“In 1935, it was built as a … 12-unit apartment complex,” Leon Moeder says of the building at 140 N. Hydraulic.
“It’s just an iconic structure in Wichita,” he says. “Everyone’s driven by it.”
It was converted to office space in the early 1980s. Moeder, his wife, Susan, and Raleigh and Rhandalee Hinman purchased it in March.
“We’ve converted six of the units back into four apartments,” Leon Moeder says. “They deserve to go back to the cool apartments they were.”
They’ve combined a couple of the spaces to make bigger apartments. There will be an open house there from 3 to 7 p.m. Wednesday.
The other spaces will remain offices, though they still need to be renovated.
“We’re going to finish this thing yet – someday,” Moeder says.
He says part of the attraction of remodeling the building is the central space, which he calls the core of the building, was empty. The remodeling could proceed without disruption.
“That falls into what we’ve been doing over here in the neighborhood,” Moeder says of refurbishing buildings.
The Moeders bought their first building in that area 15 years ago at 122 S. Hydraulic for their Stor-All business.
“We started because the property was cheap,” Leon Moeder says.
The Moeders just purchased their sixth building, a warehouse and office space at 156 S. Greenwood, on Saturday.
“We got very, very lucky with the first tenant we picked up,” Moeder says, referring to the Donut Whole. The Moeders also own that building with the Hinmans along with a duplex.
The Donut Whole “pretty much set the tone for most of what’s happened in the area,” Moeder says.
Douglas Avenue was part of the attraction, and now the Douglas Design District that’s grown around it is appealing, too.
“That’s a big deal to us,” Moeder says. “It’s nice to have an identifier overlay.”
What he’d really like is a name specifically for the buildings in the Douglas and Hydraulic area, though.
“We’ve tried that,” Moeder says. He says he hasn’t had any luck finding a name yet.
“Someone creative should come up with one.”