The Plazzio development at 13th and Greenwich is about to see some more construction on its way to nearing completion.
Braum’s Ice Cream and Dairy Store will open there this fall, and a new strip center that likely will have retail and restaurants will follow after that.
“Restaurants at Plazzio have always done very well because of the anchors we have at the center,” says Amy Liebau, a spokeswoman with Laham Development, Plazzio’s developer.
Plazzio is anchored by the Warren Theatre, the Alley and two hotels, Residence Inn by Marriott and SpringHill Suites by Marriott.
Restaurants include Sumo, Applebee’s, Jose Pepper’s, Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers, Cheddar’s and the new China Go.
Auto dealerships have moved across the intersection in recent years.
“That whole area right there is expanding,” says Terry Holden, marketing director with the Oklahoma City-based Braum’s.
Braum’s purchased its land at Plazzio several years ago and now plans to start building a new 5,600-square-foot store just north of the Residence Inn along Greenwich.
Then, construction will start on the new strip center on the corner.
“We’re in the beginning stages when we’re starting to talk to tenants,” Liebau says.
Once tenants are secured and design work is done on the center, which will be north of Braum’s, construction will begin.
The only other area left to develop on Plazzio’s 54 acres is north of SpringHill Suites and behind Sumo and Applebee’s.
“And then that’s it,” Liebau says.
The development will have about 350,000 square feet of buildings when complete.
The new Braum’s store will be the chain’s latest model, which devotes more area to its market than some of its older stores.
There are three components to Braum’s stores.
First, it’s a dairy store and agriculture-based business, with ice cream being a key focus.
It’s also a market with milk, yogurt, packaged ice cream and fresh produce and meat along with a bakery.
Finally, it’s also a quick-service restaurant, with items such as hamburgers, chicken sandwiches, salads and chili.
Liebau says the market is a “strong draw” for Braum’s and differentiates the business from Freddy’s, which is known for its custard and burgers.
The new Braum’s will have 80 seats and a drive-through.
Rob Elliott of Elliott Architects is the architect. Tanner Consulting is the engineer, and Advanced Electric is the contractor.
Braum’s has 10 stores in Wichita and more in surrounding communities.
The company’s roots go back to the Depression when Henry Braum bought a processing plant in Emporia and made ice cream and milk and sold it through his Peter Pan Ice Cream Stores.
Braum’s son, Bill, bought out his father and sold the stores in 1967. He moved to Oklahoma City and in 1968 started the company that customers know today.
Holden says the chain is all about freshness and wants all of its stores to be within a 300-mile radius of the chain’s farm in Tuttle, Okla., which is on the southwest edge of Oklahoma City. That’s the distance trucks can deliver to stores and make it back to the farm in the same day.
“It is not uncommon that the milk from the cows today can be in a store tomorrow,” Holden says.
Braum’s is in parts of five states: Oklahoma, Texas, Missouri, Arkansas and Kansas.
Holden says the chain has been in Wichita since 1987.
“Wichita has been an important market for us for some time.”