Carrie Rengers

East Coast nonprofit is impressed by Wichita and buys another apartment complex here

Some Wichitans still suffer from an inferiority complex, but here’s an East Coast resident who thinks more of the city than it appears they do.

“I don’t know why people are living on the East Coast,” says Kenton Drury, an Alexandria, Va., resident. “They should be living here.”

Drury is director of acquisitions and development for CRSC Residential, a division of Christian Relief Services Charities.

He’s been spending time in Wichita because CRSC recently purchased the 94-unit Garden Pines Apartments at 8131 E. Harry.

Part of Wichita’s attraction is its affordability, Drury says, and that’s why CRSC purchased Garden Pines and last year bought the 91-unit Skyline Apartments at 2414 S. Glendale. It has owned the 196-unit Brentwood Apartments at 6602 E. Harry since 1995.

“They’re what’s called naturally occurring affordable housing,” Drury says. “The rents are affordable to . . . families of lower income.”

There are no rent or income restrictions, but the nonprofit can help families through inexpensive rent.

“We buy these assets and put money into them and make improvements to make them more efficient,” Drury says. “We try to upgrade the heating and air conditioning system so it’s as efficient as possible. We make other curb appeal . . . improvements so that the folks that live there feel good about where they live.”

Whitney Vliet Ward and Bree Maybee of J.P. Weigand & Sons handled the deal. Drury calls them both “excellent ambassadors of Wichita.”

CRSC is interested in more Wichita apartments, Drury says.

“We have a goal to buy more because we would like . . . to have a larger portfolio so it’s more efficient to manage.”

CRSC has nothing else under contract, but Drury says that “we’re still in the market looking for property.”

While here, Drury likes hanging out at Central Standard Brewing and dining at Georges French Bistro.

He also likes that Wichita State University is here and that Triple-A baseball is coming.

Drury says CRSC CEO Bryan Krizek first recognized “the superb investment metrics of Wichita — good paying jobs — aircraft industry, great academics” and the “quality lifestyle and affordable housing costs.”

It’s something Drury says he personally quickly figured out, too.

“I just think it’s a cool place.”