In February, Marv Schellenberg stood in an empty field at 37th and Ridge Road and discussed his plans for Estancia, a mixed-use development on 148 acres at the northeast corner.
This week, he’s inviting Wichita to come tour model homes and the first few custom homes that are under construction there.
“Nobody’s seen them yet,” Schellenberg says. Still, he says, “I see people living out here in the next 60 to 90 days.”
There are two residential sides to the development that will have a combined 220 homes.
There will be a traditional residential area on one side with homes ranging from $250,000 to $400,000 and patio homes on the other side starting at $220,000.
Schellenberg says the exterior of the traditional homes in particular will be a draw.
“We felt that in Wichita the homes started to look the same, just different developments,” he says. “And so we came in with a whole different architectural design.”
That includes American Craftsman, Mission and Tudor styles.
“It’s a pretty distinct difference,” Schellenberg says. “We picked the styles that they had back in the ’20s and ’30s. We actually went to the College Hill area and the Riverside area and picked the three most common ones that you see.”
He says it was a change for the builders.
“And they’ve enjoyed doing something different as well.”
McClellan Enterprises, Chapman Custom Homes, Robl Construction and Moeder Construction are the builders for the traditional homes and Perfection Builders is building the patio homes.
“We want to bring something different,” says community manager Audrey Adrian, who is Schellenberg’s daughter.
“I was getting so much feedback that everyone was so sick of cookie-cutter (homes) and just the same, so we just really pushed and challenged our builders to kind of think outside the box and kind of push the limits on things.”
She says the hope is to capture the feel of places such as College Hill where “everybody just loves to go walk down the streets because every house looks so different and unique.”
“So we were just trying to create that sense of community and that excitement.”
Landscaping is still going in. Schellenberg says winter was great for construction, but there’s been a lot of rain lately.
Adrian says Estancia’s yards will be curved instead of straight like so many other neighborhoods have.
Schellenberg says he’s going to try to create canopies with trees like older neighborhoods have.
“We’re doing those same things here,” he says.
Estancia’s tagline is “Where natural elements meet modern elegance.”
The grand opening will be from 5 to 8 p.m. on Thursday. Adrian says the idea is to give people an opportunity to tour before busy weekend days.
“There’s going to be a lot of homes to walk through, which is kind of exciting,” she says. “It’s been hard to kind of hold people off a little bit.”
Indiana-based Mainstreet also is building a 70,036-square-foot, 94-bed transitional care and assisted living facility on five acres at the north end of Estancia. It should be ready later this year.
Schellenberg is working on commercial deals as well.
“We’ve had a lot of interest along Ridge Road,” he says.
There’s already one commercial deal that’s done. Look for news on that soon.