Monthly Archives: February 2013

You don’t say

“If it was any kind of confusion, they would have never gave us that name.”

David Foster, who says he wouldn’t have been able to get a permit for his new Waterfront Cafe and Catering near I-235 and Seneca if it would be confused with the Waterfront development at 13th and Webb Road

Tony Utter surprises fellow brokers as the Wichita Executive Centre’s new listing agent

Other brokers may question what he’s doing, but Tony Utter is confident in the future of the Wichita Executive Centre.

UPDATED — Some of Tony Utter’s fellow commercial brokers have had a recurring question for him since learning he’s taken over the listing for Real Development’s Wichita Executive Centre.

“Basically, was I out of my mind?”

Utter, who owns Utter Commercial Real Estate, acknowledges financial and other issues the Minnesota Guys and the building at 125 N. Market have faced in recent years.

“It’s been a topic of conversation quite a bit lately,” he says.

Calvin Klaassen, who works with Utter, will be helping him with the leasing.

“We did a lot of research before we agreed to it,” Utter says. “It was only after we were satisfied and reached … a high comfort level that we agreed to do this.”

Maintenance and other issues at the building aren’t all that had Utter concerned.

“We wanted to be very careful, very cautious before we agreed to take on a building of this size,” he says.

The 19-story, more than 300,000-square-foot building has about 80,000 vacant square feet of office space and about 100,000 vacant square feet of former hotel space. Utter says it’s the second-tallest office building in the state next to the neighboring Epic Center.

“This is the most complicated office building that I’ve ever been involved with,” Utter says. “It has a long history in Wichita.”

He’s had some history there already himself.

Utter was the leasing agent for the building for eight months before Real Development purchased it in 2007.

“So I’m back,” he says.

There are a few reasons Utter agreed to get involved.

No. 1, he is confident that his firm and any vendors will get paid.

“The good thing is that the lender is heavily involved,” Utter says of Security National Capital of Salt Lake City.

“We’re expecting a lot of assistance from other real estate brokers, and they want assurances that they’re going to be paid,” Utter says. “We depend heavily on working with other brokers. We consider them as part of our team.”

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You don’t say

“The national media contends, and I agree, that the local media …would be more starstruck.”

KAKE, Channel 10’s Susan Peters on how members of the national media have congratulated her for not being starstruck and instead asking a hard-hitting aviation question when she recently interviewed President Obama

 

Table Guys and Chocolate Fountain Event Rentals consolidate in new Delano space

WICHITA — The party is moving to Delano – literally and figuratively.

Kimberly and Scott Daley are consolidating their Table Guys and Chocolate Fountain Event Rentals under one roof at the northeast corner of Douglas and Osage. For the first time, they’ll also offer their own party space for customers to use.

“We have all of the equipment to have a really great party, and now we’ll have some space in our own place to have one,” Kimberly Daley says.

The Daleys started their rental business with garage sale rental supplies, which they keep in a Derby warehouse, in April 2011. In 2012, they added table and chair rentals and then purchased the fountain business in August.

With the fountain purchase, they took over the business’ 900 square feet at 5424 E. Central.

“It’s just not very effective for us right now,” Kimberly Daley says of the “very small” space.

“Our showroom right now is extremely small.”

The new space is 4,400 square feet.

“We so need it,” Daley says. “Just the showroom alone … is bigger than our entire store here.”

Currently, the showroom includes fountains, tables, chairs, chair covers, linens, wedding centerpieces and garage sale rental items.

“Definitely we’ll have the room to expand on our wedding and party rental items,” Daley says.

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Cathy’s Westway Cafe owner Cathy Hetterscheidt to reopen the Breakfast Club

WICHITA — Cathy’s Westway Cafe owner Cathy Hetterscheidt is reopening the Breakfast Club next month.

“I love this,” she says of running restaurants. “My customers are like family. It’s just fun.”

The Breakfast Club, which was at the southeast corner of McCormick and Seneca, closed several months ago.

Hetterscheidt, whose other cafe is near Pawnee and Seneca, has been working with Breakfast Club landlord Craig Gabel to reopen it.

“He’s kind of mentored me through everything,” she says. “I thought I knew everything when I opened the first one.”

Hetterscheidt’s first restaurant was Cathy’s Diner at Kellogg and Market where the Doo Dah Diner is now.

“I’d waited tables for years and kind of thought I was smart about everything,” she says.

Her current cafe has been open since August. Hetterscheidt says business is “really, really, really good.”

At the Breakfast Club, she’ll serve breakfast food and home-style meals from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday and be open 24 hours a day on Friday and Saturday. Sunday, the restaurant will close at 2 p.m.

Hetterscheidt says to look for the Breakfast club to open by the third week of March.

State forces Kan-Am Products to move; company also likely to expand into roofing

WICHITA — Terry Donovan is planning to move and expand his Kan-Am Products, but only one of those decisions is his choice.

The business is moving from 1323 S. Bebe to 1830 W. Harry, which is between Seneca and Meridian, because the state is buying his property for road work.

“The overpass here at 235 and 54 is going to go over the back part of my building,” Donovan says.

“They were fair on the property,” he says, but he adds, “You never recoup everything.”

Nor does he like to move.

“I hate it,” Donovan says. “It’s never fun.”

His company, which he started in 1988, is a wholesale distributor of vinyl siding, vinyl, wood windows and decking.

Donovan’s existing building is about 17,000 square feet on about half an acre. The new space is about the same size but spread over a couple of buildings on about three acres.

He says he needs the extra space because he’s most likely expanding his business to include roofing materials.

“It takes a lot of room to bring roofing in,” Donovan says.

He thinks diversifying with roofing can help the business.

“We just think to go forward we need that to make it viable.”

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Shorty Small’s working with diner’s club members on charges for closed restaurant

WICHITA — When Shorty Small’s closed over the weekend, management sent an e-mail to members of its diners club to address what would happen with the monthly charges they’re assessed to get discount meals.

For instance, one diner just purchased a membership Feb. 23, the day before the west-side business closed.

Shorty’s president Paul Kreth says he’s reimbursing diners if they recently paid their membership fees.

“We went back and made sure they weren’t being charged again going forward,” he says. “The intent’s to make sure to take care of them.”

Members with questions or concerns can e-mail management at ownersclub@shortysmalls.com or call 888-419-6754 and press 1 for help.

“Overwhelmingly, the majority of calls … we are getting are people that are sad that we left,” Kreth says.

“It’s with regret and sadness that we actually had to leave Wichita,” he says. “We want to make sure that everybody gets taken care of and that there are no hard feelings.”

You don’t say

“I was praying for a snow day, and the manager outprayed me.”

– Mayor Carl Brewer on the Wichita City Council having to meet Feb. 26

Reverie Coffee Roasters to open near College Hill in April

WICHITA — There soon will be a new business to toast along Douglas Avenue not far from College Hill.

Reverie Coffee Roasters is opening at 2611 E. Douglas, which is a couple of blocks east of Grove, in April.

“Our entire retail space … is going to be dedicated to teaching people about the process from when it leaves the farm to when it gets to your cup,” says Andrew Gough, who is opening the business with Rebecca McNelly.

“There’s a huge market for it here,” McNelly says of coffee and everything associated with it.

“We’re focusing on artisan gourmet coffee,” she says.

Gough says it will be fair trade, single-origin coffee that shoppers can trace back to which farmer grew it and even on what plot of land.

“It’s just like wine,” he says.

Gough says the emphasis will be on quality and freshness.

“Everything you buy is going to be freshly roasted, generally within a day or so of when you purchase (it),” he says. “One of the unique things that we’re going to be doing is we are going … to be allowing people to try to create their own blend of coffee.”

He says Reverie will keep customers’ coffee blends on file.

“We’ll help people create their own profiles if they want it,” he says. “We’re going to encourage people to play with the blends a little bit.”

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McDonald’s by 13th and Woodlawn to close

UPDATED — As aging McDonald’s sites around the city are torn down and rebuilt in the chain’s latest style, there’s one that will be torn down and not rebuilt at the same spot.

The McDonald’s on Woodlawn just south of 13th Street, which has been there for 40 years, will close late next month.

“In the short term, yes, unfortunately, we’re closing at that location,” says Dale Carter, who owns the restaurant with his wife, Vicki.

He says the lot isn’t big enough to handle the new McDonald’s model or he would rebuild there.

“I would love to, yes,” Carter says. “We’ve watched our kids and a heck of a lot of other kids grow up visiting that McDonald’s.”

The Carters own five of the city’s couple of dozen McDonald’s restaurants.

Carter says brokers have been looking for a new site for him.

“We just haven’t been able to find a suitable location,” he says. “Ultimately, it’s McDonald’s decision. At this point, McDonald’s is not comfortable that they have the right spot.”

The Carters have owned the Woodlawn McDonald’s since 1997. It will close after business on March 26.

“Personally, it’s very tough for us to do,” Carter says. “We will miss being there.”