“We’re retiring,” Steve Brend says of himself and his wife, Connie.
“It’s been a long 30 years but it’s been a wonderful experience,” he says.
Lane Enterprises, which El Dorado-based Bob Lane started in 1975, already owns 31 McDonald’s restaurants.
“Ultimately, really it solidifies for Lane as the operator in Wichita,” says Michael Lane, who is Bob Lane’s son.
The family, which also includes Bob Lane’s nephew, Joe Lane, will have 20 of the 26 McDonald’s restaurants in Wichita with the January acquisition.
Michael Lane says considering Lane Enterprises will have 2,000 employees and tens of thousands of customers, it “is just mind boggling when you start thinking about it.”
“It’s pretty humbling.”
He says the goal is for the company, through community engagement large and small, to be synonymous with McDonald’s in Wichita.
Michael Lane says the idea is to “really embrace public relations and community events and giving back in a lot of different ways.”
Brend says Bob Lane and his family will do well with his family’s restaurants.
“He’s a good person,” Brend says of Bob Lane.
“Michael and Joe are the future.”
The cousins also are opening their first Wichita office in the former Broadway Autopark, a 1949 parking garage at Broadway and English that Michael Ramsey and Robert Eyster are converting for apartments and commercial use.
“When we started looking, we didn’t really want new,” Michael Lane says. He says the idea was to “just find something out of the way.”
Then they saw the renderings of what Ramsey and Eyster are doing and changed their minds about the “really hip new modern space.”
He and Joe Lane will use the 2,000-square-foot space for their offices and for training classes.
Whitney Vliet Ward and Krista Racine of J.P. Weigand & Sons are handling the deal for the space.
Michael Lane says the building is half a block from one of the new McDonald’s sites Lane Enterprises is acquiring, and he says it’s an up-and-coming area in an increasingly vibrant downtown.
“It’s pretty exciting,” Lane says. “It’s a really cool space.”