WICHITA — Rockers, athletes and partiers all hang out in and around Intrust Bank Arena, so why not geeks, too?
Jason Gregg is moving his Geek Shop from 1,500 square feet at 837 S. Poplar near Lincoln and Interstate 135 to almost 11,000 square feet at 214 S. Commerce just north of the arena.
“With the arena starting to stand on its feet now, the area could change,” Gregg says. “The area will change. … I see it right now as unrealized opportunities.”
He likes the growing residential component along with the increasing number of businesses. Gregg thinks his company could see a lot of new work from customers in the area who need technology repairs and support.
“Basically, we’re just a little bit of everything,” he says of what he offers.
In addition to repairing almost anything that takes batteries or plugs in an outlet, Gregg also plans a 1,000-square-foot gaming lounge in his new space and a 1,000-square-foot Internet cafe that also can be used for board games and card games.
“We’re really into gaming. We love technology,” Gregg says. He says he views it “as a passion, so this really isn’t just a job.”
The new repair area will grow by 400 percent, he says, and he expects to be able to handle about 50 repairs at once.
In the new store’s basement, Gregg says, he’ll be able to properly handle the disposal of chemicals and components from electronics.
“It has to be recycled responsibly,” he says. “We’re a green company. We like to reuse, repurpose. We like to utilize limited resources and be creative.”
Jameson Decker of Builders Inc. handled the deal for the space.
Gregg plans to move in early October, and he expects his new store to be a test of sorts by furthering research into technology, particularly as it relates to open-source applications, meaning any technology without a license. The idea, he says, is “people being able to share information as fast as light will travel.”
“It’s going to revolutionize hardware and software,” he says.
“We’re trying to form a community of like-minded geeks to help us develop these platforms even further,” Gregg says. “It only benefits mankind. This is all open source. We’re not after patents. We’re after advancement of knowledge. We do it every day. We’re just trying to help a little bit more. There’s a lot of technology that’s just not accessible to most of the world.”
With increasingly inexpensive access to more technology, he says, “We think the world would be a better place.”
That’s starting with the area around the arena.
“I believe at some point that will be developed even further,” Gregg says, “and that will be a destination area.”