A proposal for the city to sell one of its lots in the West End Business Park to Ten Talent LLC was approved by the City Council.
The governing body took the action at its June 10 meeting, opening the way for husband-and-wife business owners Brent and Liznelia Topham to establish a new home there.
Ten Talent is now at 2444 N. Nelson Dr. and currently employs 12 people. It has a 1,500-square-foot leased building there and anticipates building an 8,000-square-foot structure just north of BRG Precision Products and south of Aircraft and Commercial Enterprises on a 2-acre lot. That’s on the east side of River Street.
The Tophams will be hiring an additional 10 to 12 employees in the next five years for the company, which specializes in lawn maintenance, landscaping and irrigation systems.
They conduct the majority of their business in Derby, where they live.
They have a mowing contract with the city of Wichita, but otherwise, the focus is here, Brent Topham said. They will have to go through a site plan review and other steps before the new project is done. They have two years to get the new building up and operating.
The city sold the lot for $1, what council member Tom Keil said is “a good investment for the city.”
That’s because it keeps a growing business here, one that will hire people and pay property taxes.
Topham, a 1999 DHS graduate, said he has a lot of plans, including adding a small engine repair shop. The expansion makes sense, he said.
“Business is good,” he said. “We need more parking and more space for our vehicles and trailers.”
Buying the land is important, too, as it makes it easier to get a loan. The building’s estimated cost is $550,000. No contractor has yet been selected for the project.
Both Tophams are active in the business and Brent jokes that Liznelia “is the real boss.”
After the approval, they took a moment to reflect on how their business efforts have paid off.
“We started out of our garage with just a truck, trailer and a mower,” he said.
Ten Talent was established in 2011 and has been a part of the Derby business community since 2013.
The name’s meaning has both a Biblical overtone as well as being a statement on the variety of services the company offers.
Development Manager Marcia Hartman said along with being pleased with the sale, it’s a reflection of the city’s approach to businesses.
“While the city still looks to bring new businesses to Derby, recent economic development efforts have focused on retaining and growing existing Derby businesses,” she said in her report to the council.
The city developed the Derby Industrial Park 2nd Addition, now known as the West End Business Park, in 1999. While some businesses have moved in, lots have remained for sale, and officials say the offer of selling them for $1 – with conditions – is a way to help it grow.
“The city has a history of facilitating expansion of local businesses with similar transactions,” Hartman said.
Along with having to build in 24 months, the company must operate there for at least five years and cannot sell the property during that time. There are no other financial incentives, such as an industrial revenue bond, in place.
Closing costs will be split evenly between the City and the purchaser.
The land selling price without the special conditions is 70 cents a square foot.
Before the council’s approval of the contract, the Community Development Advisory Board unanimously recommended approval.