Builders Plus Construction is the latest business to sign a lease at the former Big Dog Motorcycles space downtown at 1520 E. Douglas.
There are a couple of reasons the 30-year-old commercial concrete subcontractor, which also does some work as a general contractor, is taking more than 18,000 square feet.
“The short answer is we’ve outgrown our space,” says CEO Chris Callen, whose parents, Hal and Donna, started the company and still work there.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The Wichita Eagle
“The long answer is there’s a lot more we want to do,” Callen says. “A huge part of what we want to do with the new area is to be much more transparent to the entire city.”
Callen calls that stretch of Douglas “kind of the main drag” of the city.
“There’s a lot of energy,” he says of the Douglas Design District. “We just kind of want to be a part of that and contribute anything we can.”
Part of his space includes the all-glass former showroom on the southeast corner of the building. There’s also former manufacturing space with a large shop area and work bays.
“Those all make sense for us,” Callen says. “I’ve been eyeing that building for a few years.”
Currently Builders Plus is in more than 8,000 square feet at 1867 S. Hoover.
The extra 10,000 square feet at the new space will allow the company to grow and, in the meantime, share space with some start-ups whose services Builders Plus has used.
“We’re intentionally overbuilding our office area,” Callen says.
The ancillary businesses will include a branding company to be named later, app developer Air Capital Media and Blue-Chip UAS, an unmanned aerial vehicle commercial service.
“Until we totally grow into the space, we want them to be co-locating with us,” Callen says.
Also, he’s a board member of the Arthritis Foundation and says the group is now going to be run out of its Kansas City office, so he’s volunteered his office to host traveling staff members when they’re in Wichita.
Kris Wessel of NAI Martens handled the Builders Plus deal.
Callen says he’s most excited about the new space’s potential to help the company be seen and be involved, such as with Final Friday.
“That’s what we’re hoping,” he says. “We want to be a little more involved in community events.”