Category Archives: Maize

Reiloy Westland Corp. to move to new Maize industrial park with help of incentives

UPDATED — The city of Maize has landed a sizable new business and is getting a new industrial park to boot.

Reiloy Westland Corp. plans to build a 45,000-square-foot building at the northwest corner of 119th Street West and 53rd Street North, and company president Dave Larson and his wife, Deborah, will start an industrial park there.

“Obviously, it’s a good deal for all of us,” says City Administrator Richard LaMunyon.

The deal includes up to $3 million in industrial revenue bonds for the acquisition of 27 acres to start the park, a building and 10 years of tax abatement on the property. The Maize City Council approved the deal Monday night in a 5-0 vote.

“We’ve got a real visionary council,” LaMunyon says.

Reiloy, which manufactures components for plastic processing equipment, currently has about 55 employees in 27,000 square feet on Maize Road just south of Kellogg.

“We need more space,” Dave Larson says.

He says the tax abatement and IRBs will allow the company to expand and hire more employees, including about five when the new building opens and 10 over the next five years.

Larson previously owned the company, which was founded in 1969, and sold to the German company Reifenhauser Gruppe in 2012.

“We’ve been growing significantly ever since,” he says.

The company had considered relocating to other markets, including Chicago and some communities around Kansas, that wooed it with incentives.

“We certainly wanted to keep them in the area,” LaMunyon says. “It’s a quality company.”

Larson says Maize leaders and others in the county convinced him to stay.

“The efforts they put forth persuaded us to stay here.”

When Larson began talking with Maize, LaMunyon says he told Larson of a long-range study Maize did “for what it would take to get an industrial park going up here.”

“We wanted an industrial park in the city of Maize, but we wanted it to be privately developed,” he says. “We just didn’t want to go in debt for it.”

The No. 1 site a consultant recommended was for 119th Street West and 53rd Street North. Larson and his wife were interested.

Through their 1735 South Maize Road LLC, the Larsons are purchasing 27 acres in Maize. They are now considering an option for 80 acres next to their 27 acres.

“This is the anchor in the new industrial park,” LaMunyon says of Reiloy.

“It’s just another great attribute for the city of Maize.

“Our housing incentives have really worked out well,” he says. “Our commercial is picking up and doing well, and now the industrial park is starting to move.”

LaMunyon says the industrial component helps create an even more stable tax base.

“That means we don’t have to raise taxes. We can look at reducing taxes in the future,” he says. “It’s just good for the city.”

Larson says he wants the new space to be ready by June 15.

“We need to start as soon as possible,” he says.

“The company has purchased a very large machine that will not fit in this building,” he says of a mill-turn machine. “The machine arrives the first of July, and we have to have a place to put it.”

LaMunyon says having a company such as Reiloy in Maize “provides a base of stability for employment for the whole region.”

He says Maize is open to incentives for other companies looking to locate in the industrial park.

“Of course, anybody that follows, we would take each one of them individually.”

He says it makes sense to be an attractive place for business.

“That’s the word we want to get out to people,” LaMunyon says.

“We’re here. … Come see us.”

MOXI Junction set to open thanks to Kickstarter campaign

UPDATED — Kickstarter did just what Joanna Kilgore needed it to do. The campaign raised more than $22,000 to help put in a kitchen for MOXI Junction, a new coffeehouse coming to Maize.

“It was awesome,” Kilgore says.

The house at Park and Academy that is now home to MOXI Junction.

The house at Park and Academy that is now home to MOXI Junction.

It worked so well, she says, “Oh, we’re opening Monday.”

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 Academy in Maize.

Kilgore had said she was close to opening when she learned she wouldn’t have all the money she needed from the farm bank she was working with.

She credits Facebook and an e-mail campaign for helping reach the Kickstarter goal. She says her “uber goal” was to raise $60,000, but the $22,000 and some change was enough to get going.

Kilgore says she already had her kitchen on order.

“I had to do this little bridge thing using my retirement account,” she says. “It wasn’t pretty. That’s not what you want to do.”

The kitchen is now in thanks to what Kilgore calls a determined group of people “working sunup to sundown.”

Initially, MOXI will be open from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on weekdays. After school starts, it will be 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays. Eventually, Kilgore hopes to add Saturday service.

 

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.”

Read More »

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.”

Read More »

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.

Read More »

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.”

Read More »

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.

Read More »

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.