A Wichita real estate development firm will move to Delano as it renovates a key piece of retail space in the district.
Delano Partners, owned by InSite Real Estate Group, has purchased the 608 W. Douglas property at the northwest corner of Douglas and Sycamore, partners Dan Unruh and Curt Robertson said.
The building is the former home of Heartland Technology Solutions, and was put on the market earlier this year.
InSite will relocate its offices from 22nd and Rock Road to the north end of the building. It will renovate the south end for retail and office tenants that can utilize 21 adjacent off-street parking spaces.
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Work begins immediately, with space ready for occupancy March 1.
"We have an opportunity to redevelop a building... to generate an opportunity for retail and office tenants who need to be centrally located with convenient access to all points of the city," Unruh said.
For InSite itself, it's a chance to move to a vibrant part of downtown and gain "a central location to better serve its customers in all parts of the Wichita metropolitan area," Unruh said.
"Basically, what we see is both retail tenants — coffee shops, sandwich shops, restaurants, other convenient retail — to serve the downtown core," he said.
"We also see office users — architectural, engineering, accounting — and any other firm that might have a need for flexible parking. We hope that we can provide an example to other developers of what's possible in this area."
The project is exactly what downtown redevelopers are trying to attract, said Jeff Fluhr, president of the Wichita Downtown Development Corp.
"They've recognized the market, the opportunities within the market and where we're going with it," Fluhr said.
"It's a tremendous project. It's an affirmation that people see the great future we have in the city's center and they see the opportunities that will be forthcoming in the Delano area."
The 6,200-square-foot building will be gutted and renovated, Robertson said, into Class A office space ranging from 1,000 to 4,000 square feet.
Offerings will range from shell space to a "turn key" finish, including exposed brick and custom floor plans. Wichita's Hutton Construction is the project contractor. Legacy Bank handled financing.
The privately funded project includes a new roof and HVAC system, new restrooms, new windows on the south side and exterior improvements to make the building compatible with surrounding buildings, Unruh said.
The most significant building change is a new entrance and large windows along the east side, Unruh said, to allow more natural lighting and multiple tenant occupancy.
Unruh said his company is excited about joining what he called a "beautiful organic development district."
"We think that the west bank has been largely overlooked," he said. "The focus has been on the east bank, but there's some really nice foundations that have been laid on the west bank with Exploration Place, Lawrence-Dumont Stadium and the planned library. You're seeing some critical attractors for the area people can work with."