Unless you’re new to Wichita, you know that the city has never had a retail growth spurt like it’s currently experiencing.
There’s also no denying the hottest area of town: K-96 and Greenwich.
The Wichita Sports Forum opened at Greenwich Place this time last year, and retailers quickly followed at the 106-acre development.
Bed Bath & Beyond and World Market moved there, and their sister store BuyBuy Baby opened with them. The much-sought-after Designer Shoe Warehouse followed, along with HomeGoods, Mardel, Ulta Beauty, Maurices and Ross Dress for Less.
Still to come at Greenwich Place in 2017 will be the anticipated return of Stein Mart to Wichita, along with a new Cavender’s western-wear store and the RibCrib.
RibCrib opened its first Wichita restaurant in 2016 along the still-hot Ridge Road corridor between Maple and Kellogg.
Though the always-popular Bradley Fair lost Bed Bath & Beyond and Fresh Market, it scored one of the biggest retail wins of the year by landing Pottery Barn.
Like Whole Foods Market and Cabela’s in earlier years, Pottery Barn signals hope on the retail front that other national retailers will see what’s happening and want to locate here as well.
The “shop local” movement also hit a major stride in 2016, and it looks to continue to grow not only with traditional storefronts but also with markets and retail trucks as well.
Here’s what to watch for in 2017.
▪ Many more stores at K-96 and Greenwich – and not just at Greenwich Place. There are more businesses to come around Academy Sports and Outdoors and at the Village at Greenwich at 21st and Greenwich. There likely are going to be a couple of restaurants of interest to come there as well.
▪ Keep an eye on Bradley Fair. There’s no news yet, but it’s hard to imagine its vacant spaces staying that way for much longer.
▪ The west side won’t be left out. The Maize Road corridor will continue to grow, particularly with the new NewMarket North and Cadillac Lake developments.