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.”

You don’t say

“They can have airplanes falling off of trains, and they don’t even blink.”

– Aviation forecaster Rolland Vincent, referencing the recent train derailment in which three fuselages built at Spirit AeroSystems tumbled into a Montana river, on how nothing slows down the company

Bloom Wellness to open with studios downtown and in College Hill

WICHITA — Jessica St. Clair-Stong is returning to what she loves by opening Bloom Wellness yoga studios next week.

“I felt like there was a real opportunity,” she says.

The Kansas native had been living abroad when she trained in Prague to teach yoga, “as everybody does, right?” she says, laughing.

St. Clair-Stong then taught in France and London.

“It was a great gig.”

She moved to Wichita to be with family a couple of years ago and then married Chris Stong, director of operations forNuWay.

Now, she’s opening Bloom Wellness, which will serve clients out of Janelle Robertson’s Trove Total Body Studio at the Renfro at 612 E. Douglas. St. Clair-Stong also will have a studio at her College Hill home, but she says she wanted that downtown experience, too.

“I love downtown Wichita,” she says. “I love the space. I love Trove.”

Through yoga, St. Clair-Stong says she wants to “create a sense of community and connection.”

The Renfro space has room for only six people.

“It’s almost like personalized instruction,” St. Clair-Stong says.

She also offers health and nutrition coaching and cranial-sacral therapy, which she describes as “almost like a gentle massage.”

“It sounds wild, I realize that.”

St. Clair-Stong says she has a variety of approaches to yoga.

“My classes are different, I think, than … what you have come to expect yoga to be.”

St. Clair-Stong has a graduate degree in psychology and emphasizes emotional and physical connections. She says yoga is more about feeling, form and structure “and knowing your body and feeling your body.”

“Yoga is more about understanding yourself versus pumping through poses.”

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.”

You don’t say

“I apologize for being kind of a sappy father.”

Bicycle X-Change owner Michael Scanga on his daughter, Michelle, being pictured in Cosmopolitan’s September issue and quoted as saying, “It’s the best when somebody asks where I got a dress or top, and I can say, ‘Oh, a little shop in Kansas.’”

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.”

Dillons adding fuel center at Central and Maize store

WICHITA — Dillons is adding a fuel center to its store at Central and Maize in west Wichita.

Work started Monday and is scheduled to be completed later this fall.

Spokeswoman Sheila Lowrie says the center will have a traditional service kiosk for “all those on-the-go type items” such as candy bars, cigarettes and lottery tickets.

There will be five fuel dispensers that can service 10 vehicles at a time.

The center will be built at the southeast corner of the Dillons parking lot.

 

 

 

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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.