Frustrated residents say abandoned business attracts vandalism, violence

WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) – Krispy Krunchy Chicken, located near 13th and Broadway in Wichita, has been closed for months. There were plans to turn the restaurant into a wings and burger joint, but that never happened. Now, residents say it has become a magnet for vandalism and even some violence in that area.

Sedgwick County Commissioner Lacey Cruse lives near the vacant and now deteriorating building.

“I’ve picked up 3 hypodermic needles from the backyard, people come and urinate back here,” she said.

The building has become an eyesore for those who live near it, and some are concerned for their safety.

“I had to pull my taser once but I didn’t have to use it,” said Holly Piland, who lives across the street. “It’s just really scary with the homeless people.”

Cruse and Piland want to know how the property was able to get so bad.

“Just the length of time it’s taken to get through all the red tape to get this cleaned up. I mean, I’ve been talking about this for at least a month,” said Cruse.

A violation notice was posted on the door before some of the windows were broken. We called the owner on the notice, who apparently lives in Montana, and asked when plans to fix the windows. He said he didn’t want to talk to us. A law firm came and removed the violation notice off the door. We tried to ask what was going on, but no one could tell us.

The city said the Metropolitan Area Building and Construction department has been in contact with the owner who said he’s working with local maintenance crews to get the repairs done. Cruse said she doesn’t understand why he’s hanging onto the property if it’s not making money and he lives across the country.

“This is just one example of what happens when a business goes under and the type of activity that surrounds businesses like this,” she said.

And the longer it sits, the more expensive it will be to fix it up in the future.

“A realtor friend of mine had somebody who wanted to come in and put a cajun restaurant right here, but who knows what it will take if things within the building are even more deteriorated or vandalized inside? I mean, nobody’s going to buy a building like that,” Cruse said.

Cruse said she hopes the building doesn’t sit boarded up for long like some of the other former businesses in the area. Instead, she said she would like to see someone who lives nearby invest in the building and turn it into something that can benefit the area.

Friday morning, a contractor with the City of Wichita stopped by the building to see which windows needed to be boarded up. The city said that should be finished within 24 hours.

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