Carrie Rengers

These new buildings will seem like retail developments but that’s not what they’ll be

This may look like a new retail development, but it’s actually a storage unit with garage doors in the middle of two sides of the building for cars to have secured entry and easy access to elevators. Greenville, S.C.-based Centennial American Properties plans three of the buildings in Wichita initially.
This may look like a new retail development, but it’s actually a storage unit with garage doors in the middle of two sides of the building for cars to have secured entry and easy access to elevators. Greenville, S.C.-based Centennial American Properties plans three of the buildings in Wichita initially. Courtesy illustration

UPDATED — There are three new 105,000-square-foot buildings coming to Wichita, and they could be a little confusing at first.

Greenville, S.C.-based Centennial American Properties, a retail developer, is building three storage units that are going to look more like retail developments.

“It’ll look different than any storage facility in Wichita,” says president Brody Glenn.

Each building will be three stories and have about 750 climate-controlled units and will have garage doors on two sides and a 30-foot drive that goes through the building.

Ten or more cars can use parallel parking on either side of the drive-through lane and have easy access to elevators “so that you’re out of the weather and protected,” Glenn says.

“The biggest thing is the ability to pull inside the building.”

One building will be immediately behind the CVS at 13th and Maize Road and another will be across Kellogg from Costco and just east of Groves Discount Wine & Spirits.

“There’s a third one that we’re working on that we’re putting the final touches on,” Glenn says.

He says it will be in northeast Wichita.

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“Our goal is . . . to bring storage to the retail hubs to make it convenient for the consumer,” Glenn says. “Where people traditionally are passing by.”

He says he and his company “traditionally have been big retail developers.”

“The goal of retail is to pick sites where people aren’t having to take special trips to go there.”

Glenn says that’s unlike where most storage units typically are.

“Storage has always been a use that has been out of the way.”

He says the company is doing 28 more storage facilities nationally.

“Our goal is to provide this in secondary markets throughout the country.”

Extra Space Storage, a national company with one site already in Wichita, will operate the storage units for Glenn.

“In our opinion, they’re the best operator in the country.”

Each site will be branded with the Extra Space name.

Brad Saville of Landmark Commercial Real Estate is representing Glenn’s company on the acquisitions.

Glenn says more than anything, he thinks the inside-entry will set apart his storage facilities. He says they help keep noise contained and are easy to secure.

He says he looked at demographics, traffic counts and retail sales for each area he selected.

Demographics show he can do more facilities in Wichita, Glenn says, but he says he wants to do only three to start and get a feel for the market.

At least for now, Glenn says he has no retail plans for the city other than the retail-looking storage buildings.

Carrie Rengers has been a reporter for almost three decades, including 16 years at The Wichita Eagle. Her Have You Heard? column of business scoops runs five days a week in The Eagle. If you have a tip, please e-mail or tweet her or call 316-268-6340.

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