Laham Development Wichita Kansas

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The Wilson Estates Story

imageLong before Wichita shopped Bradley Fair at Wilson Estates, the area was home to oilman Ed Bradley and his wife Louise. In the midst of a depression and the drought of dustbowl days, they acquired 320 acres of land east of town in the 1920's. Out of the raw Kansas grassland, they carved an oasis - Bradley Farm. The farm boasted a tennis court, in-ground swimming pool and a scenic polo field that soon became home to the Fairfield Polo Club.

A spacious and spectacular setting, Bradley Farm was the sight of many leisurely Sunday afternoon polo matches and society gatherings hosting Wichita's elite. Leveled by a dramatic electrical fire in 1953, the Bradleys rebuilt the grand estate, returning it to its prior glory.

Ed Bradley died in 1969, but Louise continued to live on the estate until she passed away in 1977. The following year, Bradley's nephew, Bob Wilson Sr., and his wife, Janice, moved to Bradley Farm along with Bob's mother, aunt and Janice's father. The family renamed the property Wilson Estates, breathing new life into the grand old homestead.

[wilson estates history]An avid equestrian, Bob added a stable of horses to the Wilson Estates landscape and opened a portion of the 300-plus acre site to horse boarding. Around this same time, Wilson Estates took on a new identity, Red Brush Farms, and became the site of a nationally rated equestrian combined training course. Later in 1990, Bob and Janice generously offered Red Brush Farms to the Wichita Mounted Police, providing free boarding for the department's horses.

Although within the city limits, the setting for Red Brush Farms in the early 1980's was rural and serene. Rock Road was still a sleepy, two-lane blacktop road lined with trees and Webb Road was largely undeveloped. But the beginnings of urban growth and prosperity were evident as homes cropped up all around them. With the changes taking place, Bob and Janice began to consider the future of their 320 acres.

In 1986, the Wilsons met George Laham, an energetic young realtor/developer with a creative vision to bring Wichita's best retailers to one destination. Two years later, Laham and a partner purchased three acres of the Wilson's property and began the development of Bradley Fair. In 1990 the small neighborhood center opened, offering a variety of local retailers. One year later, Laham attracted the center's first national specialty retailer, Talbots.

wilson estates historyFive more acres were purchased by Laham in 1994 making way for Wichita's first Gap store. Bradley Fair had captured the attention of the nation's hottest specialty retailers and soon to follow were Eddie Bauer and Banana Republic. In 1995, the Wilsons were so pleased with the direction of Bradley Fair that they signed an agreement for the development of the remaining 312 acres. The additional land would allow for a complete master planned development that would include retail, residential and office.

In January of 1997, Laham and Ritchie Associates, Wichita's premier residential developer, unveiled plans for the development of approximately 250 home sites. The Belmont, a gated community, and the Preakness were the first two areas to open. These subdivisions were designed to incorporate the area's natural creek and mature wooded areas.

Marking another phase in the development of the property, in June of 1997 Vantage Point Properties acquired 25 acres for an office park. Plans for the 268,000 square foot office park reflected the distinctive Mediterranean style of Bradley Fair and featured abundant green space, lakes, waterfalls and pedestrian walkways linking the park to the restaurants and retail stores of Bradley Fair.

wilsonn estates historyIn January of 2000, Laham unveiled plans for Legacy Park at Wilson Estates, offering 119,000 square feet of office, retail and restaurants. Two years later, ground was broken on the 160,000 square feet Wilson Estates Medical Park, offering Class A office space to a variety of medical providers.

Nearly two decades after George Laham first imagined his distinctive development, Wilson Estates has blossomed into a crown jewel in Wichita's landscape. This unique development is home to one of the nation's premier lifestyle centers, Bradley Fair, offering exceptional retail and dining with over fifty stores and restaurants. In addition, it includes Wilson Estates Medical Park, Legacy Park and residential living, all reflective of the style, inspiration and quality that define this creative master planned community.

wilson estates
Rock Road at 21st
Wichita, Kansas

320-acre Master Planned Development

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Wilson Estates History

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