Category Archives: Retail

Cenex gas station and market to open on East 21st Street

UPDATED — A blighted area of East 21st Street is about to experience a revival.

“We’re going in there and building a new gas station,” Amir Etezazi says.

His company, Etezazi Industries, a division of Etezazi Corp., is building a new Cenex gas station and an expanded convenience store in the former Amoco station and market just east of the Canal Route.

“It’s definitely going to enhance the area,” says City Council member Lavonta Williams. “It is going to create another opportunity for people to create pride.”

The station has been abandoned for about a decade.

Amir Etezazi, right, and his father, Masoud Etezazi, are renovating this former market and a neighboring former Amoco station into a new market and Cenex station.

Amir Etezazi, right, and his father, Masoud Etezazi, are renovating this former market and a neighboring former Amoco station into a new market and Cenex station.

“Anytime you have at least one … blighted building where something is not kept up, you’re going to invite illegal dumping,” Williams says. “You’re going to invite illegal activity.”

Etezazi, who bought the building in December, says there have been “a lot of challenges” so far.

“It was vandalized pretty badly,” he says. “Constantly, there is some sort of vandalism.”

People dumping trash on the property is a big issue, he and Williams say.

Williams says Etezazi finally put a Dumpster on the property to give people an option for their trash. “Don’t just drop it on the lot.”

Etezazi says the Dumpster actually is there for his use, and he wants people to stop seeing the area as a place for trash.

So far, most of the work Etezazi has done has been on the inside of the 7,500-square-foot building, which he’s divided for various uses.

Etezazi plans a full kitchen with fresh and prepared foods.

Williams says it’s “just another opportunity for people to have something accessible to purchase items,” especially for those who may be walking to the store.

She says Etezazi’s store will have fresh produce and other items the Dollar General across the street might not have.

“I’m really looking forward to that,” Williams says.

Etezazi plans to lease space on the east end of the building for a liquor store.

“We had to go back and forth a little bit with the city,” he says.

Etezazi also has three other convenience stores, including a Phillips 66 at Kellogg and Hillside, one in Newton and a Valero at Central and Ridge.

He’s hoping the Cenex will open in early October, but he says it more likely will be the middle of the month.

Etezazi also is hoping there will be a payoff for his hard work and frustrations.

“We’re investing a lot of money in here.”

Slawson Cos. purchases southeast corner of 29th and Maize

WICHITA — Slawson Cos., the developer of NewMarket Square at 21st and Maize, has purchased 73 acres at the southeast corner of 29th and Maize.

The new Sam’s Club is on the northeast corner.

“Obviously, it’s a very-well located property,” says Slawson commercial broker Jerry Jones.

The company acquired the property, including the approximately 10-acre Cadillac Lake, from the Pracht family.

Jones says the family owned it for almost 100 years and cultivated the habitat for water fowl and also farmed on the land the last 40 or 50 years.

He says the property has a number of potential uses.

“That’s what we’re doing right now. We’re evaluating its potential.”

Jones says the Maize Road frontage is excellent for retail and restaurant development.

He says there’s additional potential for around the lake, which could be used for offices, bird watching, hiking or fishing.

Jones says it’s too early to give a time frame for development.

“We’ve got a lot of planning and entitlements to work through.”

Company founder Don Slawson died earlier this month at the age of 80.

“We want to carry out Don’s legacy of quality development,” Jones says, “so we’ll be very deliberate in our planning and make sure we execute it accordingly.”

GreenAcres Market finishes Whole Foods Association conversion with new signs

WICHITA — The final phase of converting Wichita’s Whole Foods Association stores to GreenAcres Markets is happening Wednesday when signs at the three stores will be replaced.

That includes the Whole Foods Association store in the Clear Lakes shopping center near the southwest corner of 21st and Amidon and the one near the southwest corner of 21st and Maize.

It also includes the Whole Foods Association store in Normandie at Central and Woodlawn. That sign had been looming over the center about three decades.

“It was there forever,” says GreenAcres owner Barb Hoffmann. “If you look at it, it looks like it was.”

In January, Hoffmann and her husband, John, purchased the Wichita Whole Foods Association stores, which have no affiliation with the larger Whole Foods Market, which opens Sept. 3 at the Waterfront at 13th and Webb.

In May, the Hoffmanns and Whole Foods Market announced that they struck a deal for the Austin-based chain to use the Whole Foods name here instead of the Bread & Circus name it looked like it might have to use.

Next up, Hoffmann says she has expansion and remodeling plans for most of her new stores.

She’s expanding the Clear Lakes store from 3,500 square feet to 6,500 square feet.

“We’ll start it here in the near future,” Hoffmann says. The idea, she says, is “just more offerings” for the neighborhood.

“It’s a real ethnic store. We’ll have a lot of ethnic items.”

The 6,000-square-foot far-west-side store will undergo an expansion next spring, though Hoffmann isn’t sure how much it will increase by yet.

Hoffmann says she’s also remodeling the 23,000-square-foot GreenAcres in Oklahoma City.

At the original GreenAcres at Bradley Fair, Hoffmann is remodeling the bathrooms but won’t do major remodeling until spring. For now, she’s focusing on the newer stores.

“We’re really thrilled we have these stores,” she says. “Every one has such a unique customer base, and we have just really enjoyed learning all the parts of the city.”

Woof Gang Bakery & Grooming to open at Cambridge Market at 21st and Webb

WICHITA — If you heard rumblings of a Wolfgang bringing some tasty treats to a new pink-and-brown, chandelier-lit bakery and boutique on the east side, it wouldn’t be surprising if you wondered whether international chef and restaurateur Wolfgang Puck might be bringing one of his concepts here.

Turns out, it’s Woof Gang Bakery & Grooming that will be opening in Cambridge Market at 21st and Webb.

“It’ll definitely be probably the most unique pet store that people in this market have seen,” says Lisa Chamberlain, who is opening the business with her husband, Albert Cipo.

“Most people are like, ‘This is for dogs?’ ”

The two had another Woof Gang franchise in Houston but wanted to move back home to Wichita.

The business is a combination store, bakery and grooming site.

Chamberlain says she plans to have grooming for dogs and cats.

“Hopefully, if I can find a groomer who does cats,” she says. “That’s an if.”

Chamberlain says she tries to do kennel-free grooming in a short amount of time to keep down an animal’s stress level.

“Our grooming is more of a spa-type setting,” she says.

That includes “pawdicures” and blueberry facials with natural products.

“The dogs love it,” Chamberlain says. “It’s like lick, lick, lick.”

Woof Gang also will have an all-natural bakery for special-occasion cakes and treats.

“It is a bakery for pets,” Chamberlain says. “We have all sorts of treats.”

She says Woof Gang also will sell holistic food, including dry and wet food and raw and freeze-dried food.

There also will be chews, bowls, beds, collars and leashes.

“We’re a little more of a boutique feel,” Chamberlain says.

The 2,000-square-foot store will open in October.

Don Piros of Landmark Commercial Real Estate handled the deal.

“Ideally, we’d like to do more than one,” Chamberlain says.

The plan is to open a second Woof Gang on the west side within a year after the first one opens. Then the Kansas City area is a possibility, she says.

“It’s a long-term plan.”

Pink Saloon to move to Waterfront addition

UPDATED — After a period of some hard consideration, Brooke Hebert has decided to move her Pink Saloon from Douglas and Oliver to the new addition of the Waterfront at the northwest corner of 13th and Webb.

“It’s been really good where we’re at, so it wasn’t an easy decision,” she says.

Pink Saloon, a women’s clothing shop, had been in El Dorado for three years before moving to Wichita five years ago to the same center where Aspen Boutique is.

Hebert says her business has grown every year she’s been in Wichita, but she says the majority of her clients are in east Wichita.

“They come from all over,” Hebert says, but “the east side’s really strong for us.”

waterfrontThe new Whole Foods Market, which is set to open at the Waterfront on Sept. 10, is part of the lure.

“Whole Foods, obviously, is a great anchor,” Hebert says.

She says she also likes other tenants at the Waterfront, which includes a more developed addition on the northeast corner.

On the northwest corner, the 51,000-square-foot first phase is nearing completion.

In the Bag Cleaners last week announced it will have a store there, and Equity Bank also will be to the north of the building that will be home to the cleaners, Pink Saloon and Whole Foods. There are spaces for several other tenants as well, and there’s another 14,000-square-foot building coming with the second phase of development. It will be between the bank and the first retail center. There also will be a smaller building in front of the second center with up to 4,000 square feet.

“We are getting ready to start Phase 2,” says the Waterfront’s Stephen Clark II.

He says Pink Saloon will make a great addition.

“You’re starting to see now how visible this center is, and I think that location will make a big difference for her,” Clark says.

Hebert says her store will have a new look.

“It’s going to be completely different, actually, as far as the aesthetic,” she says.

“The space is going to be really cool,” Clark says.

Hebert won’t share details yet, though.

“It’s going to be a surprise.”

She says the new store will be ready sometime in the fourth quarter.

At 1,800 square feet, Hebert says, her store will be smaller than her current 2,800 square feet, but “it’s not going to change our product mix.” She says she may even expand some lines.

Hebert says she’s excited about the move.

“Anytime you change and evolve, it’s just really exciting.”

Don Piros of Landmark Commercial Real Estate and Carl Hebert of InSite Real Estate Group handled the deal.

Carl Hebert is Brooke Hebert’s brother-in-law. This was the first time the two worked together.

“He really helped me through this process,” Brooke Hebert says. “It was really fun to work with him.”

Law Kingdon Architecture designed the center, and the Law Co. is the contractor.

“We’re about where we’d thought we would be,” Clark says of the center’s progress. “Things are going well.”

He says there should be more news soon.

“We’ve got some great tenants that have signed up and that we’re talking to.”

Sunbelt Rentals enters market with store

WICHITA — Sunbelt Rentals, an international company that bills itself as the second-largest rental company nationally, is entering the Wichita market.

“We’ve got a variety of products that we’ll be able to provide,” says district manager Keith Dressendorfer.

He says Sunbelt, which is based in England and has U.S. headquarters in South Carolina, already has customers here. Now they’ll have a store to shop at in addition to online.

Sunbelt is remodeling a 13,000-square-foot building at 3410 W. 30th St. South. Dressendorfer says it should be ready by late September, but the company will have a soft opening sometime in August.

There are more than 400 Sunbelt stores, many of which surround the Midwest.

“Basically there’s been a void in the Midwest,” Dressendorfer says. “We just want to start filling in some of the Midwest.”

The company now has stores in Oklahoma City, Joplin, Mo., Rogers, Ark., and Kansas City. A second Kansas City store is in the works.

“A year ago, none of those existed for us,” Dressendorfer says. He says there’s “quite a lot of growth up in this area for us.”

Sunbelt does “a little bit of everything,” Dressendorfer says.

There are a dozen divisions, such as a general tool group, a concrete and masonry group, an earth moving division, an oil and gas division, a climate control division and a scaffolding division.

Dressendorfer says customers could be anyone from a homeowner needing to rent something for a one-time use to a Fortune 500 company needing to rent a number of things.

“We will do business with pretty much anybody,” he says.

General and commercial contractors are some of Sunbelt’s most regular customers.

Dressendorfer says there is a budget for nine employees initially, “But who knows where it will go after that?”

He says Sunbelt plans to hire locally.

Dressendorfer says a second Wichita store or more throughout Kansas are possibilities.

“There will always be that opportunity.”

2 Attics Antique Mall and Estate Liquidation Services to downsize

WICHITA — In 2011, Kirby Melugin told Have You Heard? he was expanding his 2 Attics Antique Mall and Estate Liquidation Services to make more room for vendors.

Now, he’s downsizing his space near 61st and Hydraulic in Park City to give himself a little bit of breathing room.

“When it’s just me, it’s just kind of hard to take care of everything,” he says.

In addition to having the store, Melugin says he’s been doing a lot of on-site estate sales.

He says he’s decided to keep the 5,000 square feet he added in 2011 because it’s a little larger than the space he originally opened.

“The main thing is, we’re not closing. We’re just downsizing.”

After Labor Day, Melugin is going to start closing the store on Mondays and Tuesdays. Now, he’s open seven days a week.

“I need a day off,” he says.

“I’m going to work smarter, let’s just put it that way.”

Marty Johnson to return to radio with ‘Mondays with Marty’

WICHITA — When Marty Johnson of Johnson’s Garden Centers announced he was ending his radio show in early 2013, he said, “It’s time to do something else, like ride my bike on Saturday mornings!”

Now, he’s figured out a way to do both.

Johnson and his son, Jeremy, will be on KQAM, 1480-AM, from 5 to 6 p.m. on Mondays.

The previous show was on KNSS, 1330-AM, for the better part of three decades.

The new show will be called “Mondays with Marty.”

“It’ll be kind of the same format as before,” Johnson says. “It’ll draw a different audience than the Saturday morning audience.”

Johnson says he and customers missed the show.

“We heard comments,” he says.

Johnson, an avid bicyclist, does not think the new show should interfere with his riding.

“No, in fact … I’ll be able to ride to the station.”

Crazy Jay’s Furniture & Sleep Shop to move to Parklane Shopping Center

WICHITA — Call him crazy, but J Williams is once again moving his Crazy Jay’s Furniture & Sleep Shop.

Crazy Jay’s is currently in about 14,500 square feet at Lincoln and Woodlawn. It’s moving to 15,000 square feet at the Parklane Shopping Center at Lincoln and Oliver in September.

This will make the fourth place the business has been since it opened in 1997 as Crazy Jay’s Bed Shop at 13th and Waco.

“What’s prompted the move (is), really, in my opinion this part of the neighborhood has really kind of died off,” Williams says.

He says a few businesses, including a diner, left the area. Williams says he’s now the primary anchor at the center he’s in.

“It’s just that there’s not a lot happening,” he says.

Williams started with 11,000 square feet at his existing space and added 3,400 square feet after Tuesday Morning moved.

“We’re kind of a happening business, and we need to be where things are happening,” he says. “It’s just kind of a logical move.”

At Parklane, he says he likes that Rent-A-Center and Basham Rent To Own also are there.

“We’re anxious to get on with the move,” Williams says.

He says the stockroom at his new space will be on a separate floor than the showroom, which is a step up from what he has now.

“The thing I never liked about this really is the stockroom is visible from the showroom.”

He says that created a warehouse feel, “which we don’t really like.”

Williams says the store, which is open seven days a week, will open in its new space around the third week of September.

Don Piros of Landmark Commercial Real Estate handled the deal.

“Once we get this situated, I am considering a west-side mattress-only concept,” Williams says. “I’d kind of like to go back to our roots.”

He says the west side is where he lives, and it makes sense to open a store there.

“There’s a lot of stuff going on out there.”

Costco files application to build at the northeast corner of Kellogg and Webb Road

platUPDATED — Wichitans have been waiting a long time, but there’s now confirmation from Costco that the company is coming here.

The chain filed a development application to build a new store at the northeast corner of Kellogg and Webb Road.

“They’ve put in for their plat approvals,” says John Schlegel, director of the Wichita-Sedgwick County Metropolitan Area Planning Department.

“They’re moving on getting things started because the plat would be the first step.”

You can view the plat in detail here.

Costco has no comment, though. A representative says Costco chairman and cofounder Jeff Brotman is the only person authorized to speak for the company. Brotman’s assistant says he’s traveling and can’t comment.

Have You Heard? first reported that Costco was interested in the Beechcraft property in 2012. No one with Costco or Beechcraft would confirm the company’s interest until Beechcraft’s then-CEO Bill Boisture inadvertently confirmed it during an interview with Aviation Week last July. The same day, Aviation Week changed its online story to say a big box store – not Costco – was coming.

The subdivision committee of the Wichita-Segwick County Metropolitan Area Planning Commission approved the plat Thursday. It will go before the full commission on Aug. 7. After that, the Wichita City Council must accept any easements or road right of ways before Costco can proceed to build.

It looks like the deal for the Beechcraft space hasn’t closed and may not until all city approvals are finalized.

The Costco confirmation comes as Sam’s Club, a direct competitor, opened its third store in Wichita. The chain already had stores on West Kellogg and on North Rock Road. A new one opened Thursday at 29th and Maize.

Schlegel said Costco’s plat does several things.

“They’re creating a property description, an address (and) showing where the easements will be,” he says. “They have to show where they’re going to make connections to the public utilities, how drainage will work for the site and where they will get access to the adjacent streets.”

Costco’s address will be 9700 E. Kellogg.

Look for more information on the new store soon.