April 26, 2012

New office to target smaller tenants

Construction will begin next month on Wichita’s first Class A office project in years.

Construction will begin next month on Wichita’s first Class A office project in years.

Occidental Management’s The Offices at Cranbrook, a 60,000-square-foot, four-building complex on 21st Street just east of Webb Road, will break ground in May after obtaining rezoning from the city, Occidental President Chad Stafford said Thursday. It’s one of the first Class A building projects on the east side since Steve Clark and Johnny Stevens’ Waterfront.

Space should open this fall, with Spangenberg Phillips Tice Architecture in Wichita as the project designer.

Stafford said Cranbrook space is about 50 percent leased. The project targets smaller tenants with class A office space leasing for around $16 per square foot triple net, or a lease in which the tenant agrees to pay all real estate taxes, insurances and maintenance on the property.

“We’re happy with the project, and there’s been a lot of interest in it,” Stafford said.

Occidental CEO Gary Oborny has found an unserved niche in the Wichita office market, said longtime Wichita commercial broker Rod Stewart.

“It’s very difficult to lease a smaller space if you want something really nice because there isn’t much of it,” Stewart said. “For example, I don’t know where you’d rent 2,000 feet in the Waterfront.

“So, I think – and especially to have a building, drive right up, park and walk right in – how wonderful that would be.”

Occidental officials, including Oborny, think East 21st Street is set to take off as a business corridor.

“Given that location, it’s an area in transition, and there’s a lot of interest there from business and medical right now,” Stafford said.

The project represents a slight shift for Occidental, a diversified company including commercial real estate development, retail development, energy and farming. Traditionally, Occidental’s office work involves building rehabilitation, such as its east-side Northrock 14 project that targets larger tenants from 12,000 to 100,000 square feet.

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