A look at Wichita’s commercial real estate industry

The health of the commercial real estate market in Wichita, Kansas can serve as a bellwether for the rest of the country.

One effective way of assessing the health of commercial real estate in the U.S. is to look at how the market is playing out in smaller cities and regions across the country. To that end, the state of the business in cities like Wichita, Kan., and its surrounding environs can speak to the national market as a whole. In that particular case, Wichita is seeing steady growth in the sector, with commercial real estate companies reporting solid employment numbers and many newly-built or renovated buildings are hitting the market or in the planning and construction stages, the Wichita Business Journal reported.

Commercial real estate brokers report industry rebound
While not back at 2008 levels (which is true for most industries in the country), commercial real estate in the Wichita area has rebounded to the point that large national retailers are looking for space, according to the Wichita Business Journal. With multifamily and apartment complexes leading the way, followed by warehouse and office space and agricultural land, brokers in and around town have seen enough business that they are retaining employees and breaking ground on new buildings.

The Wichita Business Journal, which does a list survey of professionals in the commercial real estate industry, has found that while still wary of adding employees, most (15) of the 25 companies surveyed have at least maintained the same level of employment they had last year, and five of those have added personnel.

Several new projects either underway or being planned
Possibly the most encouraging sign for the area is the number of commercial projects that are in the works. From a sports and entertainment complex to a third Class A office complex at The Offices at Cranbrook (an Occidental Management Inc. property) to the renovation of the former Automobilia building by the Landmark Commercial Real Estate company, the city appears to be in the midst of a bit of a commercial real estate renaissance.

All of those projects, along with Kansas' plan to vacate the Finney State Office Building downtown, which is likely to be renovated for residential use, mean the city should be seeing a lot more business in the commercial real estate sector for the foreseeable future.

With all of this action taking place, commercial real estate agents may no longer find themselves wanting to say they aren't in Kansas anymore, as it appears one of the smaller big cities in the country is showing that the commercial real estate business is holding steady, with signs of future growth.

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