Carrie Rengers

Wal-Mart market may come to 21st and Amidon

Some Wichita investors have the Marina Lakes shopping center under contract on the southwest corner of 21st and Amidon, directly across from Twin Lakes .

Those investors in turn have a contract with Wal-Mart for the chain to put one of its Neighborhood Markets in part of the space.

The market, which is a small grocery concept, would go on the north end of the center.

This doesn't mean that it's a done deal, though.

First, the investors have to close on the property. The earliest that will happen is the first part of 2011.

Only then can the Wal-Mart deal be completed.

Wal-Mart has already closed deals for three other markets — at Central and Maize Road, Central and West Street and Harry and Webb — and there's a good chance this deal could close as well.

However, as is the case with any deal like this, especially in this economy, nothing's for sure until the deal is truly done.

Wal-Mart also has a contract to go to 13th and Oliver at Providence Square , though there are some hurdles yet to go.

There are a few existing tenants that have to agree to move before the deal can be done.

Finally, it looks like a Wal-Mart deal also is still in the works for 31st South and Seneca.

Wal-Mart isn't talking about anything yet except the first three stores that have already been announced.

We'll let you know as more deals are done.

Good news, bad news

First, the good news.

Chick-fil-A is still on course to open at Central and Rock Road, among other Wichita sites.

Now, the bad news.

It won't be until at least late 2011 or early 2012.

"The confirmation is that we are indeed very committed to the location and to the market to get in there," says Don Perry , a spokesman for the Atlanta-based company.

"The timing was always next year," he says. "We haven't even dotted the i's and crossed the t's."

In May, Have You Heard? first reported Chick-fil-A was negotiating for space at the northwest corner of Central and Rock where a Presto gas station had been.

Perry says it's not uncommon for Chick-fil-A to acquire land for a restaurant and not build for a year or two or even three.

"It kind of confuses the public," he says.

In this case, the deal isn't even done yet, though Perry thinks the restaurant will open in early 2012 at the very latest.

So why does it take so long? That's just the due diligence process, Perry says.

"Sometimes this is just kind of hard for people to comprehend."

He says the bottom line, though, is "definitely we are committed to the market. We'll be in there as soon as we can."

You don't say

"I thought if free liquor doesn't get somebody's attention, nothing will."

—Former Emerson Biggin's owner Dave Dunn , who's trying to lease his office space above the Old Town bar with an advertisement that says the rent includes the monthly bar tab