Carrie Rengers

Too much room? Just start another business

A lack of the right-sized building is inspiring Automotive Equipment owner Steve Friesen to start a new company.

Friesen currently has a 5,400-square-foot building at 529 S. Anna for his 19-year-old company, which sells and services equipment for the automotive repair industry.

He says he’s been wanting a bigger space, but everywhere he found to buy was too big. So Friesen says he began thinking about other businesses to start that could share space with his company.

“We are planning to open a … climate-controlled RV and boat storage,” Friesen says.

Wichita RV Storage will share space with Automotive Equipment in 15,000 square feet at 1301 S. Bebe, which is at the southeast corner of Kellogg and I-235.

Friesen says the location is “fairly easy access” and already has a security fence around it.

Initially, Friesen will use 6,000 square feet for the storage business.

“I do think it’s something that the Wichita market could use,” he says. “There’s really not a lot out there for climate-controlled RV and boat storage.”

He says a friend of his had some extra space in a building and decided to lease it for RV and boat storage, and it immediately filled up.

“That’s what made it attractive to me.”

Friesen is opening the storage business Sept. 1. He’s now looking to lease his space on South Anna.

Though he’s not sure how the new business is going to go, Friesen says he’s prepared if it does well and he needs to expand.

“There’s room to add on.”

Carrie Rengers: 316-268-6340, @CarrieRengers