New Restaurant

New Restaurant | WStudios21

New restaurant along with possible apartments and duplexes coming near Wichita State

Lawyer and entrepreneur Abdul Arif is planning apartments, duplexes and a restaurant near WSU, and he’s seeking help through crowdfunding. Courtesy illustration

Lawyer and entrepreneur Abdul Arif has another new project, and he’s looking for a little community help on this one.

He said they will rename the building Mayflower Plaza.

Arif is planning a restaurant, studio apartments and duplexes near Wichita State University, and he’s seeking crowdfunding for part of the development.

“It’s really a super-cool project,” he said. “That area is obviously in the midst of a tremendous construction boom.”

His development is just north of the Family Dollar store at 21st and Pinecrest, which is about a block east of 21st and Oliver.

“We have the land and the first phase . . . invested and committed,” Arif said.

Messages left for bank officials were not immediately returned.

The first phase will be a Mediterranean restaurant with a local operator who prefers not to be named yet. There will be a drive-through along with seating and an outdoor patio.

Arif said he has approval for the drive-through, and money is in place for that phase.

He said all of the zoning is correct for each of the phases.

The second phase would be to turn a dilapidated building into 40 studio apartments and a pickleball court.

“There’s a really nasty-looking building,” Arif said. “That building is a terrible eyesore right now.”

He wants to convert it to 40 studio apartments, and that’s where the crowdfunding comes in.

“The idea is how to turn blight into cash.”

Arif plans to call it WStudio-21.

“It’s a play on words, obviously.”

Along with money he may raise from the community, Arif said, “We hope to obtain TIF financing for phase two.”

A tax-increment financing district uses money generated from the taxes at businesses within it.

The third phase would be just to the north of the second phase and would include 16 duplexes.

Arif said he already has a third of the financing he needs.

“That’s basically where we are.”

The first phase will break ground late this summer.

If Arif isn’t able to raise the rest of the money immediately, he said, “The property’s paid for. It just sits there.

He said he hopes “to create enough buzz and momentum” with the first phase to raise interest and money for the next phases.

“The construction financing market is very, very hard right now,” Arif said.

“Projects are simply untenable.”

He said there is tremendous need for more housing in the area despite apartments and other projects that are helping the area to be “booming and going crazy.”

Arif said he thinks that’s part of what will make his development successful.

“It’s right in the middle of beautiful development — multimillion (dollar) development.”

This story was originally published June 12, 2023, 4:47 AM.