Monthly Archives: October 2010

You don’t say

“Low-budget citywide drug testing I assume.”

Wichita State University community and organizational specialist Seth Bate’s Wednesday tweet after seeing Winfield school kids on a sidewalk holding signs that said, “Honk if you’re drug-free!”

Cypress Springs Alzheimer’s and memory support residence to open at Wilson Estates Medical Park

WICHITA — There’s another new addition to the Wilson Estates Medical Park, Laham Development’s 21-acre medical park at Wilson Estates Parkway and Webb Road.

Cypress Springs will be a 35,000-square-foot, 66-bed Alzheimer’s and memory support residence with an emphasis on sophistication and individual service.

“We have developed Cypress Springs as a community where our own family members with memory loss would live,” said Phil Brosseau, one of three Cypress principals, in a statement.

“As baby boomers, we know that people want more than an institutional environment,” he said. “They want a comfortable residence that feels like their home.”

The community will be designed — through music, art and landscaping — to be engaging yet relaxing. There will be a variety of innovative activities within a comforting setting.

Brosseau has been in the hotel industry for more than three decades. Fellow principals Randy Box and Rob Garrett are teaming to bring a hospitality element to the development.

Cypress Springs will be the third community the three have built. The other two Cypress Springs residences recently opened in Tulsa and Oklahoma City.

Seniority Inc., a senior living company, will manage Cypress Springs, which will be hiring about 40 full- and part-time staff.

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TuTu Girly Party Studio expands around metro area

WICHITA — Lots of girls just wanna have fun, and it’s proving to be big business for Michelle Griggsby.

She owns the TuTu Girly Party Studio at 4065 N. Woodlawn and now has plans to add studios in Derby, Andover and Maize.

“It’s a party studio for girls who dare to be fabulous,” Griggsby says. “It’s just where the girls can get together and hang out.”

She got the idea after throwing parties for her daughter, 29-year-old Angel Chandler, when she was little.

“The parties just grew and grew and grew until someone said, ‘You just need a party store.’ ”

Griggsby, who lives in Dallas, has studios in Texas, Georgia, Florida, Indiana and California.

Chandler lives here and assists her mother, though doesn’t work at the studio full time.

Teanesha Newton is the manager for the 3,000-square-foot Bel Aire studio, which opened in September.

Griggsby has been active in Wichita for years, though, hosting all kinds of events, such as tea parties for 250 or more girls at rented facilities.

She also opened the Princess Galleria Boutique in February in a 3,600-square-foot, two-story house in the Green Elephant Village near Central and Hillside.

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Cafe Maurice to open Wednesday at Cambridge Market

WICHITA — After several training days with friends and family, Ghassan “Gus” Srour and his wife, Therese, are ready to open their new Cafe Maurice Wednesday.

The couple used to have Patisserie Maurice near Harry and Rock, which supplied pastries to restaurants around Wichita, Oklahoma City and Tulsa.

They also offered catering from that site until April when a fire at a nearby business forced them to close.

Their new restaurant is at Cambridge Market at 21st and Webb Road.

City prepares to market two valuable properties at and near Kellogg and Rock

WICHITA — The city is getting ready to market two parcels of land that many developers would consider some the most enticing commercial acreage in Wichita.

The city owns 5.46 acres where the Village Fashion Center used to be on the northeast corner of Kellogg and Towne East Drive just west of the new Old Chicago.

It also has 2.91 acres on the northwest corner of Kellogg and Rock where the La Quinta and the former Old Chicago used to be.

“It’s valuable,” says John Philbrick, the city’s real estate administrator.

“It’s got good exposure, good location, high traffic counts.”

The city bought the properties when it was widening Kellogg but no longer needs them.

Philbrick says before deciding to sell, the city considered other options for the land.

“We take a look at potential city uses before we put something on the market,” he says.

The city has chosen a real estate broker to handle the listings, but Philbrick says he can’t say who it is until there’s final approval from the Wichita City Council.

The city already passed on some opportunities to sell the properties.

“We’ve had some offers, but at the time, the property was being used so we . . . rejected the offers,” Philbrick says.

Look for more news on the properties soon.

You don’t say

“If you have time to spare, travel by air. Airlines that is.”

Wichita Aero Club executive director Dave Franson, joking at the monthly meeting Tuesday about guest speaker and Signature Flight Support CEO Michael Scheeringa’s flight being late

A-1 Singer Pfaff Sewing Center expands at Parklane Shopping Center

WICHITA — For every story of a business closing lately there seems to be one of a business expanding.

The latest is A-1 Singer Pfaff Sewing Center in the Parklane Shopping Center at Lincoln and Oliver.

“We’re going to more than double our size,” owner Dan Beltz says.

He’s had the store since 1992.

“Believe it or not, we only had 800 square feet before,” Beltz says.

He’s adding another 1,100 square feet by knocking out a wall and expanding into the former Prairie Quilts space.

Beltz’s story isn’t typical for his industry.

“Nationwide, we’re losing a lot of sewing machine dealers. They’re just not making it. Even here in town some of them are hurting.”

His business is “doing extremely well,” though.

“We’re taking awfully good care of our customers,” Beltz says.

The service side of his business, which has four employees repairing equipment, is doing especially well.

Beltz says people send sewing machines for repair from as far away as overseas.

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You don’t say

“It’s the quintessential breakfast beverage.”

PrairieFire Coffee Roasters general manager Jeff Deitchler on River City Brewery’s new coffee-infused PrairieFire Lager

Exchange Place LLC and DGL Investments LLC settle claim with Berkley Insurance

WICHITA — Exchange Place LLC and DGL Investments LLC have settled with their insurance company over 2007 damages by copper thieves to Exchange Place at Douglas and Market.

“It was extensive,” Real Development partner Dave Lundberg says of the damage, which he estimates was in the $10 million range. “Just about everything in the building, quite frankly.”

Real Development is developing the Exchange Place project.

A previously postponed trial was scheduled to start in Sedgwick County District Court on Tuesday.

Lundberg says he’s been in negotiations with Phoenix-based Berkley Insurance since the vandalism occurred.

“One of the things the insurance company said is, ‘You’re going to gut the building anyway.’ ”

Lundberg can’t discuss the settlement, though he says it was nowhere near what the damage was.

“It allows us to fix what has to be fixed in order to convert it to (a) residential project,” he says. “We’re going to wait until the project’s finally approved until we know what the final use is.”

Lundberg says the Exchange Place project is separate from Real Development’s Wichita Executive Centre project, which his company is refinancing in order to pay vendors.

He says the Exchange Place insurance money can’t be used on the other project.

Still, it’s a good start to the week for Lundberg, who has been sick with pneumonia for the past three weeks.

“We got an insurance settlement, and my pneumonia went away.”

Northrock Shopping Centre fully leased with the addition of Model Nails

UPDATED — A new lease by Model Nails means Occidental Management’s Northrock Shopping Centre near 32nd North and Rock Road is fully leased.

“We’re going to be 100 percent occupied there,” says president Chad Stafford. “We’re pumped.”

Salon partners Tammy Ho and David Lee are moving their business from 1,500 square feet at 3236 N. Rock to 2,200 square feet at Northrock. Ho says they wanted more visibility for the 10-year-old salon.

Stafford says there’s also a letter of intent for the company’s Northrock offices. If the lease happens, that center also would be fully occupied. Look for more news on that soon.

Occidental began the office project in December 2007 and moved its headquarters there in August 2008.

The retail portion broke ground in early 2009.

“We’re excited that in what’s been a challenging market here over the last year and a half that we’re able to get a couple of assets up to 100 percent occupancy,” Stafford says.

He says a lot of those deals have happened thanks to networking within the real estate community and through groups like chamber committees.

“It shows that doing some grassroots marketing has paid off for us really well.”