Indian Hills Shopping Center owner Larry Burke seeks rezoning for development

WICHITA — Indian Hills Shopping Center owner Larry Burke is working on rezoning part of his property at 13th and Meridian for future development.

Burke, who used to own the Copper Oven Cafe & Bakery at the center, says he has about 72,000 square feet of parking behind the Indian Hills Ace Hardware he’d like to do something with.

“It’s worth the money spent so I can get it zoned so I can think about a development,” he says. “I’ve got several ideas.”

That could be a mixed-use development with retail and office space.

“It will enhance Indian Hills,” Burke says. “It will enhance the area.”

Burke says he’s already done a lot of enhancements to the center — including new lighting, a new roof and upgraded heating and air systems — and would like to generate some revenue on the parking lot.

Some of that area is zoned for multiunit housing. Burke is seeking limited commercial zoning.

“There’s nothing in concrete until I have the zoning in my pocket,” he says. “I couldn’t even plan anything until I could figure out if … I could get it zoned so I could do a development.”

Burke says if a potential development does have retail, it would have to be destination retail since visibility isn’t as good on Meridian as the rest of the center on 13th Street.

“It is going to be hidden in a way.”

He says Ace likely would use some of the space.

“It would enhance the center by a good 20 percent,” Burke says of adding to the approximately 40,000-square-foot center.

“I’m not looking at any big-box type things.”

Burke, who bought the center in 2005, says it’s 100 percent full.

“I think I went 10 days with a space open, and I have a lot of people who want in my center.”

Burke says he’s a couple of months away from finalizing plans.

“It’s like a big funnel,” he says. “I’m at the top of the funnel, and I’m trying to get it real focused now.”