This article was originally published in the Wichita Business Journal on March 25, 2015

Jason Van Sickle floating Valley Center apartment complex plan

by Josh Heck

Jason Van Sickle is working on plans to add another apartment complex to his growing portfolio.

Van Sickle, founder and president of J Van Sickle & Co., wants to build an apartment complex in the southern part of Valley Center, near Ford Street (77th Street North) and Meridian.

The Valley Center City Council last week approved creating a developer’s agreement for the project. City Administrator Joel Pile anticipates that agreement being finalized in the next two months.

The agreement will then be presented to the city council for final approval.

Pile says the agreement will define the scope of the project and the purchase price of the land.

Van Sickle plans to buy seven to 10 acres of the nearly 70 acres of city-owned land. The first phase of the apartment project could include 48 units.

The proposed apartment complex would be constructed near a 40-acre detention pond the city is constructing as part of a larger roads- and drainage-improvement project.

Van Sickle hasn’t returned calls for comment.

Building apartments in Valley Center is part of Van Sickle’s concerted effort to make available more housing options in smaller towns around Wichita.

In December, for example, city leaders in Newton approved a development agreement that gave Van Sickle the go-ahead to build a roughly 300-unit apartment complex near that city’s First and Boyd streets.

Van Sickle, the developer behind the Chisholm Lake Apartments at K-96 and Oliver in Wichita, has said his development model allows him to build high-quality, market-rate apartments in communities that need the housing. The model allows land owners and service providers, such as contractors and architects, to take an ownership stake in projects.

If approved, Van Sickle’s Valley Center project would help meet a need for rental property there.

“We have a high demand for this type of housing,” Pile says.