Carrie Rengers

Expert Auto owner wants to beautify East Central, expand dining options

Expert Auto Center owner Faissal Abou-Faissal is all about cars.

“My love has always been cars and fixing cars, especially muscle cars.”

He cares about more than that, though.

“I love Wichita,” Abou-Faissal says.

He says that’s part of what’s inspiring him to buy and renovate properties near where he opened his third Expert Auto on East Central four years ago.

In addition to the Expert at 5230 E. Central, which is between Oliver and Edgemoor, Abou-Faissal purchased the 10,000-square-foot Central Village center just down a few blocks from it at 5400 E. Central along with some housing between the two properties.

He’s razed the housing and has plans to build a 1,800-square-foot freestanding building with a drive-through for a potential restaurant.

Abou-Faissal also is in the midst of remodeling the center and has plans to build an almost 3,000-square-foot addition on the west end for another restaurant. He’s talking with potential restaurateurs, including one who may open a breakfast concept at the addition.

“Nothing is in stone,” Abou-Faissal says.

He’s also working to fill two vacancies at the center where Bed & Biscuit Pet Center and Maxine’s used to be.

So far, Abou-Faissal has replaced the center’s shingled roof with a new colorful red metal one and changed the awning to open up more window views and make the center brighter.

He’s also built a tower in the middle of the center and plans to add a large clock in it.

“We still have to paint … and we’re going to redo the parking lot,” Abou-Faissal says. “I want it to be beautiful.”

In addition to beautifying the area, he says it’s a great spot for business, too.

“The traffic is unbelievable. I love Central.”

Abou-Faissal is open to buying and renovating more in the area – and elsewhere.

“Sure. If you find anything, let me know,” he says.

“Just when the right opportunity comes … I’ll jump on it.”

Carrie Rengers: 316-268-6340, @CarrieRengers