Category Archives: Apartments

Portofino Apartments to open at 127th and Central

WICHITA — There won’t be any fishing, but east Wichita soon will have Portofino Apartments, which share a name with a fishing village on the Italian Riviera.

Tulsa-based Case & Associates Properties is building the 278-unit complex with a “very Tuscan style” at the northwest corner of 127th and Central, according to president Scott Case.

He says there’s an investor in the complex who is “very much a wine connoisseur.”

“That’s kind of where it comes from,” Case says of the name.

Dirt work started in the last week or so.

The company has been in the market for more than a decade with the Remington Apartments and the first two phases of the Villas at Waterford.

“Actually, Wichita’s been a very good market for us,” Case says. “It’s just been a very stable market as far as occupancy.”

He says there was a fear it wouldn’t be.

“Originally, we were fearful of the aviation industry,” Case says.

“We thought that it might cause great fluctuation in occupancy and availability rates,” he says. “Whenever they talk about corporate aviation and kind of corporations tightening down on their spending, we always get a little bit nervous.”

The complex will be an equal mix of apartments with one and two bedrooms. Some will be in three-story buildings, but there will be some loft-style units in two-story buildings around the complex’s perimeter. Those will have six-bay garages.

“It creates a really nice buffer if we back up to any homes,” Case says.

Units range from 789 to 1,200 square feet. Prices range from about $799 to about $1,200 a month. There are no low-income units.

There will be a clubhouse with a fitness and business center. There’s also a resort-style pool with fountains, an outdoor social area with a fireplace, a dog park, two stainless steel grills and picnic tables and other grills scattered around the property.

“We’ve built this product about six different times,” Case says of similar complexes.

He says the numbers worked to do it in Wichita.

“We found a great site with great access to the highway system and right there on Central,” Case says. “We liked the site, and we like the city.”

10 Wichita apartments sell to two groups

WICHITA — Numerous Wichita apartments have recently changed hands.

First, Lew McGinnis, an Oklahoma businessman with a history of buying and selling apartment properties here and in his home state, has purchased six more in Wichita for a dozen total.

McGinnis didn’t return calls for comment, but someone in his office – who declined to give her full name – confirmed that he has purchased new properties here and is now managing them as well.

They include the 240-unit Barclay Square Apartments near Riverside Park; the 220-unit Cedarbrooke Apartments on East Harry just east of Rock Road; the 138-unit Eastborough Apartments on East Kellogg just west of Rock Road; the 196-unit Kingsborough Apartments near South Seneca and West 27th Street South; the 244-unit Rockborough Apartments near Douglas and Rock; and the 239-unit Woodgate Apartments on East 21st Street North between Oliver and Woodlawn.

There have been some maintenance issues at some of the complexes since McGinnis took over late last week.

“Yes, when we took over the management of the company, basically what had happened is there was a lot of work orders,” the McGinnis employee says.

Cedarbrooke resident Mary Bouray says her air conditioning was out for almost a week.

“They keep telling me they don’t have any maintenance people,” Bouray says.

The McGinnis employee says that’s being addressed.

“We have maintenance staff from our other Wichita properties so we’ve brought them in to help with the workload to make sure everything gets done quickly,” she says. “They’re going to be taking care of the work orders in the order that they were received.”

In other Wichita apartment news, business partners Rupan Dev and Anm Doza have purchased four apartment communities so far this year.

This month, they bought the 120-unit Elms Apartments, which is on East Harry between Hillside and Hydraulic

A couple of months before that, they bought the 79-unit Northtown Square Apartments at 21st and Waco.

This spring, they bought the 60-unit Biscayne Apartments on East Wassall just west of Hydraulic, and in the winter they purchased the 108-unit Bradford Glen Apartments on South Hydraulic between Kellogg and Lincoln.

Jeff Englert and Nathan Farha of NAI Martens handled the deals.

Dev says he’s been in the gas station business, but “the gas station is kind of a headache for us.”

He says real estate has more potential for cash flow down the road, so he’s interested in purchasing more apartments.

“Maybe one more this year and a few more next year.”

For now, though, Dev says he’ll concentrate on what he has.

“Right now, we’re remodeling all our rooms.”

That includes plans to take out old carpet, add flowers to landscaping and replace windows and gutters, among other things, Dev says.

“We’ll start very soon.”

DeBoer names his new apartments after neighboring WaterWalk development

WICHITA — The new apartments that Jack DeBoer is building on the west side of the river across from his WaterWalk development now have a name: WaterWalk Apartments.

It may seem like the obvious choice, but it wasn’t necessarily.

“We toyed with some other names,” DeBoer says. “We struggled with it.”

DeBoer says he doesn’t remember what the other names were but that it’s surprising how many conflicts there are with names.

“It’s amazing, you pick a name, and it sounds like a good idea.”

Then, he says, you might find that it’s already in use or has a connection somewhere else or a connotation that you don’t like.

“Vetting a name in business is not a simple task,” DeBoer says.

WaterWalk, in the end, made sense, he says.

“And frankly … I owned the name, and so I said, ‘Oh, OK.’ ”

Artist Central expands with residential living

WICHITA — Artist Central, the artist work space and gallery on Central just east of Oliver, is expanding again in a rather unusual way.

Clifton Square owner Jo Zakas, who started Artist Central in 2011, has purchased the two four-plex apartments next to the artist space and is going to expand her concept to include residential living for artists.

There are eight one-bedroom apartments, each of which is furnished and has a carport, that will lease for $375 a month.

“And they’re cute,” Zakas says.

Though she’s open to renting to anyone, Zakas says she especially hopes to attract artists of all kinds.

“Now they can have a place to paint, they can have a place to live, they can have a place to show, they can have a place to sell … all in that one little area.”

They can take classes, too, she says.

“We still are needing more artists, and we need more students for the classes,” Zakas says.

Artist Central has evolved beyond the vision she initially had for it.

“I was taking a class with a few other people, and we decided we needed a place to paint,” Zakas says. “The next thing we knew, we were doing Final Friday.”

Then the gallery and work space grew. Zakas says she thinks residential makes sense for the latest expansion.

“I just think it’s a smart move.”

Sunflower Development Group could start downtown apartment work by spring

Two of the three downtown apartment buildings a Kansas City company is looking to convert into affordable housing.

Two of the three downtown apartment buildings a Kansas City company is looking to convert into affordable housing.

WICHITA — Kansas City-based Sunflower Development Group still has plans to renovate historic apartments from the early 1900s across from WaterWalk, but the project probably won’t start until early spring.

“We’re going to close first quarter next year,” says Jason Swords. “It’s a deal that’s moving forward.”

His group is buying properties at 507 and 509 S. Market and 514 S. Main to redevelop them as affordable housing. The almost $6 million development will be a mix of studio apartments and one-bedroom units.

“The issue that we’ve had is tax credits have been harder to broker on the federal side than they used to be, and we expect that to ease up after the first of the year,” Swords says.

He says 90 percent of Sunflower’s work is with historic rehabilitation.

Swords is interested in Wichita for a number of reasons, including that his wife is from here.

“I’ve been to Wichita … a number of times,” he says. “It’s a quick run from Kansas City.”

Swords also likes the older buildings here.

“There’s a great building stock that needs to be redeveloped.”

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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New York’s Dermot Co. sues Wichita’s the Butler Group over roof repairs

WICHITA — A New York firm has filed a lawsuit against TB Enterprises of Wichita, which does business as the Butler Group, for what it says was improper installation of new roofs on apartment complexes it owns here.

Dermot Co. owns the Village Park apartment communities of Eastborough, Cedarbrooke, Rockborough and Woodgate. Wichita attorney Mitchell Herren says the company hired Butler to do roof work in 2009 and 2010 following hail damage.

“Basically, after the hail damage was fixed, it turned out a lot of the shingles had been falling off,” Herren says. “It appears that they were improperly installed.”

Butler founder and managing partner Adam McCollough didn’t return calls for comment.

“We are not sure yet, but it looks like the Butler might have used some subcontractors,” Herren says.

He says he’s not sure why, but “there was some kind of a communication breakdown there before I got involved.”

Herren says now Butler has a new attorney involved.

“Hopefully, we’ll be able to get some better negotiations going.”

Herren says having Butler make new repairs to the roofs could be an option for his clients.

“They’re open to different options,” he says. “Whatever gets the … roofs fixed the most quickly and the most efficient way.”

Victor Court partially returns to apartments

UPDATED — More than three decades after their conversion, some of the vintage Victor Court apartments are returning to their roots.

“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.”

 

Kansas City group to restore historic apartments near WaterWalk

Two of the three downtown apartment buildings a Kansas City company is looking to convert into affordable housing.

WICHITA — A Kansas City group is looking to renovate historic apartments from the early 1900s across from WaterWalk.

“We restore historic properties,” says Jason Swords of Sunflower Development Group.

His group has not yet purchased the properties, which are at 507 and 509 S. Market and 514 S. Main St.

“We’re going to convert the three buildings to affordable housing,” Swords says.

The almost $6 million development will be a mix of studio apartments and one-bedroom units.

Residents will have to meet salary requirements to qualify for the housing.

“We had to work with the people of WaterWalk and the surrounding neighbors,” Swords says.

Sunflower is seeking affordable housing and historic tax credits.

Swords says the city of Wichita has approved bonds for the project, but the state hasn’t allocated the money yet, so he doesn’t want to say too much about the project yet.

Look for more information in the coming weeks.

Vantage Point Properties to build SunStone Apartment Homes at Andover MarketPlace

WICHITA — Developer Paul Jackson is preparing to build the next phase of Andover MarketPlace, and it’s a sizable one.

It’s the SunStone Apartment Homes at 711 E. Cloud, which is south of Kellogg a half mile east of Andover Road.

“We’re building a 208-unit complex that’s market rate,” says Jackson, who is president of Vantage Point Properties.

That means there won’t be an affordable-housing component to the apartments.

Jackson initially purchased 80 acres east of Kellogg and Andover Road and then bought another 70.

“We’ve owned that land since around 2007 and have slowly developed it … in the most quality fashion that fits the community,” he says. “You know, that’s a big project for Andover.”

The MarketPlace is where there’s a Dillons Marketplace, the Andover YMCA and an elementary school, all of which have since purchased their land from him.

There’s also a strip center with several retail businesses in it along with an Arby’s restaurant.

Jackson says the highway exposure and convenience will be great for the apartments.

“Most importantly, we think it’s a very good use for the site that supports the other things around it.”

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