Shear Voltage to leave the Collective for expanded space at the Garvey Center

WICHITA — A salon is opening in the former Bob’s Place barber shop at the Garvey Center downtown.

Jennifer Collins and Shelby Cheatum are moving their Shear Voltage salon from a small suite at the Collective near 21st and Greenwich to the Garvey Center on July 1.

“We’re just really excited to be in the downtown area and continue to grow our business,” Collins says.

She and Cheatum have been cutting hair together for about seven years and opened their business almost two years ago. They purposely started small because they heard the first couple of years in any business are particularly rough, Collins says. She says they’ve been successful, though, and are ready to grow.

The new space is 1,512 square feet.

Adam Clements and Larry Weber of Builders Inc. handled the deal.

The expanded salon will have eight stylists and offer a range of services in addition to hair care. That includes spray tans, massage, body waxing, makeup, eyelash extensions and, eventually, manicures and pedicures.

Collins says it makes sense to move downtown now.

“I think we’re hitting it at the time that we can grow with the downtown area.”

Supplement World to open in Andover

WICHITA — A supplement store is opening in Andover next month because Dustin West says he saw a need in the area.

His Supplement World will be an independent store, not a franchise.

“I’ve been in the fitness industry,” West says of working at gyms.

He’s also helped clients with fitness and diet plans and believes in the supplements he’ll be selling.

“I have a passion for the industry and the products.”

That includes various general health, fitness and vitamin supplements.

The store will be in 1,000 square feet at 321 S. Andover Road.

Adam Clements of Builders Inc. handled the deal.

There’s no firm opening date yet, but it’ll be sometime in the middle of May.

“I’m excited to help the area out and get everybody in shape,” West says of his store.

“This is hopefully the first of many.”

Builders Inc. prepares to once again start construction of Corner 365

WICHITA — Work is once again set to begin at Corner 365.

That’s the 36-unit apartment complex that Builders Inc. had to stop building at First and Waco when the company found a railroad car buried on the property.

The car was removed Friday.

“I heard it weighed 15 tons,” says Brad Smisor, executive vice president at Builders.

“It’s behind us. That’s good.”

There was some oil and water in the car.

The finding has delayed construction by two months, Smisor says. The issue became public less than a month ago, but the car was discovered more than a month before that.

“It was setting open,” Smisor says of the hole where the car was. “Anybody could have seen it.”

He says he’s not sure how much the issue affected the company financially.

“I still don’t know, to tell you the truth,” Smisor says. “It’s not going to … deter us from going ahead.”

He expects work to begin again within two weeks.

“Hopefully, you’ll see something coming out of the ground here shortly.”

Norwalk Furniture & Design moves to temporary space while seeking new home

WICHITA — Norwalk Furniture & Design is still in business, but you won’t find it at the Shops at Tallgrass at 21st and Rock Road.

In fact, you might not find it at all if you don’t know what you’re looking for. This month, Julia Benson moved her store to temporary space in a warehouse at 8630 E. 32nd Court North.

“It’s a pretty good-looking showroom,” she says of the selling area she’s created.

Benson has had the 3,000-square-foot warehouse, which is in the same building as the American Heart Association, for eight years.

She and her husband, Jim, bought the business – which then was a franchise called Norwalk the Furniture Idea – in 2004. Greg Wyers opened the store in 5,110 square feet at Tallgrass in 1998.

“In fact, Norwalk was the first store in that complex,” Julia Benson says.

She and the chain faced some serious hurdles when the economy crashed a few years ago.

“In 2008, when the banks first started squeezing in, Norwalk went under,” Benson says.

Her store remained in business but felt the pinch, she says.

“The same thing happened to me that happened to everybody else.”

That’s why she’s looking for new, less-expensive space.

“I love what I do,” Benson says. “I believe that our customers will follow us wherever we go, and so far I’ve been proven right.”

She adds, “I don’t mean that to sound like a braggart.”

In the couple of weeks since she’s moved, though, Benson’s business hasn’t diminished.

Still, she hopes to find new space quickly, and she’s not picky about what part of Wichita it’s in.

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SBA office to move to the Garvey Center using new streamlined design process

Wayne Bell, district director of the Small Business Administration.

WICHITA — The government is better known for red tape than streamlined processes, but the General Services Administration is working on that, and a change in offices for the Small Business Administration is going to offer something of a test case.

The SBA’s Wichita district office is moving from 271 W. Third St., where the IRS is, to the Page Court Building at the Garvey Center at 220 E. Douglas.

Before the move can happen, there has to be a design phase, which could determine everything from the tint of the windows to security systems in the new office.

“Normally, the process would take … 60 days or more,” says Wayne Bell, the SBA’s district director.

The GSA has a new design intent drawing process that will convene everyone involved in the move — contractors, designers, the SBA, the GSA, a representative for the landlord and anyone else connected with the project.

“You’re going to have all of the players in the room,” Bell says. “With this approach, everything should be complete within a three-day timeframe. It’s a really, really good idea.”

The old way of doing things involved sending drawings to the GSA, then the SBA, which would make changes before sending it back to the GSA. Then the contractor would get the drawings after a protracted period.

“So it could take months,” Bell says.

The design intent drawing creates a condensed timeframe where there’s an on-the-spot rough draft of the SBA’s needs that gets refined immediately with everyone present.

“This is very new,” Bell says. “So it’s going to be kind of an on-the-job learning process.”

The meetings will take place over a three-day period in late October at the Wichita Downtown Development Corp.’s design innovation center.

“What we try to do in that space is make resources available,” says WDDC president Jeff Fluhr.

That includes conference calling and video conferencing.

“We’re thrilled they’re willing to take the opportunity,” Fluhr says of the SBA and GSA. He says the attitude is “let’s walk through it and see what we learn from it.”

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B&C Barbeque to open on south side

WICHITA — South-side residents regularly complain that when new restaurants come to the city, they don’t come to their area.

A well-known Wichita restaurant soon will be expanding there, though.

Carey Maurer is opening a second B&C Barbeque at 2308 S. Meridian, which is just north of Pawnee and Meridian.

The current B&C is at Third and Washington downtown.

A few things are motivating Maurer, he says.

“Just opportunity, I suppose. . . . It seems like the economy has gotta come back in Wichita.”

Also, there’s not much barbecue competition in that area, he says.

“There’s really not anything down that way.”

The new restaurant will be slightly different than the downtown B&C.

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Garvey Center to build 36-unit apartment complex downtown at First and Waco

WICHITA — In another sign of recovery – both for Wichita and downtown in particular – the Garvey Center is going to build new apartments.

“We’re going to be constructing 36 new apartment units at the corner of First and Waco,” says Garvey Center manager Larry Weber.

The city owns half the parking lot that’s at the southeast corner, and the Garvey Center owns the other half.

Weber expects the project will take about a year to build after the city approves selling its land.

“The thing that’s significant about it is it’s adding new residential into our downtown,” says Jeff Fluhr, president of the Wichita Downtown Development Corp.

Fluhr says Builders Inc., which owns the Garvey Center, and its CEO, Mike Garvey, were some of the first to step up to help pay for a $100,000 study of downtown that showed that more residential is needed. Fluhr says more living areas in turn help meet retail and restaurant needs, which also were part of the plan.

City Council member Janet Miller agrees that the new apartments are likely to help with the ripple effect.

“That brings more services, more retail, more entertainment options.” All of that may eventually lead to a full-scale grocery store for the city’s core, she says, “which is what everybody wants.”

The Garvey Center already has 155 apartments at 250 Douglas Place.

“We’re 100 percent (occupied) on those, and the demand is such that more are needed,” Weber says.

Parking will be within the Garvey Center’s garage.

While other apartments and condos have become available downtown in recent years, none has been built from the ground up.

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Flint Hills Spas and EmbroidMe to open near northeast corner of Central and Edgemoor

WICHITA — Adam Clements of Builders Inc. has been busy doing deals on Central lately.

There are the BattleStations Gaming and Better Buy Jewelry deals that Have You Heard? reported earlier Wednesday, and now there are two more at Central and Edgemoor.

“It’s kind of been like Occupy Central,” Clements says.

At the northeast corner of Central and Edgemoor, Dave Garretson is moving his Flint Hills Spas to the same spot where he used to have his California Cooperage of Wichita hot tub store in the 1970s.

“It’s kind of ironic going full circle back into the original space,” he says.

Garretson sold hot tubs for several years in the ’70s and then sold his half of the company and moved to California in the late ’70s. In 2005, he returned to Wichita and opened the store, which he called Flint Hills Spas and Billiards, at 742 N. Andover Road.

He located there to be near where a lot of new houses were under construction, but that’s changed.

“I need to … get back where it’s a little higher traffic,” Garretson says.

He’s dropped the billiards sales and is adding pellet grills.

The store will be in 1,300 square feet where Ash-craft engraving used to be, which is a few doors down from MIF Deli.

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Better Buy Jewelry to open at Preston Village at Central and Greenwich

WICHITA — Also opening at Preston Village where BattleStations Gaming is locating is Better Buy Jewelry, which used to be in Towne East Square.

Juan Gonzales says he was forced to move because of Wright Career College’s expansion at the mall, but he doesn’t mind.

“We like the (new) area not only because I live nearby but also because we feel like it’s more secure,” he says. “It’s in a better, safer place.”

Also, Gonzales says, he doesn’t have much competition.

“There’s no jewelry stores on … this side of Kellogg and Rock Road.”

Like the BattleStations deal, Adam Clements of Builders Inc. handled this one as well.

The new store, which will also repair jewelry and watches, opens Sept. 25 and will have a grand opening Sept. 29.

BattleStations Gaming to open at Preston Village near Central and Greenwich

WICHITA — A new gaming center is opening at Preston Village near the northeast corner of Central and Greenwich.

“We’re going to try to take the Starbucks experience meets the gaming industry,” says Steve Heiden, CEO of BattleStations Gaming.

The business will have Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and computer gaming along with some nonelectronic gaming, such as role-playing games.

“We want to create … the game center,” Heiden says. He wants gamers and nongamers alike to “feel warm and welcome here.”

He’ll have snacks and drinks available along with an 80-inch TV for those who might be there with others but don’t want to play. There also will be video games for sale along with PC accessories, T-shirts and miscellaneous gaming items.

Although many people have these games in their homes, Heiden says, “Maybe you don’t have a 3-D TV, or maybe you don’t have that 7.1 headset.”

He likes to use the coffee analogy to explain it.

“Well, honestly, you could make coffee at your house, or you could get it at work for free,” Heiden says. He points out that a lot of people go to Starbucks instead.

“You go there for an experience,” Heiden says. “That’s what we’re trying to do.”

Adam Clements of Builders Inc. handled the deal.

BattleStations Gaming, which will be in more than 2,400 square feet, is having a soft opening Saturday and a grand opening Sept. 7.