Daily Archives: Aug. 28, 2013

Echo Hills developer Mike Loveland tells Park City chamber he’ll have “something of significance” to announce soon

WICHITA — Mike Loveland is quiet to the point of silent about his deals, and it wasn’t much different Wednesday when he agreed to speak to the Park City Chamber of Commerce about his Echo Hills project.

“You said a whole bunch of stuff without saying anything,” one attendee said to Loveland on his way out the door.

Loveland did share one little-known detail about the 80-acre project northwest of Interstate 135 and 53rd Street North in Park City.

“I was looking for a site for a nighttime golf course,” he said of how he first started looking at the land around 2000.

He said it then occurred to him what an incredible retail site it would make. Loveland says it took a while, but he closed on the land in 2010, which he says wasn’t a great time to start attracting interest.

“I wish I could have made it go faster,” he said.

“In ’12 they started talking again,” he said of potential retail tenants.

Loveland said he’d been close to a big deal for an anchor tenant.

“I‘m not saying who it was,” he said. But he added that “Cabela’s beat ’em to the punch” when it announced it would open at Regency Lakes in Wichita.

Loveland said he’s now close on another possible anchor tenant, which he thinks he has an almost 90 percent chance of landing, along with another one that he thinks is a 50-50 chance.

“Those anchors have such an effect,” he said of attracting smaller tenants.

He expects to announce “something of significance” within a month.

“We’re really close. I wish I could tell you who they are.”

Loveland said attracting major retailers to that area is a battle similar to what Derby once faced.

“You had to beg people to come down to Derby, Kansas,” he said.

That, of course, changed in a big way with retailers such as Lowe’s, Target and Kohl’s opening there.

“That’s what I’m in hopes of here in Echo Hills,” Loveland said.

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You don’t say

“We know you’re a Democrat.”

– Park City administrator Jack Whitson, teasing the city’s chamber president, registered Republican Dean Frankenbery, about a misprint that said Rep. Mike Pompom, not Pompeo, would be the group’s next speaker

New Midwest Kia site grows by 2 1/2 acres

WICHITA — Les Eck is already needing a little extra space for his Midwest Kia, which he moved to 4.5 acres at Kellogg and Tyler earlier this month.

“We had about two and a half acres to the east that we were going to keep open,” Eck says.

He says he thought he could one day use the land for another franchise, such as an Audi or Land Rover dealership.

Now, though, he’s refinishing the surface of the extra acres – partly in concrete and partly in gravel – because he needs the extra parking.

Eck says when he bought the Kia franchise from Steven Auto Group last year, the dealership had been selling about 25 or 30 Kias a month.

“That’s why they sold it.”

Eck says over time, he quadrupled those sales, and now it appears the new site will allow him to double his best numbers.

“We started doing even better.”

Eck says the extra space will allow him to hold events as well.

He’s still keeping his eye out for another franchise. If it’s small enough, he could possibly put it next to the Kia dealership. Most likely, he’d need new space, though.

“I’m always interested in something if it’s out there.”

Cato apparel and accessory shop to open in Wichita and have as many as three stores

WICHITA — Cato, an apparel and accessory shop for women and girls, is coming to Wichita with what looks like will be three stores.

So far, the North Carolina-based chain is confirming only one Cato, which is going in the former Senor Tequila space at Pawnee and Broadway.

There currently are Catos in Derby, Newton and El Dorado.

The Pawnee and Broadway Cato, which will open in November, will be Wichita’s first. Leisa Lowry and Cristi Howell of J.P. Weigand & Sons handled the deal.

Cato Corp. also owns Versona Accessories, which opened in this spring at Bradley Fair.