Daily Archives: Dec. 5, 2013

You don’t say

“It’s scary. It’s like caution, meet wind.”

Jared Estes on leaving a steady job at Hartman Arena to become a motivational speaker

McKenzie & Associates to open at Occidental Plaza

WICHITA — Marriage and family therapist Mac McKenzie has left the Parker Group at Occidental Plaza downtown, but he hasn’t gone far.

“I am branching out on my own,” McKenzie says.

His new practice, McKenzie & Associates, also will be at Occidental Plaza at Second and Main.

“It’s smack dab in the middle of town,” McKenzie says. “It’s nice to be kind of centrally located.”

McKenzie will treat any age patient. He’s a certified play therapist and specializes in trauma treatment.

Stephanie Wiens and Chad Stafford of Occidental Management handled the lease.

McKenzie says he likes Wichita history, and Occidental Plaza is a big part of that.

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Van Sickle debuts new apartment model, plans $700 million in development

Jason Van Sickle and his in-house architect, Renae Slusser, at the Chisholm Lake Apartments.

Jason Van Sickle and his in-house architect, Renae Slusser, at the Chisholm Lake Apartments.

WICHITA — Developer Jason Van Sickle is moving ahead with plans for more apartment communities now that his $20 million Chisholm Lake Apartments at K-96 and Oliver has opened, but his new apartments won’t be what he originally planned.

“My plan was to take that model – nicer, upscale apartments – and do them in other cities,” Van Sickle says. He says he “was successful at getting about a dozen projects in our pipeline.”

He was considering markets such as Tulsa and Kansas City.

“But I saw in these markets there was a flood of people coming in to do apartments,” he says.

As he started studying economic development, Van Sickle says he discovered a new opportunity.

“I realized small towns have a huge and desperate need … for housing, especially apartments,” Van Sickle says. “We’ve got nine cities where we’re really making a push.”

In Newton, Valley Center, Derby, Haysville, Rose Hill and Wellington, he’s working with landowners and is proceeding with financing and rezoning.

“We’re also working with the cities of Hutchinson, Bel Aire and El Dorado right now to do some site selection work.”

Van Sickle considered about 200 towns around the state then narrowed his list to 50.

“I just started picking up the phone and calling,” he says of city managers and others.

He now predicts that in the next five years, he and a variety of partners will do $700 million in apartment development in smaller communities.

“They desperately could benefit from our model,” Van Sickle says.

He says his model is different than other small-town apartment models.

“Low-income housing is what’s been built,” he says. “In the real estate development world, that’s been the game. … I didn’t want to do low-income housing,”

He says his J. Van Sickle & Co. – which a year ago was a one-man shop and now has 11 employees – spent a year and a quarter million dollars to develop a workable prototype for high-quality, market-rate apartments.

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