Category Archives: New business

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.”

Sara Lee Bakery Outlet to move to Lexington Square

WICHITA — A new Sara Lee Bakery Outlet is opening on the west side, and the one at 2536 S. Southeast Dr. is closing.

“We’re basically moving that store over to the new site,” says retail sales manager Ray Christ.

The store will open in about a month at Mike Hampton’s Lexington Square at the southwest corner of Maple and Maize.

The outlet, which is owned by Mexico-based Bimbo Bakeries, sells baked goods such as bread and cakes. It carries a number of brands, such as Sara Lee, Rainbo and Oroweat.

“We’re naming it Sara Lee because that’s a recognized brand here in Wichita,” Christ says.

The company operates as Bimbo in Topeka, which is where the Wichita products are made.

Christ says if he says Bimbo here, Wichitans “look at you cross eyed. What’s Bimbo?”

“It hasn’t really spread down here to Wichita yet.”

Until about a year ago, Bimbo had a Rainbo Bakery next to the Sara Lee Bakery Outlet on Southeast Drive.

“We closed the bakery just because it was old, rundown and not worth investing the capital to put new equipment in there,” Christ says.

The company then put the property up for sale, and it sold more quickly than expected.

Christ says the Sara Lee on Southeast Drive has to close Sept. 22.

“We’re trying to keep everything progressing as rapidly as possible so there’s not any lost time, if any.”

Don Piros of Landmark Commercial Real Estate handled the deal.

There’s a second Sara Lee in the Indian Hills Shopping Center at 13th and Meridian.

Christ says an east-side outlet is possible in the future as well.

At Lexington Square, where Sara Lee will join Yoder Meats and Ultimate Avon Beauty Center, Hampton owns Rolling Hills Wine & Spirits.

He says he’s always joked about having beer, beef and beauty at the center.

“And now we’re going to be able to say bread,” Hampton says. “I thought it was kind of funny.”

Sake to open in former Taiwan Restaurant

WICHITA — The 2-year-old Taiwan Restaurant in the Sweetbriar shopping center at 21st and Amidon has closed, but the owner is opening a new restaurant in its place.

Lin Jason says he had a buffet at the restaurant but decided he has too much buffet competition.

Instead, he’s converting the restaurant from a Chinese buffet to a Japanese restaurant called Sake. There will be no buffet.

In addition to changing the concept, Jason says he’s painting and refreshing the space as well and should be ready to open it around November.

Fuji Japanese Grill & Sushi to open in former Yamasa Japanese Grill space

WICHITA — A new Asian restaurant is opening in the space at 327 N. Hillside formerly occupied by Yamasa Japanese Grill, which closed late last year.

Lin Daniel and his wife, Chen Hong, are opening Fuji Japanese Grill & Sushi around Aug. 28.

“We changed everything,” Daniel says. He says, “Everything’s better than before.”

The restaurant will have sushi and grill items.

Daniel says he and Hong would like to have the restaurant become a chain “all over the U.S.A.”

“That’s our goal,” he says. “Our dream.”

Hibbett Sports to open in Goddard Sept. 13

WICHITA — The new Hibbett Sports opening in Goddard should be ready for business on Sept. 13.

“It’ll be a big deal to the town,” says Brad Walton, Midwest real estate manager for the Birmingham, Ala.-based company.

Hibbett sells athletic footwear and apparel and hard goods for sports such as basketball, baseball, football and soccer.

Walton says where Wal-Mart – which also is in Goddard – has more lower-priced items, Hibbett’s carries more medium-to-high-priced items.

The chain has stores in Hutchinson, Derby and Pratt.

“Typically what we do is a little bit more isolated,” Walton says of where the company chooses to locate.

“Pratt is kind of what we like to do.”

That’s what he calls an isolated market with “limited or no competition.”

The chain likes markets where there generally aren’t stores such as Academy Sports and Dick’s Sporting Goods.

“We try to go where we’re needed,” Walton says.

The 5,000-square-foot Goddard store is opening in Goddard Plaza at 19931 W. Kellogg, which is near Kellogg and South 199th St. West.

“Goddard to us is a really fast-growing market with a lot of potential,” Walton says. “It’s the growth potential and trying to get ahead of the growth potential.”

The chain currently has 950 stores and will have more than 1,000 by the end of the year.

Walton says he’s considering other Kansas markets as well.

“Newton, Kan., is a great market we’d like to be in.”

Walton says he had a deal in Wellington, but it fell through. He says it make take a few years, but he hopes deals happen there and in Newton.

For now, though, the Goddard store will be it.

“It’s going to be a good store,” Walton says. “Hopefully these people won’t have to drive all the way into Wichita to get their sporting goods.”

Sneak peek of Wichita’s first Pie Five Pizza

Wichita’s new Pie Five Pizza opens Friday next to the Applebee’s at Maple and Ridge.

This is the first of at least three Pie Fives that franchisee Jim Stevens, who also is the Applebee’s franchisee, plans for Wichita. The second will open at NewMarket Square. Stevens is close to announcing the third site as well.

In the meantime, Pie Five area director Joe Chandler a sneak peek of the restaurant from a VIP lunch Stevens hosted Tuesday.

 

Noah’s Event Venue to open at Waterfront

UPDATED — Most people are familiar with the Waterfront’s lake at the northeast corner of 13th and Webb, where several restaurants have patios overlooking it.

 

David Leyh, left, and Craig Simon of Landmark Commercial Real Estate handled a deal for the national Noah's Event Venue to locate at the east lake at the Waterfront development.

David Leyh, left, and Craig Simon of Landmark Commercial Real Estate handled a deal for the national Noah’s Event Venue to locate at the east lake at the Waterfront development.

There’s also another lake on the east side of the property, though, and the development has now landed its first tenant to overlook it.

Noah’s Event Venue, a national chain of event spaces, will open in a new, almost 10,000-square-foot building next summer.

“Noah’s is a good, fast-growing event company, and we’re lucky to have them in Wichita,” says the Waterfront’s Stephen Clark II.

“Wichita lacks this kind of quality events space,” he says. “This one obviously will have a good location as well as a backdrop of one of the lakes at the Waterfront. It’s pretty cool.”

Utah businessman Bil Bowser started Noah Corp. in 2003 and opened the first Noah’s in 2007.

“He just wanted a place for people to gather,” says Kirsten Hertz, director of hiring for Noah’s. “He couldn’t believe that there wasn’t a place where you could just rent space that was user friendly and had good customer service and was very simple.”

After experimenting with a couple of types of buildings, Hertz says the company settled on classic-looking model.

“We wanted to just be a very classic, timeless, kind of high-end venue for a very reasonable price.”

With a neutral template, Hertz says it allows the venue to be versatile for business meetings in the day and parties at night.

noahs5“We really do all different types of events,” she says. “It’s very customizable.”

The main hall is the largest space and, depending on the configuration, can hold up to 350 people. It also has an outdoor patio overlooking the lake.

There are hardwood floors, a catering kitchen and a moveable stage that rises out of the floor. The ceiling lowers for easy decorating.

Tables, chairs, linens and audio-visual equipment are provided, but guests have to bring in their own food and decorations.

noahs3“Everybody’s food and beverage needs are so different,” Hertz says.

There are other rooms, such as a small conference room and a boardroom with a long table and large leather couches. That room also has a ping pong table, a pool table and shuffleboard so companies using the space for training and other work can take breaks.

“It’s a very comfortable room,” Hertz says. “It’s just a really fun space.”

Guests can rent the entire venue or a small part of it. Hertz says that could be for meetings for as few as two people.

“This is kind of a step up from, ‘Hey, let’s just meet at Starbucks.’”

There are sliding doors that allow rooms to open to each other.

“They’re really nice looking,” Hertz says. “All of the rooms are very versatile.”

There are eight Noah’s venues open nationally and eight under construction.

“Noah’s is a company that’s very focused on why we are all in this industry and why these buildings even exist,” Hertz says. “We sincerely care about each customer and the experience that people have at Noah.”

She says there aren’t other chains similar to Noah’s on a national level.

“From a business perspective, (Bil Bowser) was shocked that this wasn’t a common thing,” Hertz says. “We want people to develop a confidence in the brand of Noah and know what to expect.”

Craig Simon and David Leyh of Landmark Commercial Real Estate handled the deal at the Waterfront.

“It’s just a great thing for Wichita,” Simon says.

noahs2“We have a shortage … of venues like that,” he says. “I think we’re going to find some real value as a community to have this.”

To the east of the Homewood Suites by Hilton at the Waterfront, Viega has property to build its headquarters. To the east of that is the lake and where Noah’s will go.

Clark says the hotel is “actually another convenience factor” for Noah’s.

Noah’s is purchasing 2.3 acres, which leaves about 2.5 acres on the south side of that lake.

“It’s going to be a beautiful venue,” Simon says. “That whole development is such a nice development anyway.”

Retail center, restaurant under development at Regency Lakes at 21st and Greenwich

WICHITA — One of the last phases of the Regency Lakes shopping center at the northwest corner of 21st and Greenwich is under development.

Ken Saville (from left) and Brad Saville of Landmark Commercial Real Estate and Tom Schmeidler with SBA Construction are building a new retail center at Regency Lakes at 21st and Greenwich.

Ken Saville (from left) and Brad Saville of Landmark Commercial Real Estate and Tom Schmeidler with SBA Construction are building a new retail center at Regency Lakes at 21st and Greenwich.

Four S Development, a group of local investors, is building an 11,375-square-foot strip center on the lake in front of Cabela’s.

“We envision it being a four-tenant building,” says Brad Saville, a partner in the group and president and CEO of Landmark Commercial Real Estate. “We’ve got one lease signed.”

Saville confirms the tenant is a restaurant that should be open before the holidays. It will take 2,900 square feet and have a patio overlooking the lake.

Sources say Papa John’s Pizza franchisee Terry Newman is doing a new concept in the space, and it’s likely based on burritos. Newman didn’t return calls to comment.

Landmark’s Ken Saville is handling leasing for the rest of the strip center.

“We’re thinking there could be one other small restaurant, and the rest would be retail,” says Brad Saville.

Saville says he first began work at Regency Lakes when he helped Cabela’s purchase property there. Then, he helped Hobby Lobby with its lease there.

“That’s all kind of led to this last parcel.”

Innovative Construction Services designed the center, and SBA Construction is building it. Andover State Bank provided financing.

Saville says retail development in the K-96 and Greenwich area will be significant in the next three years.

Along with the Waterfront development at 13th and Webb, he says, “Really, I think this is the highest-growth area in the whole city.”

 

 

Forever French Nails & Organic Spa to open second spa near 21st and Ridge

WICHITA — The almost 4-year-old Forever French Nails & Organic Spa is expanding with a second site.

“We’re doing really well,” says Ken Tran.

Forever French Nails is at 375 S. Maize near Maple and Maize

The second one will be in 1,400 square feet at 7447 W. 21st St. near 21st and Ridge.

Tran says he wanted a larger space but decided to take this availability because he thinks it’s such a good spot.

“Everything’s going to be the same,” he says of the organic manicures and pedicures Forever French Nails offers.

“We use a lot of fruit,” Tran says.

That includes lime, orange and grapefruit. He says he also uses sugar and oatmeal for treatments.

“We also use honey in scrubs.”

Look for the new spa to open in early October.

Tran says he’d like to open more.

“If I can later on.”

Abuelo’s west-side deal gets inked

UPDATED — The deal for the new west-side Abuelo’s has closed.

“When we talked last, we had a gentleman’s agreement,” says Chuck Ouellette, manager of the chain’s east-side restaurant. “Now it’s all signed and delivered.”

Construction will start soon on the almost 8,000-square-foot restaurant, which will be at the northeast corner of Taft and Ridge Road. That’s south of Panera Bread and Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers and across the street from where Twin Peaks is under construction.

“The revitalization of the west side is growing, and that area is fantastic,” Ouellette says.

There also will be a 1,000-square-foot patio with the new Abuelo’s.

“This one’s going to be covered,” Ouellette says.

There will be a stage at the patio as well.

“So we can do some live music out there,” Ouellette says. “It’s going to be cool.”

Inside, the restaurant will feature some new design elements for the chain, including some skylight.

“The plans are in the city right now,” says Randy Simon, one of the property owners who also owns Panera and is a partner in Freddy’s.

Simon says Abuelo’s is “a higher-end concept that I think will bring … new people to the intersection.”

The restaurant should open in early spring.

Brad Saville of Landmark Commercial Real Estate handled the deal. Saville also is going to handle leasing on an additional 8,400 square feet of space that will be attached to the Abuelo’s space.

That could include retail or office users and possibly one more small restaurant concept, but Simon says he’d want to choose something that wouldn’t compete with the other concepts already there.

“We’d like to keep the rest of that pretty secure.”