News

Marlin Penner Brokers Deal for Quick Trip

Developers happy to get QT at Ridge, K-96
BY BILL WILSON

The Wichita Eagle

The developers of a 38-acre tract on Ridge Road near K-96 say QuikTrip’s decision earlier this month to build there is a vote of confidence that will bolster their multi-use project.
The Tulsa-based convenience store chain announced plans July 1 to build Wichita’s 38th store near 39th North and Ridge Road.
That announcement is key to landing hotels, restaurants, more medical services and office space, said Wichita commercial broker Marlin Penner of NAI John T. Arnold, who brokered the QuikTrip deal.
“It’s a tremendous vote of confidence for the quality of the area,” Penner said. “Obviously, we feel very good about the traffic QuikTrip will drive to the site.”
QT is the first piece in an aggressive multiyear drive to bring a variety of services to the growing medical corridor, Penner said. Developers have been working this year to begin luring medical and service businesses to the area.
“Between QuikTrip and K-96, we see the likelihood of hospitality, and we’ve talked to several people,” he said.
“Free-standing restaurants that would be the only ones on Ridge north of 21st. Support retail like QT. Given the proximity to K-96, perhaps some satellite medical services from Hutchinson. Other medical offices.”
It’s that potential that led QuikTrip to the site, said Mike Thornbrugh, a company spokesman in Tulsa.
“When we’re confident that an area’s a growth area, we’re willing to grow with it,” he said. “That area’s got great potential to draw traffic.
“Our formula isn’t anything magical. We’re looking for people who are thirsty, hungry or out of gas. We’re confident that area will be good for us.”
Penner said the parcel’s owners — a private group of investors and a physician group based in the medical facilities already there — want to be ready when retailers and restaurants gain more faith in the shaky economy.
“I hate to put a number of months or years on it, because I’m always wrong,” Penner said, chuckling.
“A lot of major retailers are in a holding pattern right now. But with the growth there and the proximity to K-96, it will pay us to be ready.”
Reach Bill Wilson at 316-268-6290 or bwilson@wichitaeagle.com.
© 2009 Wichita Eagle and wire service sources. All Rights Reserved. http://www.kansas.com