Politics & Government

Industrial park in southwest Wichita moving forward

Plans to break ground on a new industrial park on 52 acres in southwest Wichita are moving forward.

The Wichita City Council approved up to $34 million in industrial revenue bonds for the park at the request of developer Jeff Lange, manager for TCRS, a real estate development company.

The bonds will help offset the cost of the project, which will be at MacArthur and Seneca, just south of I-235. TCRS purchased the land for the project at auction earlier this year, Lange said.

The project would include construction of several buildings with more than 600,000 square feet of manufacturing and warehouse space. TCRS would lease the facilities to tenants, Lange said.

“Our first goal is to attract some new business to the city of Wichita,” said Lange, who also will work with other commercial brokers and the Greater Wichita Economic Development Coalition to find potential tenants.

Lange owns Jeff Lange Real Estate and Auction, Lange Homes, TCRS and RedGuard, a $50 million company that designs and builds blast-resistant buildings, according to city documents.

RedGuard already has a location at 401 W. 47th St. South and in September, it opened a new plant in Halstead.

RedGuard will potentially use the new industrial park site for its own manufacturing center since its other plants in the area are nearly at capacity, Lange said.

“One way or another, this first phase will be occupied,” Lange said.

“This isn’t really speculative as most situations would be. We have a very unique situation in having a real estate company, an investment company as well as a manufacturing company, that we have the opportunity to build this first 100,000-square-foot phase of this project. Should all of those forecasts (for additional businesses) not come to fruition, we have a fall-back plan where we would be able to use this for RedGuard manufacturing center regardless.”

The company could break ground this spring and have tenants on site as early as fall 2015, Lange said. The next step for the industrial park is design, land development and zoning.

The industrial park is potentially the largest economic development project the city has seen in quite some time, said Tim Chase, president of the Greater Wichita Economic Development Coalition.

“It truly does feel like Christmas this morning,” Chase said.

Wichita has faced an issue with lack of industrial park space, and GWEDC had inquiries from about 60 companies in the past five years seeking industrial park space that isn’t currently available, Chase said, which he says demonstrates a demand in the marketplace.

The council also approved an 84 percent, five-year tax exemption on the IRB-financed property improvements and a second five-year exemption based upon performance, according to city documents.

Reach Kelsey Ryan at 316-269-6752 or kryan@wichitaeagle.com. Follow her on Twitter: @kelsey_ryan.

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