Local developers to buy Zelman's building

12/28/2010 3:50 PM

12/29/2010 7:22 AM

WICHITA — It turns out that, as predicted, the former Zelman's building is soon going to be seeing a lot more activity than just an estate sale.

Earlier this month, Have You Heard? reported that there's going to be an estate sale at the 15,000-square-foot building on the northeast corner of Douglas and St. Francis on Dec. 30, 31 and Jan. 1.

Now, lawyer David Moses has a contract to sell the building where his grandfather Sam Zelman's namesake men's clothing store was from the 1920s to 2006.

Two Wichita developers, who prefer to remain anonymous until the deal closes next month, plan a mixed-use development at the property.

That will include a couple of retail areas and a combination restaurant and bar on the ground floor and residential lofts on the top floor.

"It's especially exciting because it's local developers who share the vision that our family has had for years about downtown," Moses says.

"The fact that the development will affect a lot of people, that's exciting. It's something we would have loved to have done ourselves."

Moses says the timing wasn't right for his family.

"Now is the time to develop the corner," he says.

The city's new master plan for downtown influenced the developers.

"What brought us to downtown was actually the changes the downtown project had initiated," one of the developers says.

"It just looked like this was going to be a hotbed of activity. . . . We just want to be part of that."

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