Category Archives: Real estate

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.”

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.”

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.”

You don’t say

“It’s kind of like a Band-Aid. I just want to rip it off and not let it drag on a long time.”

Bonnie Hull, who says she’s “loved, loved, loved” her Pink Boa at Bon Bon’s in Andover but is closing it in a couple of months because “it’s just time to play”

Citizens Bank of Kansas opens new office

WICHITA — Jane Deterding, chairman of her family’s Citizens Bank of Kansas, has a new office. Depending on who she’s talking to, Deterding refers to the office in one of a few ways.

Though it’s technically an executive office for Deterding and her brother-in-law, CEO Mark Keeny, Deterding doesn’t like to refer to it as such.

“We’re not executive office kind of people,” she said. “It sounds a little hoity-toity.”

The 1,700-square-foot space is at 417 S. 119th St. West, which is behind the center where Kanai and Twelve Restaurant are.

“The working title became the Bat Cave, which I love but sounds a little awkward,” Deterding says.

The Dugout was in the running, too.

“The one we settled on was the West Wing.”

She still lapses into calling it the Bat Cave in certain company, though.

Deterding had been working out of the Citizens Bank at 13th and Tyler.

Keeny divides his time between Wichita and Kingman.

“Mark and I were doing, as we should, more future planning, developing and strategizing and not lending, and we need space for lenders,” Deterding says.

She and Keeny will be at the new office along with an executive assistant.

Foulston Construction did the build out.

Deterding says there’s one as-of-yet unclaimed office and a nice conference room.

“In March, we’ll have the TV on for basketball,” she says. Deterding says she doesn’t mind if others – meaning nonexecutives and nonbank employees – come and watch, too.

“Sure.”

RCF Investments, a family entity, owns the building. The bank will rent from RCF, which is a subsidiary of Rock Chalk Farms Inc. That’s farming land the family has in Reno County.

Deterding says she likes that restaurants such as Twelve are just around the corner for happy hour.

“You know, until we get our own bar set up.”

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.

DeVaughn James Injury Lawyers to move to former Palmers Grill space

WICHITA — A new business is opening in the former Palmers Grill space near K-96 and Webb Road where Fritz Co. Grille used to be.

Not surprisingly, it’s not a restaurant.

DeVaughn James Injury Lawyers has bought the building.

“We’ve been growing fast,” says Dustin DeVaughn, who founded the firm with Richard W. James in early 2012.

Their firm, which has 14 employees, including five lawyers, is now in 2,000 square feet a half mile east of Greenwich on Central.

The new space is about 7,500 square feet, and DeVaughn says the firm will be using the whole building.

“Oh, absolutely.”

He says the firm is adding another attorney and a couple of employees.

“We’re wanting to be in there and working before the beginning of the new year,” DeVaughn says.

Classic Real Estate handled the deal.

“We loved the visibility there on K-96,” DeVaughn says. “It’s a beautiful environment right there, and there’s going to be some exciting stuff happening out there.”

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.”

Max Cole to open Mindfire Children’s Academy day care

WICHITA — A year after adding a Starwood Hotels call center to his former Office This space at 4031 E. Harry, Max Cole is preparing to open a day care to help Starwood workers and other groups that are expanding there.

“We’ve got a lot of things going on,” Cole says.

All but 40,000 square feet of his 370,000 square feet of leasable space is occupied.

Starwood has more than 51,000 square feet and about 550 employees. Cole says Starwood will be adding more workers in the next two to three years for a total of about 900.

The center has workers almost around the clock, so Cole says the day care will operate 24 hours a day.

“Starwood needs it badly,” he says.

He says there are about 1,100 employees total among all the companies and organizations with space at his center.

Cole is calling the day care Mindfire Children’s Academy after his Mindfire Academy, which is a school to teach adults and children digital video, audio and the art of making video games.

The day care will open after plans are approved with the city, which Cole thinks should be within three or four months.

Though Cole is starting the day care, he says he’s in talks with a company to run it.

“We’re kind of designing it as a high-tech thing,” he says of helping children learn.

Initially, the day care will be in about 12,000 square feet and be able to hold almost 100 children.

“We think that’s our start,” Cole says.

He thinks it likely will grow, though, due to other growth at the complex.

That includes Saint Francis Community Services, which has a contract with the Department for Children and Families to provide reintegration, foster care and adoption services.

“Our foster care homes program has, like, tripled in size, and we’re expecting even a bit larger growth,” says Saint Francis’ CFO Brian Carlgren.

Saint Francis is adding 20 employees to its current 240. It now has 31,000 square feet and is expanding with an additional almost 12,000 square feet.

“This other area will give us more of a storefront, too,” Carlgren says.

Though Saint Francis doesn’t need all the additional square feet right now, he says it can be used for storage and then Saint Francis will have “the ability then to grow into it if we need to.”

“It’s been great,” Carlgren says of being at the center. “Max has been a great landlord to work with. He’s making lots of improvements to the building.”

Communications provider Ideatek also is looking to expand at the center.

The Buhler-based company provides phone and Internet service and data transport over fiber-optic cables.

Ivan Kuhn, vice president of sales and marketing, says the Wichita office is projected to grow substantially in the next year thanks to a new contract with a wireless provider to build a fiber-optic ring around Wichita.

“We may double or better in the next 12 months,” he says.

Ideatek has about 2,500 square feet and can expand into the suite next to that for another more than 2,500 square feet.

Cole says things have gone well since he converted from his Office This concept.

“Oh, god, we’ve done great.”

He says he still needs a name for the center, though.

“You know what I’m thinking about naming it? I’m thinking about naming it the Former Wichita Mall,” Cole says of the space, which once was the Wichita Mall.

“Whatever I name the (thing), everybody’s going to call it the former Wichita Mall.”