KFC demolition

The old KFC building was demolished Monday morning along State Highway 15 on Hutchinson’s south side to make way for a new strip mall coming this spring.

The past few years have seen plenty of new development and business on Hutchinson’s south side along State Highway 15. More is on the way.

While passing motorists saw the old KFC building go down Monday morning, the demolition was to make room for spring construction on a planned strip mall — Shops at Hutch — expected to include a Jimmy John’s with a drive-thru and Sport Clips. Jimmy John’s is a sandwich restaurant specializing in delivery, and Sport Clips offers “guy-smart stylists” and plenty of TVs with sports on.

Developers Platinum Properties Group and Klodt Inc. plan to have the building up this spring and the two announced businesses in by Oct. 1.

Platinum Properties president and CEO Jeff Hagen and Klodt Inc. owner/operator Kevin Klodt are third-generation developers whose fathers partnered together as well. This generation’s first project together was in Andover in 2016.

“We are hoping to continue to do another project every year together,” Hagen said.

Shops at Hutch will be approximately 8,125 square feet and house six tenants. Hagen said a couple of local retailers had expressed interest in the building, and one or two national retailers may round out the open spaces.

The developers plan to use high-quality materials and finishes.

“This project will be unique,” Hagen said. “Not only will it be landscaped, but there will be living walls on the sides and the back of the building to soften the look of the structure.”

A living wall stands about six inches off the concrete block and allows vegetation and flowering vines to grow along its length.

“The building will actually be blooming and growing,” Hagen said.

Hutchinson was considered as the partnership’s second site due to the opportunity KFC’s closing provided. The restaurant’s building was constructed in 1990 and closed in 2017.

“After looking at the Hutchinson market and getting to know the city as best we could, and talking to local authorities, we decided Hutchinson sounded like a great city, a great market to develop in,” Hagen said. “As we spoke with the city staff, mayor and council people, we found out what a great, well-run city it is, and there are wonderful people.”

He said the city deserved such high praise.

“The bottom line is we love being in Hutchinson and working with everybody there,” Hagen said.

When news of a planned strip mall first began to circulate more than a year ago, several Hutchinson residents expressed interest in a Jimmy John’s on social media. The developers noticed the buzz.

“We heard from the city, and I personally did some interviews in the local establishments, (seeing) what the general population would like to see,” Hagen said.

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