WICHITA — Slawson Cos. is preparing to build a new addition to NewMarket Square at 21st and Maize Road.
“Obviously, we've had a lot of success out there, and the businesses that have located out there have done well," says Slawson broker Jerry Jones.
The new 12-acre area will be just north of the Super Target along 21st Street. The northernmost part of the development is across the street from where a new Sam's Club will be built.
"That has kind of changed the landscape a little bit," Jones says of Sam's.
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Zoning for this phase of NewMarket Square is approved for 160,000 square feet, though Jones says there's not room for that much construction. Nor will there be room for any big box or junior anchors. What there will be is a series of two-story buildings with retail on the first floors and offices on the second floors.
"We're introducing something new to the market," Jones says. "We think this is the right time and right place for it.”
The offices will have entrances in the rear of the buildings. Slawson broker April Reed says that way businesses can have the exposure of NewMarket Square, but employees won't have to compete with shoppers for parking spaces.
Reed says there are a lot of amenities, including shopping and dining, that would make it attractive for companies to locate their offices at NewMarket Square. She says it's ideal to "maximize your lunch hour.”
Jones says that part of NewMarket will trend more to upscale retailers.
"I think that there's a niche out there that's an unmet demand.”
Before 2013 is over, Jones says, "There will be some construction out there for sure. If nothing else, utilities."
More likely, though, he says there will be at least one building built. With the first retail building, Jones says he wants to also build a freestanding, full-service restaurant near the front of the development. Jones and Reed are looking for a multiunit operation that doesn't conflict with restaurants already at NewMarket.
"That narrows it down quite a bit," Jones says. "We're going to be quite selective.”
There's only one other area left to develop in NewMarket. That's just west of T.G.I. Friday's, where there's room for about 35,000 square feet.
Jones says ideally he'd like to develop both areas at the same time, but it will be "wherever the tenants come first.”