Carrie Rengers

ARA Newmark enters Wichita market to sell apartments

ARA Newmark, which bills itself as the largest seller of apartments nationally, has entered the Wichita market and is now looking for office space.

“We need just a little, tiny spot,” says Tim McKay, who is based in Oklahoma City and will help start the Wichita office.

McKay says the size of the company’s office won’t be indicative of the amount of business it wants to do here. He says it’s more about where clients want to meet.

“We’re always at their properties. That’s where they want to go.”

Previously, any business the company has done in Wichita has been handled out of its Kansas City office.

“Wichita really hasn’t been a focus,” McKay says.

He wants to change that. McKay says he wants to follow what the company has done in Oklahoma.

“We have about 80 percent of market share in Oklahoma,” he says. “We’re selling virtually all of the apartments here.”

McKay says Wichita’s science and technology jobs are “a very attractive feature to apartment owners.”

ARA last week sold its first Wichita apartments, the 216-unit River Walk Apartments at 410 E. Marion.

“The great news for Wichita is we’ve sold it to one of the premier owners in the country,” McKay says.

Weidner Apartment Homes of Kirkland, Wash., which is near Seattle, purchased River Walk and will retain Weigand-Omega Management as the manager.

“Which says a lot about Weigand-Omega,” McKay says.

He says it’s unusual for Weidner to keep management that’s been in place.

“The property has been exceptionally well-managed by Weigand-Omega.”

ARA is part of New York-based BGC Partners.

Though McKay isn’t moving to Wichita, he’s helping the company get started here along with ARA’s Brandon Lamb.

“We just think it’s a great opportunity and a great market.”

Reach Carrie Rengers at 316-268-6340 or Follow her on Twitter: @CarrieRengers.