Carrie Rengers

Investors plan more near K-96, Webb area

There's more happening near K-96 and Webb Road than just the new Menards . Investors also have purchased the former Fritz Co. Grille space, which has been empty since the restaurant closed in May 2007.

"They're working with a prospect," says Don Ablah of Classic Real Estate , who handled the deal for the buyers.

The prospect is another restaurant.

"That's what we're hoping for," Ablah says.

When Fritz closed after less than two years in business, a real estate broker said he expected a new business would open there not long after the Menards deal closed.

Then, deals fell through for the Wisconsin-based home improvement chain to bring two stores to Wichita.

This year, the deals were back on, and Menards is under construction at K-96 and Webb Road and 37th North and Maize Road.

"We're just thrilled that the bank was willing to hang in there during this time while Menards was under construction," says Brad Saville of Landmark Commercial Real Estate .

He handled the deal for First State Bank and Trust , which owned the Fritz building.

In 2008, the building was appraised at $1.78 million. In 2009, that was reduced to $1.1 million after the building sat empty.

"I just really feel like they got a great value," Saville says of the buyers. "I feel like their timing is perfect with Menards opening in the next 60 to 90 days."

We'll keep you posted on a possible new tenant and the Menards opening date.

Plan on it

For those of you who are concerned that Chick-fil-A isn't actually coming to Central and Rock Road, here's proof that it's in the works.

The owner of the property at the northwest corner of the intersection is working with the planning department to enlarge the parcel where a Presto gas station used to be. If approved, this will allow for a drive-through lane or lanes.

The item is coming before the planning commission on Jan. 6.

A Chick-fil-A representative has previously confirmed for Have You Heard? that the chain is coming to that corner, though it may not be until late 2011 or early 2012.

With this planning agenda item, perhaps it's an indication that the deal may happen sooner rather than later.

Chick-fil-A fans can hope, anyway.

You don't say

"Did you see all the snow in NYC? Those lucky guys."

—A sign on East Central at the Slope , which sells discount lift tickets and ski gear and books ski lodgings