“There’s a tremendous amount of pent-up demand ready to come downtown,” TGC founder Nick Esterline says.
He says the amount of preleasing at the new building within the Spaghetti Works District “kind of gave us the thought that, gosh, there’s way more interest and activity than we can fill at Spaghetti Works.”
Mead’s Corner had already closed when the opportunity to purchase the property arose.
“We jumped on it,” Esterline says. “We own a lot of contiguous property.”
The TGC office is just north of there.
TGC will demolish the former Mead’s space and use its parking lot to the west for the new building.
Esterline is not ready to discuss potential occupants, but he says the four-story, 75,000-square-foot building will be a mixed-use space for office, retail and restaurant use. There won’t be a residential component.
“Logically, the upper floors are more office or service use.”
TGC wants to establish a community improvement district, which would allow sales taxes from retail or restaurant uses to pay for some infrastructure and site work. The CID proposal will go before the Wichita City Council on Tuesday.
Industrial revenue bonds also are a possibility for the project.
Esterline says TGC bought the property a few months ago.
“We didn’t acquire this corner with this plan in mind,” he says. “This has all come together that quickly.”
Esterline says there’s a nearby parking garage and a lot of surface parking in the area for potential building users.
“There’s a lot of parking stalls within a rock’s throw of that corner.”
He says he doesn’t know how old the building is, but Esterline says, “I know it’s old enough that we are going to the Historic Preservation Board on the 13th.”
Construction could start by mid-2019 “if all the stars align and things go the way we hope they’ll go.”
“That’s a pretty aggressive schedule, but I think we can make it work.”
Downtown has seen a major amount of new investment and redevelopment in recent years, but Esterline says there’s no danger of overbuilding at this point.
“I think we’re a long ways from that.”
He says a lot more is going to happen in the next five to 10 years.
“We’re just a small piece of the puzzle,” Esterline says.
“I think this is only the beginning.”