Excerpt from The Wichita Business Journal
Thursday, December 3
by Chris Moon
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has opened a behavioral health recovery services annex at Parklane shopping center in southeast Wichita.
The 3,500-square-foot clinic, which provides mental health and intensive case management services, opened last week and has begun seeing its first patients, says Ken Allensworth, facility planner for the Dole VA Medical Center in Wichita. The VA has a ribbon-cutting planned for the clinic on Monday.
The lease is the third for the VA at Parklane as the federal agency looks for additional space for clinics and administrators. The VA already houses some administrative functions at Parklane and in August opened an eye care clinic there. All told, the VA has 21,589 square feet at Parklane.
“It’s just a great fit,” Allensworth says.
The VA solicits space for its annex locations through requests for proposals to developers. Parklane, Allensworth says, has been competitive on price and is close to the Dole Center on Wichita’s eastside.
The VA still is looking to expand. Allensworth says the agency this month plans to distribute an RFP seeking about 10,000 square feet for a dental annex. He says the VA wants the clinic to be within five miles of the Dole campus.
“We’d love to have it open by next fall,” he says.
At Parklane, the 300,000-square-foot center – about half office and half retail – has encountered a relatively tough leasing environment. The center recently lost a 10,000-square-foot Sedgwick County juvenile services office to Office This.
Seventy-nine percent of Parklane’s office space is occupied, says Dennis Fitzroy, who manages the center for owner Builders Inc. He says 93 percent of its retail space is full. The office lease rate is $8.50 per square foot.
“We’re working with existing tenants to try to keep them in place,” Fitzroy says. “We are showing space, but it’s slowed down quite a bit. It seems like you’re working harder to get the same number of deals.”
He says the center has several prospects for office space.