The Wichita Business Journal
November 4, 2011
Ross Way of Anderson Management Anderson Management is moving forward with plans to build a 16,000-square-foot office building in Northrock Business Park at K-96 and Rock Road.
The project will cost about $1.5 million. Way hopes to break ground this month and plans to have the building complete in April 2012.
Way’s construction company, AMC, will be the general contractor. Way says Wichita-based Conco Construction Co. will be a major subcontractor. Krehbiel Architecture is the architect, and the project is being financed through Emprise Bank Emprise Bank.
The need for a spec building boiled down to a problem that’s been rare for developers in recent years: Northrock Business Park is out of room.
“We’re at about 95 percent occupancy,” he says. “We’re basically about out of space. The biggest space we have is 4,200 square feet. If anybody wanted something bigger than that, we wouldn’t have it up here.”
Anderson Management oversees the entire office park, which consists of about 250,000 square feet of space among 16 buildings.
And this new building may not be the last.
Way says he is in talks with a prospective tenant for 10,000 square feet of the spec building. If that comes through, he says, he will start work on an 18,000-square-foot building adjacent to the one he is already planning.
He admits it is a tough market for spec building. But, he says, if a developer can show good fundamentals on a project and has a good track record with a lender, it can still be done.
Gary Oborny, CEO of Occidental Management, says the relationship between lender and developer is more important than ever right now.
He and Occidental’s president, Chad Stafford, announced earlier this month plans for a 60,000-square-foot office complex near 21st and Webb Road called the Offices at Cranbrook.
Occidental also has plans to convert the Northrock 14 theater building to office space.
Oborny says he’s confident he will find takers for the space. And he suspects Way feels the same way.
“Ross is an experienced guy, and I’ve got to believe he sees a demand for this. They’ve got the balance sheet to do it,” Oborny says.
Developer George Laham says a project with solid numbers can still get financing in the current market, but that banks are definitely less willing to take risks than they were in the past. But, he says, it’s the way business was done before the boom years in the 2000s, and it’s an environment good developers can still work in. “It’s the way it used to be,” Laham says. “The new norm is back to the old.”