Monthly Archives: October 2011

You don’t say

“The legislators, they’re like, ‘Send me to the orthodontist first,’ or, ‘Send me to the dentist without any painkillers.’ ”

— Gov. Sam Brownback, speaking Friday at a Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce forum about the enthusiasm of Kansas legislators for the upcoming debate on school finance reform

Foley Equipment to buy Kansas City, Mo.-based Dean Machinery

UPDATED — Foley Equipment is expanding again, this time to another state.

The company is purchasing Dean Machinery of Kansas City, Mo. The deal is expected to close in January.

“We’re very excited about it,” says Foley Equipment president Ann Konecny. “I think we’ve said that about 100 times, but we are.”

Sean Buchanan, Foley Equipment’s marketing manager, says the acquisition will give the company an additional five counties of operation in Kansas for a total of 104 out of 105 counties. The company, which is making its first foray outside of Kansas, also will now have 40 counties in Missouri.

Foley Equipment, which sells and leases Caterpillar equipment as well as a few other brands, currently has 15 locations across the state.

The company has 531 employees. Dean Machinery has 315. Buchanan can’t say how those positions may be affected.

“At this point, not all those details are worked out,” he says. “We’ve got due diligence that we’ve got to do.”

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“After 25 years of doing afternoon drive, it took them about two minutes to send me out the door.”

— Rockin’ Rick Regan who, along with a few other Clear Channel Radio co-workers, lost his job at KZSN-FM, 102.1, Tuesday (reach Regan at

Beautiful Day Market & Cafe still in the works

WICHITA — Charolett Knapic is still planning her Beautiful Day Market & Cafe downtown, but it won’t open in November as she first hoped it would.

Like most projects — retail or restaurants — everything is taking longer than expected and will cost much more than first estimates.

“We really haven’t moved forward much,” she says. “It seems like the wheels turn slowly.”

That’s not deterring Knapic, though.

“We’re going to have to revamp our thinking,” she says. That includes a new plan to “do things in a less expensive way.”

Knapic, who owns Echo Landscapes, plans to open in 6,000 square feet downtown but isn’t saying where until details are closer to being finalized.

We’ll keep you posted.

Southeast corner of Central and Oliver ready for development, including a restaurant

WICHITA — It’s been a long time coming, but developer Christian Ablah has acquired an entire city block on the south side of Central near Oliver and is preparing the property for development.

“I’m just basically preparing this for future development,” says Ablah, a broker with his family’s Classic Real Estate.

“I’m just trying to clean up the area,” he says. “The project’s taken a lot longer than I thought it ever would.”

Ablah is close to a deal with a restaurant that would go in the former Dillons store on the southeast corner of the intersection.

There’s talk that it could be a certain Mexican restaurant looking to expand.

“I can’t do the guessing game, but I can tell you it is a sit-down restaurant,” Ablah says.

Part of his demolition of nearby duplexes, triplexes and fourplexes is to make room for parking for the restaurant.

“All the demolition will be complete in a couple of weeks,” Ablah says.

He says any new development will complement what Nathan Toubia is doing with his Bocconcini Italian Eatery next to the former Dillons.

Ablah hopes to close on the restaurant deal in a couple of weeks, but he’s working on other leases as well.

“There’s a lot of demand right now for office — large office space — as well as retail,” Ablah says.

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Carter’s children’s shop to open at NewMarket Square at 21st and Maize

UPDATED — Carter’s is the newest retailer coming to the growing NewMarket Square at 21st and Maize.

The shop, which specializes in infant, toddler and children’s clothing, has signed a lease for 4,000 square feet next to Christopher & Banks. That’s in the area where Lane Bryant, Kirkland’s and Pier 1 Imports have recently opened.

“There’s a lot of foot traffic over there,” says April Reed, who handled the deal for the Slawson Cos. development.

There’s 4,000 square feet left to lease in the building where Carter’s will open in February.

Reed says the remaining space can be divided for two tenants. She says she thinks it makes sense for another junior apparel store or similar retailer to go there, especially since the Children’s Place and Rue 21 are nearby.

“They tend to like to cluster together.”

There’s another 3,000 square feet available next to Rue 21.

Reed is confident in the area and how it’s doing so far.

“The stores that have opened, they’re just doing phenomenal,” she says. “The center is just that much more walkable, shoppable. We’ve got just about everything a girl or guy could want.”

Or, in Carter’s case, someone much smaller.

You don’t say

“I’m glad to be out of the construction business and back in the baking business.”

Tim Heeren, whose expanded Great Harvest Bread opened Tuesday in its new space at 533 N. Woodlawn

Cheap-O Depot to expand to former Osco space at Westway Shopping Center

WICHITA — Despite misperceptions about their store, Ron and Ellen Bailey’s Cheap-O Depot is doing well enough to expand.

The Baileys are moving from 2,100 square feet at 2425 W. Maple in Delano to more than 6,000 square feet in the former Osco space at the Westway Shopping Center at Pawnee and Seneca.

They’ll also have several thousand square feet for storage. Currently, they have to a rent a warehouse.

“The thing about this (new) space is we’re only using half of it, so we can expand if we need to,” Ron Bailey says.

The Baileys opened their store in June 2010. They have added a partner, Rusty Gear, since then.

They buy new items from other stores at liquidation sales.

“People would be surprised at the quality of products that we have,” Ron Bailey says. “A lot of people think we’re a thrift store. We’re really not a thrift store.”

Cheap-O Depot sells a range of products, including tools, toys, kitchen appliances, bedding and sporting goods.

“We’ve got a lot of product at half the price of what they’d pay in the store.”

Eustaquio Abay II files a lawsuit against Abay Neuroscience Center, the practice he founded and named for his parents

Eustaquio Abay II in a 2008 file photo.

UPDATED — Physician Eustaquio Abay II has filed a lawsuit against Abay Neuroscience Center, the practice he founded in 1986 and renamed in 1996 in honor of his parents.

“Dr. Abay built the practice, but the other members forced him out by reducing his compensation wrongfully,” says Abay’s attorney, Jay Fowler of Foulston Siefkin.

“The practical effect is the other physicians made a lot more money, and Dr. Abay made next to nothing.”

Abay, who filed his lawsuit in Sedgwick County District Court last week, left the practice to start a new one in June.

“We did not force him out of the practice,” says Jeff Spahn, a Martin Pringle attorney representing the remaining partners at Abay Neuroscience Center.

“That was his decision to leave the practice.”

Spahn says Abay was paid what he was owed.

“I don’t know what Jay’s definition of nothing is, but he was paid a significant amount of money, and Jay knows better than that,” Spahn says. “At least I would regard it as a significant amount of money.”

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You don’t say

“Selling food to restaurants is a lot better than working at restaurants.”

Jon Suddeth, who is in sales for Ben E. Keith after a long career of managing places such as Gobi Grille and Heroes Sports Bar and Grill