Carrie Rengers

Pottery Barn to open at Bradley Fair this fall (+video)

Wichitans soon will have one less reason to leave the city to shop in Kansas City and Tulsa.

Bradley Fair will be home to a new Pottery Barn by this fall.

“It has certainly been at the top of our customers’ wish list and has also been at the top of our wish list,” says Amy Liebau, a spokeswoman for Bradley Fair developer Laham Development.

“It’s always exciting to bring new brands to Wichita and to the center, especially ones that our customers have been asking for,” Liebau says.

Pottery Barn owner Williams-Sonoma has had its kitchen store at Bradley Fair since 1997 – seven years after the development at 21st and North Rock Road opened.

Liebau says there’s been an ongoing dialog with the company about bringing its home decor sister store here.

Why now?

“We have the right location,” Liebau says.

Last year, the freestanding Eddie Bauer store next to Gap along Rock Road moved to a space between J. Jill and White House/Black Market.

Pottery Barn will locate at the former Eddie Bauer space, but in a new building.

Construction will start next week.

“They plan to open in the fall,” Liebau says. “It’s going to be absolutely gorgeous.”

The 11,000-square-foot store will feature almost floor-to-ceiling windows around the front and sides of the building.

SPT Architecture is the architect for the project, and Key Construction is the contractor.

Christi Royse of J.P. Weigand & Sons handled the deal for Bradley Fair.

Pottery Barn sells furniture, bed and bath products, lighting, rugs, window treatments and accessories. There are 198 of the stores nationally and in Canada and Australia. There also are Pottery Barn franchises in the Philippines, the Middle East and Mexico.

“Being able to bring Pottery Barn says a lot about our city and a lot about the Wichita consumer,” Liebau says.

It bodes well for other future stores, too, she says.

“In a market this size, one of the main determining factors of whether to come to Wichita is the success of other nationals,” Liebau says.

So if Pottery Barn does well, she says it “will of course … help influence other nationals in their decision to come here.”

Wichita has been on something of a run of national retail wins in the last few years.

That includes a new Costco at Kellogg and Webb Road, Whole Foods Market and Ethan Allen Design Center at Waterfront Plaza at 13th and Webb Road, Cabela’s at Regency Lakes at 21st and Greenwich and Sephora and Fresh Market at Bradley Fair.

“We’re always trying to enhance our customers’ experience,” Liebau says. “One of the ways we do that is bringing highly requested brands like Pottery Barn.”

Last month, Liebau announced that J. Crew Group is opening its ninth J. Crew Mercantile store at Bradley Fair.

She says there’s been a great response to news of the store, which will be between J. Jill and Soma Intimates in an expanded space where Brick’s used to be.

Liebau says she’s happy to now bring more news of another popular store with Pottery Barn.

“We’ve had two here recently that we feel like are big announcements.”

Liebau says it’s not only good news for the center, but “big for Wichita.”

Carrie Rengers: 316-268-6340, @CarrieRengers