District Taqueria, an ‘urban taco bar,’ to open near Douglas and Washington

WICHITA — Builder’s Inc. broker Adam Clements was reading Have You Heard? in January when he saw the news that Jon’s Ale House near Douglas and Washington was closing.

“I got a lightbulb as soon as I read that,” he says.

His clients Michael Farha and Marc Humsi have “been looking for a good Douglas location for a long time.”

The two now plan to open District Taqueria in the 3,000-square-foot space, which some people remember best as Kelly’s Irish Pub.

Clements describes District Taqueria as “an urban taco bar.”

“The focus is going to be on the taco,” Farha says. “In Mexico, that’s the true food of choice, and we’re just kind of taking it to the next level.”

Farha works for his family’s Farha’s Carpet & Building Supply. He used to have the Food Group to do catering.

“I wanted to open a restaurant, so I just kind of let that fizzle out,” Farha says.

Humsi is from Syracuse.

“His mother is a Farha,” Farha says. “Technically, he’s a very distant cousin.”

The two met when Humsi moved here and some other cousins introduced them.

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Google pin drop attracts attention at Corner 365, but Google has nothing to do with it

This sign in front of the new Corner 365 apartments is attracting attention -- just as Mike Garvey hoped it would.

This sign in front of the new Corner 365 apartments is attracting attention — just as Mike Garvey hoped it would.

WICHITA — The popular Google pin drop, which pinpoints sites on Google maps, has been popping up in a number of strange places worldwide.

For instance, the British tabloid Metro did a story last week about the red Google A, which looks like an upside down teardrop, showing up in a Berkshire roundabout. The paper quoted someone who questioned if it could be linked to a mysterious ghost child who supposedly haunts a nearby bridge.

Artist Aram Bartholl has a project in which he erected a giant red letter A in some cities on the spots that Google says are the centers of the cities.

Now, Wichita’s Builders Inc. has a red A in front of its apartments, Corner 365, under construction at the southeast corner of First and Waco.

No one has questioned if a ghost child is involved, but some have wondered if the A might denote what Google thinks is the center of Wichita. That’s not the case, though.

Builders Inc. president Mike Garvey says he was online one day when he saw a man in Germany standing in front of a building with what looked like the Google pin in front of it.

Garvey says he realized it was an imposter pin, but he says, “I was like, that’s a great idea.”

Hoping to bring attention to the apartments, Garvey had a sign company make him a similar pin.

“Some people have noticed it,” he says. “Maybe people drive by it and think it’s a Google pin.”

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Medical Development Management to expand at the Garvey Center

UPDATED — For the second time in less than a year, Medical Development Management is moving. It’ll be a much shorter trip this time around, though.

In July, the company moved from Kellogg and Rock Road to about 2,500 square feet at the O.W. Garvey Building at 200 W. Douglas.

MDM had an option to take some extra space for a total of 4,500 square feet. Instead, though, it’s now going to move next door into the 6,500 square feet that Case, Moses & Zimmerman currently occupies.

“It made more sense to do that,” says MDM president Joe Hlavacek.

“We were willing to work with them in allowing them to continue to grow,” says attorney David Moses. “It also affords us an opportunity to look at all of our alternatives.”

Hlavacek says there are several ways the company is growing.

“Right now … the project that’s causing us to need more space is we … are in the process of developing a general acute care hospital in Kearney, Nebraska,” he says.

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Dandurand Drugstore to open near 21st and Ridge Road

Mike Dandurand, center, with his son, Ben, right, and Paul Vossen, who will manage the new Dandurand Drugstore opening on the west side.

Mike Dandurand, center, with his son, Ben, right, and Paul Vossen, who will manage the new Dandurand Drugstore opening on the west side.

WICHITA — Mike Dandurand, who opened his first Dandurand Drugstore on the east side in 1976, has always planned to have a west-side store.

However, “just the way health care is now” held him up.

“Finally, we just decided we don’t know what’s going to happen, we’re just going to do it,” he says.

The new store will be in 3,000 square feet near the northwest corner of 21st and Ridge Road where Westside Flowers by DeOrsey recently moved and Subway and Pho Chopstix already are.

“It’s going to be a hybrid,” Dandurand says of the store. “That means we’re going to do retail, but we’re also going to do compounding. … There’s a lot of pharmacies over there, but there’s not a lot of compounding pharmacies over there.”

Dandurand says that patients – anyone from premature babies to the elderly to even pets – sometimes need medicine in customized dosages, which is what compounding is for.

Dandurand’s main store is at Piccadilly Square at Central and Rock Road. Within that, there also is a long-term care pharmacy that’s strictly for people in care facilities. There’s also a Dandurand outlet inside Wichita Family Medicine Specialists at Carriage Parkway.

In 2005, Dandurand expanded from its original site at Piccadilly to new 7,500-square-foot space at the center where Brick’s used to be.

“It gave us a chance to remodel (while) still in business,” Dandurand says. He says it allowed him to update the store and “make it so it was inviting.”

It’s the same idea with the new store, which will be similar to the Dandurand at Piccadilly, though a little bit smaller.

“We’ll still have a fair amount of space for gifts,” Dandurand says.

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Garvey Center goes to great heights to show Shocker support

34WICHITA — Maintenance workers at the Garvey Center had to come in on their days off this weekend, but it wasn’t because of a maintenance problem.

It’s because Larry Weber, vice president with Builders Inc., had the idea to paint the number of Shocker wins on the top of the 26-story building along with changing the downtown building’s lights to appear Shocker yellow.

“I thought what better way to show … appreciation than to light up the building and put the numbers on top,” Weber says.

First was “32” on Friday.

“When they were up there painting, people were honking horns and flashing lights,” Weber says.

Then came “33” on Saturday and “34” on Sunday.

yellowThe building’s lights were changed to yellow with the help of some theatrical gel. Weber says his maintenance crew has a theatrical background.

He says thanks to social media, people from as far away as Australia have commented on the display.

“So it’s getting some worldwide play, but then it’s a world-class team, right?”

Weber says he “of course” will continue to have the numbers repainted to reflect each win. He won’t say what he’s going to do after the final number is up.

“That’s going to be a surprise.”

Two state agencies sign at Garvey Center

UPDATED — The state has completed two more leases for agencies that will be leaving the Finney State Office Building.

The Kansas Department of Health & Environment and the Kansas Human Rights Commission will be moving to the Garvey Center.

“We were just really impressed with the spaces we visited,” says Todd Fertig, a spokesman for the Department of Administration. “They fit a lot better with what these specific agencies needed.”

In June, Have You Heard? reported that nine state agencies, including more than 700 employees, will leave the Finney building when the state’s lease expires on Sept. 30.

KDHE will take the entire seventh floor of the R.H. Garvey Building at 300 W. Douglas. That’s 10,566 square feet.

The Human Rights Commission is taking 1,800 square feet on the second floor.

Fertig says the commission is a smaller agency with a limited budget.

“The Garvey Center was able to really work with them to … kind of retrofit the space so it was really what they needed at a very affordable rate.”

Larry Weber, who handled the deal for Builders Inc., says he’s “excited to have them here and remaining in downtown.”

Both spaces are areas that Harrington Health has been in or been using for storage, Weber says.

All but a couple of the agencies that either are in or have been in the Finney building have made or are close to making deals for new space.

The largest of those agencies and the one to spur the move, the Department for Children and Families, is close to finalizing a deal at 2601 S. Oliver where the U.S. Postal Service has had a remote encoding center.

Westside Flowers by DeOrsey moving to new space

WICHITA — Westside Flowers by DeOrsey is remaining on the west side but moving east by just a bit.

Tina DeOrsey-McClernon’s shop currently is in about 750 square feet near 29th and Tyler. She’s moving to 1,500 square feet near 21st and Ridge, where Subway and Pho Chopstix are.

“We’re kind of bouncing back and forth right now,” DeOrsey-McClernon says of going between locations.

“The main reason we’re moving is just for the opportunity the extra space will give us,” she says.

In addition to fresh flowers, DeOrsey-McClernon says she has custom silk flowers as well, “which really is my favorite part of it.”

The new space also will allow her to expand her business with fresh floral design classes.

“I’m hoping that they’ll be a big hit.”

Adam Clements of Builders Inc. handled the deal. Builders handles leasing at the center.

The business will have an updated website as of Jan. 20.

DeOrsey-McClernon says she has to get through the Bridal and Event Expo this weekend; she hopes to then open in the new space the following weekend.

New Kobe Steak House of Japan opens

WICHITA — The new Kobe Steak House of Japan opened in the former Playa Azul space at 21st and Tyler today.

In June, owners Jim Hamlin and Jim West told Have You Heard? they planned to merge their former Derby business with their Kobe near 21st and Maize Road in new west-side space.

“We completely gutted the 4,900 square feet (and) came back in with all new everything,” Hamlin says.

“It was a very extensive remodel,” says Adam Clements of Builders Inc., who handled the deal.

“The new facade looks great,” Clements says. “They have given it kind of a fun oriental spin.”

Hamlin says the restaurant has a lot of light and has an expanded bar area.

“It’s really fun inside,” Clements says. “I think it’ll be really well received.”

Medical Community Credit Union to move to former Garden Plain State Bank space

UPDATED — A former bank no doubt is a better home for a credit union than a former doctor’s office, and that’s why Medical Community Credit Union is moving.

President and CEO Larry Schmitz says the credit union will be moving to “a true retail banking facility” where Garden Plain State Bank used to be at 1400 S. Oliver next to the Parklane Shopping Center.

Visibility and accessibility are the top reasons for the move, Schmitz says.

“It also gives us the opportunity to potentially have an ATM location.”

There will be a drive-through as well.

Currently, he says that “people have to get out of their car and walk in.”

There will be other new services that the new site will have as well, such as safe deposit boxes that are already there.

“We also don’t have a vault like that building does,” Schmitz says.

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Geek Shop to expand to new space near Intrust Bank Arena

Jason Gregg of the Geek Shop, who says he fixes most anything with batteries or that plugs in an outlet.

WICHITA — Rockers, athletes and partiers all hang out in and around Intrust Bank Arena, so why not geeks, too?

Jason Gregg is moving his Geek Shop from 1,500 square feet at 837 S. Poplar near Lincoln and Interstate 135 to almost 11,000 square feet at 214 S. Commerce just north of the arena.

“With the arena starting to stand on its feet now, the area could change,” Gregg says. “The area will change. … I see it right now as unrealized opportunities.”

He likes the growing residential component along with the increasing number of businesses. Gregg thinks his company could see a lot of new work from customers in the area who need technology repairs and support.

“Basically, we’re just a little bit of everything,” he says of what he offers.

In addition to repairing almost anything that takes batteries or plugs in an outlet, Gregg also plans a 1,000-square-foot gaming lounge in his new space and a 1,000-square-foot Internet cafe that also can be used for board games and card games.

“We’re really into gaming. We love technology,” Gregg says. He says he views it “as a passion, so this really isn’t just a job.”

The new repair area will grow by 400 percent, he says, and he expects to be able to handle about 50 repairs at once.

In the new store’s basement, Gregg says, he’ll be able to properly handle the disposal of chemicals and components from electronics.

“It has to be recycled responsibly,” he says. “We’re a green company. We like to reuse, repurpose. We like to utilize limited resources and be creative.”

Jameson Decker of Builders Inc. handled the deal for the space.

Gregg plans to move in early October, and he expects his new store to be a test of sorts by furthering research into technology, particularly as it relates to open-source applications, meaning any technology without a license. The idea, he says, is “people being able to share information as fast as light will travel.”

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