May 31, 2015
In 1955, $2,765 would buy you Ford’s new Thunderbird sports car. The Brooklyn Dodgers,
featuring Jackie Robinson, Duke Snider and 20-year-old Sandy Koufax, defeated the NewYork Yankees 4-3 to win the World Series. President Eisenhower had a heart attack. A first-class postage stamp cost three cents.
And in Wichita, Willard Garvey and his company Builders Inc. turned an 80-acre farm in the south part of Wichita into Parklane Shopping Center. It was the first major shopping center in Wichita and the first alternative to shopping downtown. At the time, southeast Wichita was booming from growth in the aviation business following World War II.
Today, a postage stamp costs 49 cents and the new Mustang GT tips the scales at about $32,000. While many other retail concepts have come and gone, Parklane Shopping Center has continued as a vibrant shopping center.
“I’m proud that we’ve maintained our position in the marketplace,” said Dennis Fitzroy,Vice President with Builders, Inc. “There’s a niche for the kind of products and services Parklane Shopping Center offers. We’re meeting the needs of the people in this community.”
Despite many “ups and downs” in the economy, Parklane Shopping Center has many long-term tenants, Fitzroy said. “Radio Shack moved here in the mid-’60s, and Basham’s has been with us for more than 35 years,” he said.” Child Start has been here over 20 years.”
Tenants are quick to praise Fitzroy and the Builders, Inc. management team for helping them be successful at Parklane.
“Builders has treated us very well,” said Dave Lovett, owner of Book-a-Holic. “Builders is as much an integral part of our success as we are. I don’t think we could have done this under any other management. They take a personal interest in giving you every opportunity to succeed.”
“The reason we’ve been successful is because of our tenants,” Fitzroy said. “So we try to take care of their needs. Customer service is very important to us.”
When Willard Garvey built Parklane Shopping Center 60 years ago, it was a radical concept for Wichita. But today, the slogan “Shop at the store where you park at the door” is as true as when the first customer shopped at Hinkel’s. Parklane Shopping Center continues to provide those needs with retail stores and numerous service organizations including: furniture and appliance needs, clothing, books, auto parts, sewing, quilting, grocery and beauty products, fitness and health, electronics, sporting goods, eye wear and even collectibles. The list goes on at Parklane Shopping Center.
Parklane has remained a vibrant place to shop because the stores still offer the value, selection and convenience intended in 1955. Come shop at Parklane Shopping Center and discover what so many others have discovered!