Category Archives: WaterWalk

DeBoer names his new apartments after neighboring WaterWalk development

WICHITA — The new apartments that Jack DeBoer is building on the west side of the river across from his WaterWalk development now have a name: WaterWalk Apartments.

It may seem like the obvious choice, but it wasn’t necessarily.

“We toyed with some other names,” DeBoer says. “We struggled with it.”

DeBoer says he doesn’t remember what the other names were but that it’s surprising how many conflicts there are with names.

“It’s amazing, you pick a name, and it sounds like a good idea.”

Then, he says, you might find that it’s already in use or has a connection somewhere else or a connotation that you don’t like.

“Vetting a name in business is not a simple task,” DeBoer says.

WaterWalk, in the end, made sense, he says.

“And frankly … I owned the name, and so I said, ‘Oh, OK.’ ”

Landmark’s Craig Simon takes over WaterWalk commercial leasing

WICHITA — Craig Simon of Landmark Commercial Real Estate is now handling commercial leasing at WaterWalk Place near Main and Waterman in addition to a few other properties Jack DeBoer owns.

“He’s just really excited about what’s going on downtown,” WaterWalk’s Vanessa Johnson says of Simon. “He’s really interconnected.”

There are five suites left on the west side of the first floor of WaterWalk Place. They’re 1,485 square feet each, except for one smaller suite that is 1,025 square feet.

“Hopefully we’ll have an announcement here in another 30 days,” Simon says of a new tenant.

Current tenants are V Wealth Management, Pulaski Bank, Fabulous Salon and Gifts, Kelley, York & Associates and Brothers & Co.

“That was designed for retail,” Simon says of the ground floor beneath residential condos. “It’s better suited for office right now.”

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Doug Rupe leaves WaterWalk for Legend Senior Living

WICHITA — Doug Rupe no longer is WaterWalk’s executive vice president. He’s taken a new job with Legend Senior Living.

“Well, he just had a great opportunity to take over development,” says WaterWalk owner Jack DeBoer.

“You know, I never stand in the way,” he says. “It’s a big loss, but … he’ll be a great asset for them.”

DeBoer isn’t replacing Rupe – at least for now.

“We’re shuffling some people around a little bit,” he says. “We’re going to kind of see how it goes with the team we have.”

Gander Mountain to remodel and add Gander Mountain Academy

WICHITA — Gander Mountain is ready to remodel and add a Gander Mountain Academy to its WaterWalk store downtown.

“Gander Mountain Academy is the ultimate experience in firearms training,” says director Chris Juelich, using the academy’s tagline.

Have You Heard? first reported the academy was a possibility in February.

“The goal is to be done right around the first couple of weeks of November,” Juelich says.

“It’ll be the sixth one of its kind in the United States.”

That’s out of 116 stores the Minnesota-based company has in 23 states.

Part of the reason the Wichita store was chosen is because the company wants to space the academies out around the country.

The WaterWalk Gander Mountain’s success is another reason.

“It’s one of our top performers,” Juelich says.

The academy will have a combination of classroom training simulators, virtual ranges and a live range.

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Gander Mountain may remodel and add shooting range

WICHITA — It looks like Gander Mountain may soon be remodeling its store at WaterWalk.

Nationally, the Minnesota-based company has been planning remodels at a number of stores along with adding indoor shooting ranges.

There’s no official announcement on when — or if — the remodeling is happening here, but it’s looking very likely.

“It is under serious consideration,” says spokesman David Ewald.

“We are continuing to announce remodels.”

Remodeling includes what Ewald calls “significant changes” to fixtures, sight lines and signage.

The shooting range is called Gander Mountain Academy.

“It’s way, way more than a shooting range,” Ewald says.

“It’s what we call a virtual range,” he says.

There are real handguns that shoot lasers, and virtual simulators allow people to practice in real-life situations in realistic surroundings.

“Which is very cool,” Ewald says. “I’ve tried it myself.”

Look for news on the possible remodeling here later this year.

Ewald says Gander Mountain loves Wichita and has “been delighted to have the store here.”

WaterWalk hotel developers request city assistance

WICHITA — As Have You Heard? reported a month ago, hotelier Jim Korroch is trying to bring a limited-service Marriott flag hotel to WaterWalk.

Korroch isn’t talking, but he and WaterWalk developers have been working with the city and are formally requesting help from the Wichita City Council at Tuesday’s meeting.

In addition to asking for up to $12 million in industrial revenue bonds, they’re also asking for a new kind of financial assistance.

“They’re asking the city to create a community improvement district,” says Allen Bell, the city’s urban development director.

Last year, the Kansas Legislature passed a law to allow the creation of the districts, which are redevelopment tools that provide increased sales tax for businesses.

The districts allow up to 2 percent additional tax that the state would send back to the city.

“We would then use that money to either pay it back to the developer to reimburse the developer for costs they put into the project or use it to pay off city bonds,” Bell says.

Korroch and WaterWalk are requesting the full 2 percent and would use it for project costs — not for city bonds.

“That’s called the pay-as-you-go financing,” Bell says.

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WaterWalk may be home to a Marriott hotel

WICHITA — It looks like a hotel could be coming to WaterWalk, but no one is talking about it yet — at least not publicly.

Hotel developer Jim Korroch may be bringing a Marriott flag hotel to the property.

Korroch also owns the Courtyard by Marriott in Old Town and the SpringHill Suites by Marriott next to his Residence Inn by Marriott in the Plazzio development at 13th and Greenwich.

As early as 2004, WaterWalk developers discussed having a hotel at the downtown development as long as it didn’t hurt the city’s business at the Hyatt Regency Wichita next door.

Now, former minority partner Jack DeBoer is in control of the struggling development, and it looks like he’s trying to secure a deal.

But, as is his new policy, DeBoer won’t confirm or deny anything to do with WaterWalk until it’s a done deal.

Several previous deals have been announced for the project only to not materialize.

The city may be involved in the potential WaterWalk hotel.

“I will confirm that we’re looking . . . at a possible hotel project,” says City Manager Bob Layton.

He won’t say what the potential deal is or that it’s even with Korroch or WaterWalk.

“Our discussions are very preliminary.”

Fabulous Salon and Gifts to open at WaterWalk Place

WICHITA — It’s been a long time coming, but WaterWalk Place is getting a new tenant.

Hair stylist Tami Dugan is opening Fabulous Salon and Gifts in 1,100 square feet at the north end of the building.

“This is a great opportunity,” Dugan says.

She’s been at Epic Hair Styling and Barber in the Epic Center for more than 20 years.

“I’m just venturing out on my own now,” Dugan says.

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Saddle Ranch not coming to WaterWalk

Visitors to downtown’s WaterWalk development may one day sidle up to a bar or restaurant there, but it won’t be the Saddle Ranch Chop House.


Almost two years after announcing the restaurant would come, WaterWalk president Tom Johnson now says it won’t. But he says it’s no big deal.

“No, it’s not important because we’re replacing them with a better tenant,” Johnson says.

He won’t say who that is.

“We’re not ready to release it yet,” Johnson says. He says he wants to package an announcement of several establishments “instead of dribbling little pieces of information out.”

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