WICHITA — In late December, Have You Heard? reported that part of the former Big Dog Motorcycles space at 1520 E. Douglas is under contract.
There’s still not a done deal for the 20,000-square-foot warehouse space near Douglas and Hydraulic, which is east of where Big Dog’s 60,000-square-foot showroom was, but now it’s clear who the potential buyer is.
Nearby neighbor Don McGinty is eyeing the space for his McGinty Machine, which is in a 43,000 square-foot building at First and Hydraulic.
“We’re doing our due diligence now,” McGinty says. “It won’t be definite until I say I really want it.”
It depends on whether he can get tax abatements on the property and new machinery he wants to buy. McGinty says he’s looking at a $3 million to $5 million expansion. He says he’s likely to hire 10 to 15 people over the next couple of years.
“We’re just kicking it up a notch,” McGinty says.
That includes likely developing a sheet metal fabrication shop that will do table-top assemblies to serve aircraft companies.
“In the future, they’re going to want (us) to build the small assemblies, maybe to go into the bigger assemblies,” McGinty says.
His father and uncle started the company in the 1940s by making small aircraft parts.
“Now we go up to 40-foot long,” McGinty says.
More and more, he says, aircraft companies want their machine shop vendors to be one-stop shops for all their parts needs.
“That’s the direction we’re moving,” McGinty says.
To make that possible, his first choice is to expand into the Big Dog space. If he doesn’t get the abatements, though, McGinty says he might have to look elsewhere.
“It’s not really my desire,” he says.
McGinty thinks abatements make sense for Wichita for a couple of reasons.
“As we get busier, we have to buy more things. All that stuff is being bought right here in Wichita, Kansas,” he says. “There’s a better return on your investment that way.”
McGinty says manufacturing is key to economic growth.
“It is the thing that creates jobs,” he says.
The tract under contract includes an almost 2,000-square-foot office building in front of the warehouse and the land up to the corner of Douglas and Hydraulic. The list price is $850,000.
Intrust Bank foreclosed on Big Dog in April, and founder Sheldon Coleman Jr. dissolved the corporation.
He then started a new company, BDM Performance Products, to supply parts, accessories and gear for more than 25,000 Big Dog motorcycles.
The operation is based in Big Dog’s former service and research and development buildings and the former Johnstone Supply building next to where the company’s headquarters was.
That property is not for sale.
Jeff Walenta and Scott Salome of Grubb & Ellis/Martens Commercial Group have the listing on the former Big Dog campus, which they’ll sell or lease.
That includes 101,000 square feet and is listed for $4,020,000, though it now looks like there won’t be a package deal.
McGinty expects to make a decision on the property within a month. We’ll keep you posted.