was closed in 2008.

In January 2008, Dillons purchased three Wichita Homeland grocery stores, then moved into the larger store at Douglas and Hillside, which recently received a multi-million-dollar renovation, Lowrie said.

Reach Bill Wilson at 316-268-6290 or bwilson@wichitaeagle.com.

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