Category Archives: Marina Lakes

Two Wichita Learning Connection centers to open to help former students get diplomas

WICHITA — The South Central Kansas Education Service Center is opening two new sites in Wichita.

“What we do is we try to provide … cost-effective ways to provide education services to school districts,” says executive director Brad Pepper.

The south-central branch, which is based in Clearwater, serves 28 school districts and is one of seven education service centers in Kansas.

The center provides services such as integrating technology in classrooms, helping further professional development and arranging for reduced-rate equipment.

“Basically, if there’s a need that a school district has, we’ll provide that service,” Pepper says.

“They’re school districts without students,” is how he describes the centers.

At least that’s generally the case.

The two new Wichita sites will be part of a network of Wichita Learning Connection centers around the state that offer degree completion programs.

Pepper says the center partners with local school districts to help former students age 18 and older receive their high school diplomas.

“It’s an actual high school diploma,” Pepper says. He says that can carry more weight in the career world than a GED.

“We’re kind of targeting the Hispanic population,” Pepper says.

He says there’s a higher drop-out rate in that community, though Wichita Learning Connection is open to anyone.

One site will be in 1,550 square feet in New Leaf Plaza, formerly the Marina Lakes shopping center, at 21st and Amidon.

The other will be in 2,200 square feet at Parklane Shopping Center at Lincoln and Oliver.

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A-OK Pawn Shop owner Bruce Harris to develop new center on West Street

WICHITA — A-OK Pawn Shop owner Bruce Harris bought and recently tore down a couple of houses near his store at 410 N. West St. with new plans for development there.

“I’m putting in a new shopping center there,” Harris says.

He’s moving his One Day Jewelry & Repair, Cricket store and a financial-services store from Maple and West to the pawn shop’s address. He’ll have additional space to do leases as well.

“I’m just now getting started on it, so I’m not sure what I’m going to do,” Harris says.

He says he knows what the result will be, though.

“We’re beautifying … Wichita, and we’ll have a nice new center to go with the new street.”

Look for more information on Harris’ plans there in the coming weeks.

He’s also still working on centers at Harry and Broadway and at New Leaf Plaza, which was formerly Marina Lakes, at 21st and Amidon.

Harris says financing three new centers at the same time is a challenge.

“I’m trying to work out how to get that done.”

A-OK Pawn Shops owner Bruce Harris to start Better Living lease-to-own business

WICHITA — A-OK Pawn Shops owner Bruce Harris is starting a new lease-to-own furniture business that he hopes will become a chain of stores.

“It’s a brand-new concept we’re coming up with,” he says of Better Living.

The first store will open in 35,000 square feet at the Marina Lakes Shopping Center at 21st and Amidon next to where Harris is opening a new pawn shop, jewelry store and phone store along with a tax services, payday loans and check cashing center.

“Other large chains of pawn shops around the country are starting to do this,” he says.

Harris says he wants to “give people a better choice” on furniture, appliances and TVs.

“We’re going to try to upscale that,” he says.

Harris says he’s starting the concept in response to customers’ requests.

“We’re giving them an additional option,” he says. “It’s very similar to the retail side of our pawn business.”

Most of the first Better Living will be in the former Hollywood Video space at Marina Lakes. An additional 10,000 square feet for storage will come from the strip center next door.

If the business is successful, Harris says he’ll add a Better Living to his pawn shop complex at Harry and Oliver next.

Eventually, he says he wants to expand the centers – including the Better Living stores – to Hutchinson and the Kansas City market.

“We’re becoming a developer rather than just a pawn shop.”

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Planet Fitness signs two new deals

WICHITA — There are deals for two new Wichita Planet Fitness sites, though the chain still isn’t talking about its plans here.

Have You Heard? previously reported that the company is working on locations in the former Star Lumber space at Normandie Center at Central and Woodlawn, at Marina Lakes at 21st and Amidon where a new Walmart Neighborhood Market is and also at the 21st and Maize area.

Since then, Scott Harper of Landmark Commercial Real Estate and Grant Tidemann of J.P. Weigand & Sons finalized a deal for the Marina Lakes space.

On Friday, Tidemann and Landmark’s Nick Esterline finalized a deal for the former bowling alley space at 2350 N. Maize Road. That’s where Countryside West Lanes closed in 2007.

It looks like there may already be demo work going on at the possible Planet Fitness space at Normandie.

Planet Fitness isn’t the only new gym coming to the city.

Gold’s Gym International also has been working on sites here. In fact, it appears it was negotiating for some of the same space Planet Fitness nabbed.

Earlier this year, Have You Heard? reported that a Gold’s deal at Harry and Rock may already be done.

Both companies are being similarly silent. We should hear something from them soon, though.

 

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.

Planned Walmart Neighborhood Market likely will attract new tenants at Marina Lakes

WICHITA — Several observant passersby have noticed leasing signs at Marina Lakes at 21st and Amidon and wondered if that means the deal for a Walmart Neighborhood Market is off.

It’s quite the opposite.

Leasing is gearing up thanks to the future Walmart.

Demolition has begun to tear down about half of the large vacant building on the north end of the development. That’s where the Walmart will locate.

The other vacant spaces will be renovated for new tenants.

Andy Boyd of Walter Morris Cos. is handling leasing.

Dominic Garcia is the first to sign a new lease thanks to Walmart.

Garcia owns two Legends Barber Shops in Wichita.

“We have a lot of clientele on the north side of town,” he says. The new 750-square-foot store, which will be ready in a month, will “make the drive a little easier for our clients.”

Garcia has been looking for additional space for a while.

“There just wasn’t an area that I thought would be beneficial for us.”

Walmart changed that, he says.

“I wouldn’t have came if they weren’t opening up over there.”