Real Estate News

Stevens, Murfin close on deal to buy Boeing Wichita site

Air Capital Flight Line, which includes partners Johnny Stevens and Dave Murfin, closed Wednesday on the acquisition of the former Boeing site, which encompasses 413 acres and 1.9 million square feet of manufacturing, office, storage and hangar space.
Air Capital Flight Line, which includes partners Johnny Stevens and Dave Murfin, closed Wednesday on the acquisition of the former Boeing site, which encompasses 413 acres and 1.9 million square feet of manufacturing, office, storage and hangar space. File photo

Two Wichitans have acquired the former Boeing site in southeast Wichita.

Air Capital Flight Line, which includes partners Johnny Stevens and Dave Murfin, closed Wednesday on the acquisition of the site that encompasses 413 acres and 1.9 million square feet of manufacturing, office, storage and hangar space from Boeing Planning and Real Estate, officials from both companies confirmed.

Stevens said Wednesday afternoon that the site has 850,000 square feet of “rentable“ flight line space and about 630,000 square feet of office space.

“I think it’s a great asset,” Stevens said when asked about the reason for his interest in the property. “Not only a great physical asset, but it’s an important asset for the city.”

Murfin added that it was a “civic opportunity” for he and Stevens to fill the vast space along south Oliver with new office and aviation tenants.

Both men declined to disclose the financial terms of the acquisition. A Boeing spokeswoman declined to disclose the terms as well.

Boeing announced in January 2012 that it would close the Wichita facility and move work to Oklahoma City, San Antonio and the Seattle area. Wichita operations ceased last summer. In July, the company sold thousands of items at a public auction.

“Boeing believes the sale represents a good match for the city of Wichita, the surrounding community and for Boeing, and we’re optimistic that the redevelopment of the site will contribute to improved economic growth and employment in the area,” Boeing said in a statement e-mailed to The Eagle.

Stevens and Murfin said they think the property could include a variety of uses, from aircraft modification and repair businesses to aircraft manufacturing and general office uses, such as a call center or computer data center.

“We have a pretty good prospect talking to us right now,” about a data center operator leasing one of the Boeing buildings, Stevens said.

“We’re excited about the different possibilities,” Murfin said.

Stevens is a longtime Wichita developer and oilman.

He bought the Kansas Coliseum complex from Sedgwick County in 2011 for $1.5 million and convinced John Tomblin, the executive director of Wichita State University’s National Institute for Aviation Research, to turn the Britt Brown Arena into an aviation center to conduct full-scale structural testing.

Stevens has said he invested more than $4 million in remodeling the arena, which is being leased by NIAR.

He also partnered with Steve Clark in the Waterfront development at 13th and Webb, where Whole Foods Market opened earlier this year.

Murfin is a long-time Wichita businessman in the oil industry. Murfin Inc. operates as an oil and gas producer and heavy equipment business. His company also owns some real estate, including the the Beech Lake property on the southeast corner of 13th and Webb, which it acquired in 2010.

Stevens said he’d like to get most of the major Boeing buildings leased in the next 12 months. Those major buildings including three office buildings — 300,000 square feet, 200,000 square feet and 100,000 square feet — that are located across Oliver from the Boeing buildings along the flight line. The Boeing buildings along the flight line total 15, including at least four aircraft hangars, one of which can hold three Boeing 747 jumbo jets.

Stevens and Murfin said they already have one tenant, Spirit AeroSystems, which is leasing about 220,000 square feet of former Boeing space.

Stevens said his son, Charlie Stevens, will oversee the management and leasing of the Boeing complex, which for now will be called Air Capital Flight Line.

Reach Jerry Siebenmark at 316-268-6576 or jsiebenmark@wichitaeagle.com. Follow him on Twitter: @jsiebenmark.

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