J.R. Koontz puts his building on the market

koontztwoWICHITA — A couple of days after celebrating his 40th year in business, J.R. Koontz has put his building – not his J.R. Koontz Flowers – up for sale.

“I’m downsizing,” Koontz says.

“It’s been an increasing struggle for us as well as other businesses.”

Koontz bought the 10,000-square-foot building at 633 N. Broadway in 2003. The building was built as a house and eventually became a funeral home.

He says it’s a “fabulous” space but that he wants “to get out from underneath this.”

Koontz adds that he wants “someone to love it as much as we do because it’s a great facility.”

He says after selling the building, he’ll take care of debts and relocate.

“I have an idea where I’d like to go.”

Koontz isn’t saying where yet, but it sounds like for the first time, he may move the store out of downtown.

“This is the sad part,” he says. “I love downtown, but you either go far east or far west. That’s where the money is.”

Koontz says his store is unique in a few ways.

“I’m a dinosaur,” he says. “The big retail stores are gone. … How many family stores do we have left? The family owned businesses are going to be gone if we’re not careful.”

Koontz thinks his work stands out as well.

“A lot of our work is pretty highly recognizable,” he says. “That’s what’s kept me in business. … Why buy a carbon copy of something when you can get the original at the same price?”

Still, he says, his current model isn’t working.

“What we want to do is have a tighter control of our expenses,” Koontz says. “I’m not willing to quit. … It’s not part of my nature.”

koontzThe building is listed for $425,000 with John T. Arnold Associates.

“It’s a good bargain,” Koontz says. “I’m telling you.”