Category Archives: Maize

MOXI Junction uses Kickstarter for final financial push before opening in Maize

WICHITA — The new Maize coffeehouse MOXI Junction has a building now, but its kitchen is empty, so Joanna Kilgore has begun a Kickstarter campaign to finance it.

“We were doing really well, and then my funding collapsed,” she says. “I had a verbal, ‘Yes,’ that turned into a, ‘No.’”

In October, Have You Heard? reported that Kilgore and some Maize-area friends, including two other mothers of special-needs children, are opening the business as a place for their kids to work. The coffeehouse also will have a bakery and art gallery.

MOXI, which stands for Mothers of Exceptional Individuals, will be at the northwest corner of Park and Central in Maize.

“I’m paying for 99 percent myself,” Kilgore says.

She says a farm bank has been helping her.

“They would much rather give to farms than speciality coffee. It makes more sense to them.”

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Optometric Billing Solutions to quadruple its space with new Maize building

UPDATED — Less than a decade after starting Optometric Billing Solutions in a home basement, sisters Branda Barton and Brooke Armstrong are making their third move to a new building.

At 21,000 square feet, this one should last a while. The sisters are in negotiations to buy the former SecureNet building at 10501 W. Hampton Lakes in Maize.

Though they say the space is nice and that the $1.6 million in industrial revenue bonds the city is giving them in the next three years will be helpful, Armstrong says they would have had the same things in Wichita.

“To be honest, it really was the city of Maize,” she says of the decision to locate there.

“The sense of community in that place was amazing,” Armstrong says. “Branda and I … really left there with the sense and impression of community and values. Their whole culture just seemed really in line with what we value as a corporation.”

City Administrator Richard LaMunyon says the city felt the same about them.

“We just really kind of hit it off,” he says. “They were just excited about their business. You could tell that they were professional in what they were doing.”

He says that’s important because the company will be one of the larger private ones in Maize, and he expects it to be there for some time to come.

“It has great potential for growth.”

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You don’t say

“You would have to work pretty hard to convince me of that.”

– Rep. Mike Pompeo, who visited a Maize Elementary School third grade class Thursday and asked for ideas for new laws, which prompted one student to say, “No ice cream!”

MOXI Junction coffeehouse to open in Maize

WICHITA — About a dozen years ago, three Maize-area mothers with special needs kids started getting together to “laugh about and cry about” their problems, says Joanna Kilgore – one of those moms.

She says they got “used to having awesome support and awesome jobs” for their kids through the Maize school district.

Now that their children are grown, though, they’re having a harder time finding work. So the moms, Scarlett Tully and Pat Leon, along with a fourth friend, Kate Scheer, are opening a coffeehouse as a place for their kids to work.

“We started off thinking we were just going to have a simple coffee shop,” Kilgore says.

The concept has grown to include a bakery and an art gallery at the northwest corner of Park and Central in Maize.

LewJene Schneider of J.P. Weigand & Sons handled the deal.

Each mother is bringing a different talent to the business, which they’re calling MOXI Junction. MOXI stands for Mothers of Exceptional Individuals.

“It was a coming together of ideas and hopes and dreams, so that’s how we got ‘Junction,’” Kilgore says.

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Knolla’s Pizza Maize to open this fall

WICHITA — Several years after first considering a restaurant in Maize, pizza proprietors Dan and Ruth Knolla are opening a restaurant there.

“Over the last few years, it’s been built up quite a bit,” Dan Knolla says of the area. “There’s quite a bit … more traffic.”

Their Knolla’s Pizza Maize will open in late October or early November in the Hampton Lakes Retail Center at 4041 N. Maize Road.

The Knollas already have Knolla’s Pizza Cafe on West Central between Ridge Road and Tyler. Other relatives own other Knolla’s restaurants.

Several Knolla children now work for their parents’ business, and that’s the Knollas’ inspiration for a second restaurant.

Dan Knolla says he hopes to attract potential diners from the NewMarket Square and Lowe’s area closer to 21st and Maize Road.

“There’s so much that’s been built there in the last few years.”

Knolla’s will be on the south end of the 11,500-square-foot center, which Dan Knolla says has a tower on it.

“It’s a nice little design.”

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LewJene Schneider files appeal on theft and criminal damages conviction

WICHITA — Watercress developer and lawyer LewJene Schneider has filed an appeal of her conviction last month in Maize Municipal Court on theft and criminal damage charges.

The charges stemmed from a long-running dispute that Schneider has with Fiddler’s Cove developer Bob Scott over real estate signs.

“She has requested a jury trial,” says lawyer Jess Hoeme, who is representing Schneider along with Steve Joseph.

A trial is scheduled for Oct. 9.

Watercress developer LewJene Schneider convicted of theft and criminal damage

WICHITA — Watercress developer and lawyer LewJene Schneider was convicted of theft and criminal damage in Maize Municipal Court on Wednesday.

The charges stem from a long-running dispute that Schneider has with Fiddler’s Cove developer Bob Scott over real estate signs.

In February, Scott told Have You Heard? that he placed directional signs on city property by the Watercress development near 37th and Maize Road in order to help people find Fiddler’s Cove, which is accessible only through Watercress.

Scott says he complained to police when the signs began disappearing and eventually started calling daily to complain. Finally, he says, police used a surveillance camera in September to figure out that Schneider took the signs.

Lawyer Jess Hoeme, who is representing Schneider along with Steve Joseph, says his client contacted the city of Maize several times regarding the signs, which he says Scott placed illegally.

“No one from the city of Maize ever removed them,” Hoeme says.

“Bob Scott, the victim, admitted that he did not have permission to put those signs on Watercress property, nor did he have permission to put them on city property,” Hoeme says. “He just did it.”

Scott says it was “common practice” for people to put up signs without permission.

“Doesn’t make it right, but everyone was doing it – primarily LewJene,” he says.

Hoeme says the judge didn’t rule on whether Scott placed the signs legally or not. He only ruled on Schneider removing them.

“The judge doesn’t believe that even if those signs were unlawfully placed on her property that she had the right to remove them,” Hoeme says.

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O’Reilly Auto Parts working on new site along Maize Road

WICHITA — O’Reilly Auto Parts is working on another new Wichita-area site.

“That’s going to put us at … 14 locations,” district manager Cody Zimmerman says of the greater Wichita area.

He can’t yet say exactly where the new location will be, though. Sources say it’ll be in the 37th North and Maize Road area.

“I know we’ve been hunting property up there,” Zimmerman says.

He says the company has eyed several sites along Maize Road between 29th North and K-96. The site may locate just off of Maize Road.

“It’s going to be seen visibly from Maize for sure,” Zimmerman says.

Last year, O’Reilly opened 170 new sites nationwide.

“This year, we’re looking at 180,” Zimmerman says. “We’re very active as a company.”

He says he’ll let us know when there’s a done deal here.


Watercress developer faces charges in dispute with Fiddler’s Cove developer

WICHITA — A dispute between two Maize developers has escalated to charges being filed against one of them.

Watercress developer and lawyer LewJene Schneider has an April 4 court date over charges that were filed in September.

Neither Schneider nor her lawyer will comment on the situation because of her pending court date.

Schneider faces misdemeanor theft and damage of property charges in Maize Municipal Court for allegedly taking a competitor’s signs from city property near her development.

“We finally decided we’ve got to put a stop to this,” says Fiddler’s Cove developer Bob Scott. “Our real estate signs have disappeared for three years in a row.”

Scott says he placed directional signs on a city easement to help people find Fiddler’s Cove, which is accessible only through Watercress, near 37th and Maize Road.

Scott says he complained to police when the signs began disappearing and eventually started calling daily to complain. Finally, he says, police used a surveillance camera to figure out what was going on.

“They called and said, ‘We have the problem solved,’ ” Scott says. “I knew who it was all the time. … There was no motivation for anybody else to do it.”

Scott says he and Schneider have had several differences.

“We’ve had many conversations in the last three years, and it’s not a friendly conversation.”

Scott says he’s paid about $250,000 toward road and other improvements near the entrance of Watercress. He says part of that money went toward the Watercress sign, which he says he spent because he thought there was an agreement to eventually have a sign for Fiddler’s Cove.

“I made the agreement,” Scott says. “It was my fault.”

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Keller Williams Hometown Partners broker takes over sale of commercial lots in Maize’s Wyn-Wood development

WICHITA — With the economy looking up, there’s going to be a renewed effort to sell the last 12 commercial lots at the Wyn-Wood development at 37th North and Maize Road in Maize.

“We’ve had interest, and we need somebody to harness it, go after it and get something built,” says LewJene Schneider, who started the development with her sister and brother-in-law, Leslye and Gerald Woodard.

That somebody is Thomas Lassley of Keller Williams Hometown Partners.

Lassley recently sold two lots at Wyn-Wood to the Assemblies of God Kansas District Council on behalf of Curt McNay of Caber Associates Architects and Caber Construction.

Lassley says McNay approached Schneider and the Woodards about using Lassley to “see if we can get these lots sold for you.”

“Curt’s a big help,” Lassley says. “He gets a lot of calls from people wanting to build out there.”

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