Former Fritz Co. Grille space sells

WICHITA — There’s more happening near K-96 and Webb Road than just the new Menards.

Investors also have purchased the former Fritz Co. Grille space, which has been empty since the restaurant closed in May 2007.

“They’re working with a prospect,” says Don Ablah of Classic Real Estate, who handled the deal for the buyers.

The prospect is another restaurant.

“That’s what we’re hoping for,” Ablah says.

When Fritz closed after less than two years in business, a real estate broker said he expected a new business would open there not long after the Menards deal closed.

Then, deals fell through for the Wisconsin-based home improvement chain to bring two stores to Wichita.

This year, the deals were back on, and Menards is under construction near K-96 and Webb and 37th North and Maize Road.

“We’re just thrilled that the bank was willing to hang in there during this time while Menards was under construction,” says Brad Saville of Landmark Commercial Real Estate.

He handled the deal for First State Bank & Trust, which owned the Fritz building.

In 2008, the building was appraised at $1.78 million. In 2009, that was reduced to $1.1 million after the building sat empty.

“I just really feel like they got a great value,” Saville says of the buyers. “I feel like their timing is perfect with Menards opening in the next 60 to 90 days.”

We’ll keep you posted on a possible new tenant and the Menards opening date.