Sunflower Commerce Park Open for business in Wichita region
(November, 2012) Bel Aire city leaders and partners officially broke ground on Phase 1 of Sunflower Commerce Park. The city is developing the first 155 acres of the 800-acre industrial park as “shovel-ready” for companies to begin building. Roads and utilities are under construction to be completed by December 30th, 2012. Environmental studies have been completed with lots ready for construction.
The first tenant, Century Manufacturing, purchased three acres in July and is building a 36,000 square-foot building to house its growing manufacturing, warehousing and office space needs. According to Jim Laubach of Century Manufacturing, the new building is expected to open in January.
“This is a great day for Bel Aire, and we are excited to be moving forward with shovel-ready land in our community and in Sedgwick County,” said Mayor Harold Smith. “We know how important speed is to companies in today’s competitive world, and we are ready to meet their needs. Bel Aire is open for business.”
The first phase of the Sunflower Commerce Park is platted with 3 to 15 acre lots, which can be combined to make larger tracts. The entire 800 acres is designed for a variety of sizes with the potential for a 100-acre lot, if needed.
Running through the tract is a Union Pacific industrial line which is ready for more use. Bel Aire is currently designing a rail siding on the north side with a spur possible on the south side.
Bel Aire worked with Law Kingdon, TranSystems and Schwab Eaton on master planning, various studies and infrastructure planning required, including engineering, soil survey, geotechnical assessment report, the first phase environmental assessment and more. Utilities, including power electrical and gas lines plus water and sewer lines, will be in place ready to connect with tenants.
Sedgwick County has partnered to pave 45th and 53rd streets to the site.
“Sedgwick County provides infrastructure throughout the County, and we are pleased to work closely with Bel Aire on this particular project,” said Sedgwick County Commissioner Dave Unruh, “Bel Aire has expanded the usability of this great property and planned for a business-friendly community. They are laying the groundwork for economic growth which in turn improves the County’s economy.”
Located between Webb and Greenwich roads and 53rd and 45th streets, Sunflower Commerce Park has transportation access that many companies desire, including connections to U.S. Highway 254 and Kansas Highway 96 and close to interstates 35, 135 and 235 interchanges.
The site is also adjacent to the Jabara Airport campus.
“There are so many selling points, including the proximity to the National Institute of Aviation Research and the National Center for Aviation Training,” Mayor Smith said. “We look forward to working with companies to meet businesses’ needs.”
As the first tenant, Century Manufacturing employs about 30 people, and the company anticipates growing to 50 in two years.
“Bel Aire has been great to work with, “owner Jim Laubach said. “Their speed of response and business-friendly attitude has been incredible. We closed on the land in July and will be ready to open January 1.”
Over the past eight years, Bel Aire invested $12 million in infrastructure and land in Sunflower Commerce Park. Bel Aire is selling the land at $25,000 an acre plus special assessments.
“We want business and we will work with companies on what they need, including assessing what local and state incentives are available for qualified projects,” Mayor Smith said.
Mayor Smith also said, “We worked closely with the community to gather their input on what they wanted to see in an industrial park and have conveyance and design standards. Our target industries are those such as composites, research and development, associated applied technologies, medical technologies, warehousing – really a wide range that fit our community and bring jobs. This is Bel Aire’s contribution to the economic development initiatives in the Wichita metro”
Marlin Penner of John T. Arnold and Associates is representing the property for Bel Aire. Penner may be reached at 263-7242.
In addition, the Greater Wichita Economic Development Coalition that is responsible for economic development activities which recruit or expand primary jobs welcomed the news.
“This is a great addition to industrial sites in the area, and we applaud Bel Aire because companies are so pressed for time that unless sites are ready to build upon, companies pass us over without talking to us because an Internet search shows we don’t have available, ready land,” said Interim GWEDC President Suzie Ahlstrand. “We consistently hear from site selectors and companies that we need shovel ready sites with rail access, and Bel Aire will help meet that need for companies looking for these size of lots. We look forward to having this in our real estate database and arsenal of responses.”
Premier Processing to Open Wichita Facility
Wichita, July 9, 2009 - Premier Processing, a new metal finishing company, will open in Wichita. The start-up company has targeted early fall to launch the company. It will be located at 3002 West Pawnee occupying 36,000 square feet. The company is investing more than $3.8 million in capital investment, including manufacturing machinery and equipment.
Premier Processing plans to create 100 jobs over the next five years with an average total annual payroll of more than $3 million.
“We are excited to welcome Premier Processing to Wichita,” said Kansas Department of Commerce Secretary David D. Kerr. “Given the nation’s current economic challenges, it says a lot about the Kansas business climate that a company like Premier would choose to locate here. We look forward to working with the company and helping them grow here in Kansas.”
According to Hart, Premier Processing will use lean manufacturing processes. “We believe that by utilizing the principles of lean manufacturing, we can provide even greater value to our customers, especially at a time when they need it most.”
“We welcome Premier Processing,” said Mayor Carl Brewer. “It’s hard to compete for companies in this tough business environment so this decision says a lot about our ability to work together and make the business case.”
Sedgwick County Chairman Parks said, “We know that Premier Processing will find Sedgwick County a highly productive place to do business and we look forward to their growth here.”
The Greater Wichita Economic Development Coalition is the regional public-private partnership managed by the Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce and charged with creating and executing the region’s business recruitment, retention and expansion plans and marketing the region.
Greater Wichita Economic Development Coalition
350 W. Douglas
Wichita, KS 67202-2970
P: (316) 268-1133