WICHITA — Developer Robert Eyster has purchased another downtown property, but he and business partner Michael Ramsey don’t have big redevelopment plans for this one.
Eyster purchased the Stewart’s Jewelry building at 415 E. Douglas.
“We bought that building because it was the … remaining property that was in the Esther Moses portfolio,” Ramsey says.
Eyster already purchased the late Esther and Herbert Moses‘ former Zelman’s clothing store space at Douglas and St. Francis, which he and Ramsey redeveloped for residential and commercial use.
David Stewart’s jewelry store will remain where it is.
“I’ve been here 31 years,” Stewart says.
At one time, he’d hoped to buy the building.
“In their family, pretty much once you buy property, it stays in the family,” he says of how the Moses family operated.
The couple had planned for their son, David Moses, to use the 415 E. Douglas property for his law practice when he got out of school.
Instead, Moses, now with Case, Moses, Zimmerman & Martin, went to work for Vern Miller in the district attorney’s office.
Stewart says since he’s now nearing retirement age, he no longer is interested in purchasing the building.
Ramsey says he’s thrilled to have Stewart as a tenant.
“He just kind of takes care of the building like it’s his own,” he says.
Stewart, whom Moses calls a good friend and a longtime loyal tenant, was a factor in the sale.
“Dave Stewart was very loyal to my parents, and we wanted to make sure that whatever happened to the property … considered him.”
Moses was happy to sell to Eyster.
“We knew that Dr. Eyster and Mike were committed to downtown,” Moses says.
“It’s great that there’s somebody local that has made a commitment to downtown and followed through with it.”