Schulman Crossing moves ahead with second phase




Fresh off the opening of Menards, North Carolina-based developer Collett Properties Inc. has started the second phase of the Schulman Crossing retail development.

The $24.65 million project will ultimately add 241,000 square feet of retail space on 34 acres housing a mix of national-level retail stores and restaurants.

Kaleb Kentner, city planning and community development director, said Thursday's action by the G.C. Planning Commission was the first step in the development plans, which will go back and forth between the city commission and planning commission several times through September.

"They have indicated they are on a pretty speedy process. The developer's representative said they are looking at a September timeframe for wanting to start construction," he said.

September might be pushing it, Kentner said, though he added he wouldn't be surprised if work starts sometime in late fall.

Collett isn't releasing names of potential stores that might be included in the development. Kentner said the planning commission asked the same question and Collett's representatives indicated they hope to be able to announce tenants "soon."

In addition to new places to shop and eat, Mayor Dan Fankhauser looks forward to the financial impact another 200,000-plus square feet of retail space will have on the city's sales tax revenues. Fankhauser hopes to get the development under way as soon as possible.

"It will bring some different types of stores into the area, things we haven't seen before. That will drive in some out-of-town people and help us meet our goal to become the regional hub of western Kansas," Fankhauser said. "That's our ultimate goal, and with this additional development we're well on our way. That area is going to be a lot busier by 2014, hopefully."

Like the Menards development, Phase II will be financed with a combination of private funds and public money through a tax-increment financing district. Roughly $9 million of the $24.65 million project is eligible for TIF funding.

In their plans, the developers state phase II will provide "significant development for the city by ... creating a significant commercial center that will provide enhanced commerce, shopping opportunities, employment and general commerce for area residents."

Plans filed with the city show a 55,000-square-foot major anchor store on the south end, as well as five major tenants ranging between 12,500 square feet and 35,000 square feet.

The second phase is even larger than the Menards development. Menards covers about 162,000 square feet on 28 acres.

Collett has developed retail sites in Oklahoma, Arizona and eight states in the southeast part of the country. While there's no way to tell what retailers will be signed for the Garden City development, some of the tenants at other Collett properties have included Kohl's, Dick's Sporting Goods, Chili's, Chick-fil-A, PetSmart and others.

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