Great Plains Ventures and J. Van Sickle & Co. ready to kick off new mixed-use development with 208-unit apartments

Jason Van Sickle, Susayn Brandes and Marque Peer are ready to break ground on the first phase of a new 60-acre development at Ventures Business Park.

WICHITA — Great Plains Ventures president Susayn Brandes likes to joke that her need for a soda and a tank of gas is spurring a new 60-acre development at K-96 and Oliver.

“I really just wanted a QuikTrip on Oliver so I could get a Diet Coke and some gas,” she says.

What she’s actually getting is a whole lot more.

Brandes and her brother, Greats Plains Ventures vice president of development Marque Peer, and developer Jason Van Sickle and his J. Van Sickle & Co. are partnering for a multiuse development on the northeast corner of the intersection that will include apartments, a hotel, office and retail. They first announced the project a year ago but now are about to break ground.

Great Plains Ventures is the holding company for three manufacturing firms, two of which are at Ventures Business Park on the northeast corner of K-96 and Oliver.

Brandes and Peer’s father, the late Charlie Peer, purchased what was then an 80-acre property more than three decades ago to give his company room to grow. Over the years, the company sold off some lots but decided against selling more.

“It just seemed to me that we wanted to be in more control of how this developed out,” Brandes says.

She met Van Sickle at a board meeting and talked to him about doing a study of the best uses for the property.

Van Sickle then presented her with a plan that started with apartments.

“Initially, I was kind of like, ‘Really?’” Brandes says. Then she says “it really started making sense to me.”

Construction is set to start Sept. 3 with an upscale 208-unit apartment complex.

“We wanted to create more 24-hour population density out there,” Van Sickle says.

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Shops at MarketPlace lands four tenants

WICHITA — In today’s economy, it’s a gamble to build a speculative shopping center and hope to find tenants for it, but it’s a move that’s paying off for Paul Jackson.

The Vantage Point Properties developer has Andover MarketPlace, a 140-acre development on the southeast corner of Kellogg and Andover Road in Andover.

In May, Jackson began building the Shops at MarketPlace, a 14,000-square-foot center next to Dillons Marketplace.

He now has four tenants to announce:

Scooter’s Coffeehouse, which will have 1,400 square feet and a drive-through on the north end of the center.

H&R Block, which will have 1,400 square feet.

Martinizing Dry Cleaning, which will have 1,400 square feet.

Spa Pedicure, which will have 1,200 square feet.

“We have a nice amount of interest in the remaining space,” Jackson says. “We feel like it’s been a good decision to build that.”

When Jackson first bought the property several years ago, his plan was to hold it for the long term.

“We weren’t looking to develop it immediately.”

Dillons wanted to expand with a Marketplace concept, though, and the YMCA decided to build a new branch about the same time.

“They just came into play a lot earlier than we expected them,” Jackson says. “Once those started, we started full speed into the development process.”

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