Category Archives: Leases

Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference office moves to Market Centre downtown

WICHITA — The Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference has a new home of its own instead of using a small space at the Southwestern College Adult Learning Center on North Ridge Road.

“We were tenant farmers in the back of their pasture,” says commissioner Scott Crawford.

The Conference, which represents 10 Kansas schools, now has 600 square feet at the Market Centre at 155 N. Market. It also has shared conference room space.

“It’s going to be exciting to bring the schools to my office for the first time,” Crawford says. “That’s a big deal to me.”

He needed the extra space in part to accommodate a new employee, Robert Brennecke, who is assistant commissioner for operations and sport communications.

“It was a one-man show, and now it’s a two-man show,” Crawford says. “We are working to . . . put a lot more visibility for the conference, for the 10 member schools.”

Patrick Ahern of Grubb & Ellis/Martens Commercial Group handled the deal for the new space.

“I actually have some elbow room,” Crawford says.

It’s not big enough to, say, throw a football or play basketball, but it’s not bad.

“We can play office basketball, but that’s not a varsity sport yet.”

Ciao Italian Kitchen to open in former Press space at the Waterfront

WICHITA — After almost 30 years of working in the restaurant business for others, Guillermo Perez-Munoz is opening his own place in the former Press space at the Waterfront.

“Why not?” he says, not allowing the previous failures of Piztros, Sabor and Press to deter him.

“We can analyze them — all of them,” Perez-Munoz says of why those businesses didn’t work.

The key, he says, is keeping his focus on food.

“In this area, it’s about families.”

So he’s opening Ciao Italian Kitchen, a 130-seat restaurant that will feature what Perez-Munoz calls the ultimate comfort food.

“We are an Italian kitchen first and foremost,” he says. “Every home is designed around the kitchen, so that’s what we’re doing.”

An extensive menu will include Italian favorites such as pizza, calzone and lasagna along with items such as surf-and-turf dishes.

Perez-Munoz isn’t planning any dishes from his native Puerto Rico, but he says as the business progresses he’ll probably “put some flare into it and bring some crazy pastas.”

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Models and Images to expand and move to East Central

WICHITA — Models and Images is moving to Plaza Del Sol at 6130 E. Central and expanding to 3,500 square feet.

“I didn’t particularly want more space,” says Maryann Van Sickle, who owns the 26-year-old business with Howard Sherwood.

She’s happy to have the extra room, though, for training and office space — not to mention an extended runway.

Models and Images is an agency that prepares some clients for professional modeling work with top-name designers and teaches others important lessons they can use throughout their lives.

“Just confidence and being able to get up and speak to people and just have that little extra edge of whatever it takes to go to college and have a career,” Van Sickle says.

The business currently is in 2,000 square feet at 434 N. Oliver. Van Sickle says Models and Images has been there for a decade, but she’s recently been renting month-to-month because she knew her neighbor, Sedgwick County, eventually would expand and take over her space as well.

“We had known the other shoe would drop for quite a while.”

That’s OK, she says, because the new space has room for four large offices and extra training space.

“It’s going to give us a lot more space to have separate teaching space for the males and females,” Van Sickle says.

There’s also room for a 36-foot practice runway.

Van Sickle says the business will move Sept. 14.

“It’ll be really nice.”

X-Press Signs & Graphics to move and triple its space as the company significantly grows

WICHITA — X-Press Signs & Graphics is moving and more than tripling its space in what is proving to be a stellar year for the 5-year-old company.

“It’s just continued to . . . grow and grow,” says Gregg Wright, who runs the business with his wife, Sandy, and son, Joe.

“We’ve continued to grow through the bad economy, even.”

That could be understating the situation.

“Our business in the first quarter of this year was triple what it was last year,” Wright says. “We actually exceeded last year’s sales just in the first quarter of this year.”

Currently the store, which sells all types of signs and graphics, is in 3,200 square feet at 219 N. West St.

A new 10,800-square-foot store at 3845 W. Harry will open Tuesday. It also has two large bays big enough for semis in addition to the main building.

Kris Wessel of Grubb & Ellis/Martens Commercial Group handled the deal.

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Jimmy’s Egg near 21st and Amidon closes; location near Office This to open soon

WICHITA — It turns out the new Jimmy’s Egg that’s going in front of Max Cole’s Office This development at 4031 E. Harry will replace the one just west of 21st and Amidon.

That Jimmy’s Egg is now closed.

Owner Wink Hartman Sr. says his management team “is going to take action to correct businesses that are not performing.”

“The concept is that we’re growing and reallocating our assets to more profitable areas and stores,” he says.

Hartman didn’t want to wait for the new Walmart Neighborhood Market to open at Marina Lakes on the southwest corner of the intersection and hope that his business increased.

“You cannot continually develop and plan your future around a Walmart,” Hartman says. “Yes, they drive traffic, but we have a breakfast concept, and it doesn’t really tie into being around a Walmart.”

The Jimmy’s Egg by Office This will open within 45 days.

Hartman has one more planned by the end of the year.

He’s close to a lease on the west side of College Hill and could have the restaurant open by Thanksgiving.

Look for more news on it soon.

Fashion Bar boutique to open at Brittany Center at 21st and Woodlawn

WICHITA — Dana Miller is opening a bar in Brittany Center at 21st and Woodlawn, but it won’t serve drinks.

“It’s going to be a buy-sell-trade boutique,” Miller says of her new Fashion Bar. “I’m going to pay cash on the spot.”

Unlike what she calls more mature consignment shops, Miller hopes to appeal to a younger crowd with clothing, accessories and handbags.

“My primary market is women 21 to 45,” she says.

The store will “have some weekend clothes and casual clothes, but my focus is really going to be on young professionals.”

Her slogan is “fashion recycled.” Miller says her goal is “keeping extra clothes out of the landfills.”

Miller says she’ll pay up to 40 percent of her selling price to customers who bring in merchandise. Or they can earn more in trade.

She’ll pay more for handbags, too, which will be something of a specialty in the shop.

Miller plans a Sept. 30 drawing for a $300 Coach bag.

Instead of liquor bottles and wine glasses on the store’s built-in bar, Miller plans to feature handbags along with jewelry.

The store opens Sept. 10.

Extremo Vino liquor store to open at the Collective at 21st Street and K-96

UPDATED — Computer programmer David Keeton discovered a love of wine three years ago and now wants to combine it with his longtime passion for technology.

Keeton is one of the founders of Callcap, a 10-year-old Wichita company that helps businesses track and analyze customer calls.

Now, he’s opening Extremo Vino, a liquor store at the Collective, which is J.V. Johnston’s development at 21st Street and K-96.

“Basically, it was born out of my own frustration,” Keeton says.

He’s developed software to help customers keep track of wines they’ve enjoyed and then offer recommendations based on those.

“I never could remember what wines I liked and what wines I didn’t like.”

With his system, customers can track the wines they like with his software on their home computers or use the system in the store with a key chain bar code tag.

Keeton also plans iPhone and iPad apps.

Based on what customers enter, he says, “Then we can make some suggestions about what else (they) might like in the store.”

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Massage Junkie owners face lawsuit; former customers have outlet for gift certificates and packages

WICHITA — When Massage Junkie co-owner Heather McKendry changed store sites earlier this year, she didn’t return inquiries to discuss it.

Nor is she talking now that her store is closed and she is facing a lawsuit from her former landlord at Douglas and Rock Road.

A number of past Massage Junkie customers are wondering what happened and whether they can be reimbursed for gift certificates and packages they purchased.

“We’re chasing them just like everybody else,” says Jim McIntyre, the lawyer for Jehan Family Investments, which leased space to Massage Junkie at the family’s center on the northeast corner of Douglas and Rock Road.

“They just packed their bags in February and moved out of my clients’ . . . retail space,” McIntyre says.

The group filed a lawsuit for $29,000, which includes $21,000 for what the suit says is unpaid rent and $8,000 for reduced rent through the end of the lease in October 2012.

Smoothie King is now in that space at a reduced rent, which is why the landlord is willing to deduct from the full amount of the Massage Junkie lease, McIntyre says.

Massage Junkie briefly moved to 9390 E. Central earlier this year and opened for only a brief time before closing without notice.

“They’ve abandoned that location owing rent there,” McIntyre says.

He says that business was conducted under the name Massage Junkies.

“They set up two companies with one letter difference between them to confuse their creditors,” McIntyre says.

“I, quite frankly, don’t expect a good resolution on this one.”

There is, though, a resolution for Massage Junkie customers who still have gift certificates and packages that they purchased.

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Observant readers ask some smart questions about area properties

WICHITA — Observant readers have noticed some activity at a couple of vacant buildings and are wondering what’s up.

Sadly, not much.

There was a promising-looking construction trailer in front of the former Rose Bowl West at 520 N. West St. recently, but a deal for a new tenant fell through.

On the east side, there’s been some activity at the former Sportsman’s Warehouse building at One Kellogg Place.

There’s a Halloween shop that will be opening there, but only temporarily.

Another reader was doing some checking into Chick-fil-A and whether it really is bringing a freestanding restaurant to Central and Rock in addition to the small Chick-fil-A at Wichita State University.

Chick-fil-A has confirmed it for Have You Heard?, as have the property owners, but apparently no one has told the customer service folks at the restaurant chain.

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Wasabi Japanese Restaurant owner to open similar concept in former Bossa Grill space

WICHITA — Wasabi Japanese Restaurant owner Eun Young still has plans for an east-side restaurant, but they’ve changed slightly.

Young, whose first Wasabi is at 912 E. Douglas in Old Town, signed a deal this spring to open a similarly named restaurant in the 1,782-square-foot former Froz space at 3242 N. Rock.

After striking that deal with Occidental Management, Young learned of another nearby Occidental space that became available.

Now, he’s worked out a deal to take that 3,200-square-foot space where Bossa Grill used to be.

“He wanted the bigger space and obviously liked that it was already built out for a restaurant,” says Occidental president Chad Stafford.

He handled the lease with Occidental’s Bree Kelley.

Stafford also sold Young the restaurant equipment in the building.

Young is tweaking his Wasabi concept.

“I am going to try to be kind of a little bit . . . upscale,” he says.

The name will still be Wasabi, but it will be spelled differently. Young hasn’t decided how yet.

He likes the expanded space because it will allow him to do booths.

“I can make it more private.”

Young hopes to open in about two months.

Stafford is now working on finding a new tenant for the former Froz space.

“We’ve got several interested parties right now.”