Category Archives: Waterfront

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.”

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.”

Whole Foods Market will be called that instead of Bread & Circus

UPDATED — As expected, Wichita will not have to live with the Bread & Circus name that drew so many complaints.

Its new Whole Foods Market at the Waterfront at 13th and Webb Road will be called by that name, which is what most people called it anyway.

As GreenAcres Market owner Barb Hoffmann hinted last month, she negotiated with the organic food chain over the name.

GreenAcres Market owners John and Barb Hoffmann are changing the names of their three Whole Foods Association stores to GreenAcres Market and letting Whole Foods Market at the Waterfront have that name.

GreenAcres Market owners John and Barb Hoffmann are changing the names of their three Whole Foods Association stores to GreenAcres Market and letting Whole Foods Market at the Waterfront have that name.

In January, Hoffmann purchased the Wichita Whole Foods Association stores, which have no affiliation with the larger chain.

“We have great respect for what Rene Shelton and her family have built under the Whole Foods Association name, and we don’t take that lightly,” Hoffmann said in a release. “This was a very hard decision, but we feel, moving forward, it is best for our customers to have a united offering and a unified GreenAcres brand. We are glad we reached an amicable agreement with Whole Foods Market and both parties are excited to turn more and more Wichita shoppers on to natural and organic foods and the quality products both our companies stand for.”

Hoffmann says she and Whole Foods Market each agreed not to say anything beyond what was in both of their news releases.

Three Whole Foods Association stores will change their names to GreenAcres by late summer. That includes stores in Normandie at Central and Woodlawn, in the Clear Lakes shopping center near 21st and Amidon and near 21st and Maize Road. Hoffmann already was in the process of changing two Health Food Center stores in Oklahoma to the GreenAcres name.

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Wichita’s Whole Foods Market may not have to be called Bread & Circus

breadncircusWICHITA — According to a poll so informal it probably shouldn’t be called a poll, it looks like the Bread & Circus name that Wichita’s new Whole Foods Market will go by here isn’t exactly being embraced.

Or, to be blunt, no one seems to like it – or actually call the store by that name.

There’s a glimmer of hope, though, for those who prefer the Whole Foods name.

The reason the Austin-based chain chose Bread & Circus, which was the name of some stores the company bought in 1992, is Wichita’s local Whole Foods Association already had the name here.

GreenAcres Market owner Barb Hoffmann purchased the Whole Foods Association stores in January, and it appears she’s now considering letting the larger Whole Foods chain have the name.

“I’m not able to say anything right now,” Hoffmann says.

She says she’ll likely be able to talk in a couple of weeks.

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SpaRenity Nails & Organics to open in same Waterfront center as Bread & Circus

pedi1WICHITA — In keeping with the organic theme of the Waterfront’s new Whole Foods Market, which will go by Bread & Circus in Wichita, a new spa and salon featuring organic products is opening in the same center.

Wichitan Kevin Tuan and his family own four salons around Wichita, but now he’s branching out on his own for two more, including the one at the northwest corner of 13th and Webb.

His first SpaRenity Nails & Organics will have a grand opening Sunday at 3750 N. Woodlawn.

Tuan says this will be a smaller spa, offering pedicures, manicures and facials, than the one he’ll open at the Waterfront. That one also will include massage.

Tuan says he wants to see how the first one goes and make adjustments for the Waterfront site.

The Woodlawn spa is opening in the former Golden Nail space.

“Everything’s brand new,” Tuan says.

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Metro Grill owner explains departure

WICHITA — Metro Grill owner Michael Gonzalez wasn’t available last week to discuss why he abruptly left his restaurant at the Waterfront, which his landlord said he gutted on the way out.

“There was more to it than what they said, of course,” Gonzalez says.

“I’ve been so depressed for the last couple of weeks, but life goes on.”

He says there were a number of issues that caused him to leave.

“I was expecting volume like Andover,” Gonzalez says of his former restaurant there, which someone else now owns.

He says his lunch and weekend business was great, but the rest of his sales weren’t enough.

“That was just too much of a high rent to sustain,” Gonzalez says. “But I gave it a shot.”

He says parking became a bit of an issue with the new Firebirds next door to his restaurant. Also, Gonzalez says his landlords disappointed him by not putting his restaurant on a billboard near Kellogg and Rock Road as he says they promised. He says he had been working with them to lower his rent and then received a 10-day notice to leave.

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Metro Grill abruptly closes at the Waterfront; owner ‘gutted the place,’ landlord says

WICHITA — As he opens a new Metro Grill on the west side, Michael Gonzalez abruptly left his restaurant of the same name at the Waterfront.

“He just went in there and gutted the place a couple of nights ago,” says Johnny Stevens, a partner in the development at 13th and Webb Road.

“Pulled lights out of the ceiling. Pulled cabinets off the walls. Took everything he could.”

Stevens says Gonzalez didn’t leave many things behind.

“Not much. A sink. A toilet. A few odds and ends.”

Gonzalez couldn’t be reached for comment.

There’s now an eviction notice on the door, but Stevens says that came only after Gonzalez moved out.

“There’s nothing to go back in for,” he says. “But we’ve got to … go through that process.”

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Waterfront development to get new office park; Whole Foods to break ground in July

The nine lots on the lower right of this aerial map show where the newest development at the Waterfront will go.

WICHITA — Another new area of development is coming to the Waterfront at 13th and Webb Road.

“We’ve got a small office park going in east of Bonefish,” says Stephen Clark II.

There will be up to nine lots on eight acres.

“It’s all office use,” Clark says.

Primarily, those offices will be medical, but there will be some service-type offices as well, such as financial services.

The lots are for sale, and the buyers will be the builders, though each building will be in what Clark calls the upscale Waterfront style.

“We have one so far and are talking to others,” Clark says of buyers.

He says the first deal will be announced in August.

Construction will start next week.

There’s still room for retail between Bonefish Grill and the new office park, but that will come later, Clark says.

There are several other areas in development at the Waterfront.

Planning is still underway for a new Class A, high-end apartment complex across the lake from Homewood Suites by Hilton at the Waterfront. Clark says schematics are now complete.

Also, the new 5,000-square-foot home for his father’s Clark Investment Group should be ready in two months.

The company currently is in 2,500 square feet near 13th and Rock Road in the Polo Club Office Park. The new office is off of Webb Road and across from Ciao Italian Kitchen on the Waterfront’s lake.

Over at Waterfront Plaza, which is on the northwest corner of 13th and Webb Road, construction is close to starting on the new Whole Foods grocery that will anchor the development.

“That starts in one month,” Clark says.

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Mike Lewis moves Newton gym, opens training center in Wichita

UPDATED — Mike Lewis has moved his Newton-based gym and is opening a personal training center in Wichita.

Mike Lewis Fitness is now in about 6,000 square feet at the Chisholm Trail Center-Outlet & Retail Shops in Newton.

“Basically, I’m growing,” Lewis says of his business, which opened in 2009.

The gym offers a variety of workout options, such as spin classes, boot camps and personal training.

The new business, Fitness on the Waterfront, is opening at the Waterfront development at 13th and Webb Road exclusively for personal training.

“The clientele up there around the Waterfront is the main reason I want to do the Waterfront one,” Lewis says.

Don Piros of Landmark Commercial Real Estate handled the deal.

Personal training that he received, along with a sports background, inspired Lewis to open the gym.

“I’ve played every sport known to man,” he says. “I always wanted to open my own gym.”

You don’t say

“If it was any kind of confusion, they would have never gave us that name.”

David Foster, who says he wouldn’t have been able to get a permit for his new Waterfront Cafe and Catering near I-235 and Seneca if it would be confused with the Waterfront development at 13th and Webb Road