Carrie Rengers

Lou Robelli to build Coleman Co. a 500,000-square-foot warehouse

Lou Robelli developing new industrial park

Lou Robelli of Air Capitol Delivery & Warehouse is building a new industrial park along I-135. Carrie Rengers/The Wichita Eagle
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Lou Robelli of Air Capitol Delivery & Warehouse is building a new industrial park along I-135. Carrie Rengers/The Wichita Eagle

Lou Robelli of Park City’s Air Capitol Delivery & Warehouse has a habit of building a warehouse he knows he could put to use but then leasing it when another company comes along wanting it.

“You’d be a fool not say, ‘Yes,’ so then I go build another building,” Robelli says.

This time around, though, he’s building a new 503,750-square-foot warehouse by request of the Coleman Co.

No one with Coleman responded for comment, but Robelli, who says he’s been a 30-year partner of the company, says, “I think they’re doing very well for themselves.”

The company already leases Robelli’s 300,000-square-foot warehouse south of the former Hayes Co. building at 77th and I-135.

The new building will be a similar style steel-fabricated building, though it will be narrower to make a shorter distance to get to the dock.

“Every time you’ve got to get something from the back of the building to the front, it saves you time,” Robelli says.

The new building will obscure the existing warehouse from the highway. Robelli says the building is big, and so is the entire development.

“There’s more to it than just building a building here.”

He purchased 73 acres when he bought the Hayes building and is creating what he’ll probably call Air Capitol Industrial Park.

“I really believe Park City is going to be the next warehouse hub,” Robelli says. “If you want to be on a highway, there’s no land in Wichita where you can build industrial parks. … The growth of Wichita is going north.”

Robelli is doing dirt work and creating roads in the park. He expects the building to be ready by March or April.

“Which is pretty fast, actually,” he says. “Park City is really easy to work with. Really … business friendly.”

Also, Robelli says, “I don’t waste time.”

He has Air Capitol Construction and always hires the same subcontractors.

“About every six months I start something. That’s what I like to do.”

When he embarks on a new project, Robelli says friends ask, “Are you getting bored again?”

Robelli bought Air Capitol Delivery & Warehouse in 1979 when he was 20 and the company had only one truck. Today, it has more than 100 trucks and is a 48-state trucking company with warehousing for its clients.

“We keep track of their inventory control, and then we ship their product for them,” Robelli says.

He also develops properties and builds buildings.

“We have (a) customer base that needs space, so we build the building for our customer,” Robelli says. “If someone comes along that needs to lease some space, then we’ll build another building.”

He has another 30 acres or so to develop around the former Hayes building.

Next, though, Robelli is going to focus on another property north of there that will entail warehouse and retail space.

“We’re going to start another project at 85th and 135.”

Robelli says he’s doing design work now, including developing new streets for the area. Then he says construction will begin.

“Hopefully pretty soon.”

Robelli says that will be enough on his plate.

“It’s pretty full at this point for a while.”

Carrie Rengers: 316-268-6340, @CarrieRengers

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