Frustrated residents say abandoned businesses are attracting vandalism and violence


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

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

“I took 3 hypodermic needles from the backyard, people come here and urinate here,” she said.

The building has become an eyesore to local residents, 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.”

Cruse and Piland want to know how the property got so bad.

“Just the time it takes to go through all the red tape to clean this up. I mean, I’ve been talking about this for at least a month,” Cruse said.

An offense notice was posted on the door before some of the windows were broken. We called the owner, who appears to live in Montana, and asked when the windows would be fixed. He said he didn’t want to talk to us. A law firm came and removed the violation notice from the door. We tried to ask what was going on but nobody could tell us.

The city said the metro area’s building and construction department has been in contact with the owner, who said it is working with local maintenance teams to complete the repairs. Cruse said she doesn’t understand why he’s holding on to the property when it’s not making any money and he lives across the country.

“This is just an example of what happens when a company goes under and the kind of activity that surrounds such companies,” she said.

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

“A real estate agent friend of mine had someone who wanted to come in and set up a Cajun restaurant here, but who knows what it might take if things in the building continue to deteriorate or get destroyed? I mean nobody’s going to buy a building like that,” Cruse said.

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

On Friday morning, a City of Wichita contractor stopped by the building to see which windows needed boarding up. The city should be ready within 24 hours.

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