Sources says the Issaquah, Wash.-based Costco is interested in the northeast corner of Kellogg and Webb Road, which is Hawker Beechcraft property.
“We do not have any information or comments to provide at this time,” Hawker spokeswoman Nicole Alexander said in an e-mail.
Hawker’s bankruptcy doesn’t appearing to be hurting a potential Costco deal, although it sounds like it may be slowing things.
In April, Have You Heard? reported that Costco was once again seriously eyeing Wichita – as it had several years ago before a deal fell apart.
“I came to the market to look at the market on a macro basis,” co-founder and executive chairman Jeff Brotman said in April. “I didn’t like anything I saw.”
Brotman said that “without disclosing our deepest, darkest secrets,” he could say that the locations he looked at didn’t fit with the way the market moves, meaning its natural trade areas.
“I have a mild interest,” Brotman said. “I’m interested in everything, right? . . . It’s just hard to focus on things that aren’t burning priorities.”
Indications are a Wichita store may have become more of a priority. Costco representatives are working with city officials regarding the possible deal.
Mayor Carl Brewer won’t confirm or deny that he’s been involved with those talks, and Brotman didn’t return calls.
Just because Costco has identified its top choice doesn’t mean other property owners aren’t still trying to lure the chain. The 21st and K-96 area is of particular interest. Apparently, city officials would prefer the chain locate in that STAR bond district, which will be anchored by a sports field house and surrounded by a series of destination hotels and retailers.
It’s not clear how much sway officials will have or if that could affect the chain’s entry into the market, but we’ll keep you posted.