WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – A downtown grocery store is one step closer to reality. The group developing the project at Douglas and Main says investors are ready to go, and the grocery store will be open to the public by this summer if all goes as planned.
The store will be located on the first floor of the Century Plaza downtown. Former lawmaker Phil Hermanson and his wife are behind the project. KSN talked to them last week.
“When you go inside, trust me it ain’t pretty,” said Michele Hermanson, Phil’s wife. “You’re going to see equipment and stuff everywhere. It’s now our job to go in there and get it all moved out and cleaned up, one piece at a time.”
KSN decided to hit the streets to talk to Wichitans that live and work downtown to see how they feel about the new store.
“I think it’s a great idea because there’s so many people who live on the edge of downtown or in downtown,” said Carolyn Burns, Wichita resident.
“I think it’s perfect because they either have to go to Walmart, or out east or out west, instead they can come downtown,” said Andie Becker, Wichita resident.
Steve Anthimides owns the entire Century Plaza, and he is excited for the development.
“This space here has been vacant for many years and Douglas and Main; there is no better location in Wichita, Kansas,” said Anthimides.
Anthimides has faith that the Hermanson’s will get the store done.
“We did a lot of preparation, a lot of consulting work,” explained Phil. “I’ve always been the kind of person who says 10 heads work better than one.”
Phil and his wife say that they plan for this change to happen in the next 90 days, and they’ve already made large leaps in clearing the space out. The couple has moved into an apartment upstairs so they can keep a close eye on the project.”
“This is also for the faith of our investors,” explained Phil. “We want our investors to know that we are working this around the clock.”
Phil and his wife are not only opening a grocery store but also a convenience store, coffee shop and wedding venue.
“We have the investors we need for this but it’s a huge job so we are always open to more,” said Phil.