A 1,500-square-foot Scooter’s is second tenant for Union Station

WICHITA — Occidental Management now has its second tenant in its new development at Union Station, which it is planning to transform into a multi-use destination in the heart of the city.

“We’re going to be putting in a Scooter’s coffee cafe,” says Occidental president Chad Stafford, who handled the deal with chairman and CEO Gary Oborny.

Wichita businessman Tad Fugate will open the Scooter’s in 1,500 square feet on the east end of what was the Grand Hotel immediately to the west of The Wichita Eagle. The businesses are across from the entrance to Old Town.

“So they’ll have great presence along Douglas,” Stafford says.

“To have them in this with their coffee brand is pretty exciting,” he says of Fugate and his company.

This won’t be a typical Scooter’s kiosk.

“This is a little bit different for them in that they’re getting into a little cafe style.”

There are similar Scooter’s cafes on the Plaza in Kansas City and in Overland Park.

There will be a drive-through at the cafe.

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McKenzie & Associates to open at Occidental Plaza

WICHITA — Marriage and family therapist Mac McKenzie has left the Parker Group at Occidental Plaza downtown, but he hasn’t gone far.

“I am branching out on my own,” McKenzie says.

His new practice, McKenzie & Associates, also will be at Occidental Plaza at Second and Main.

“It’s smack dab in the middle of town,” McKenzie says. “It’s nice to be kind of centrally located.”

McKenzie will treat any age patient. He’s a certified play therapist and specializes in trauma treatment.

Stephanie Wiens and Chad Stafford of Occidental Management handled the lease.

McKenzie says he likes Wichita history, and Occidental Plaza is a big part of that.

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Smoothie King and two other businesses to open in former Rock Island Depot space

UPDATED — Some people buy sports cars or take extravagant trips for their midlife crises, but Neil Bhakta is choosing to share his with all of Wichita by opening three new businesses.

The Smoothie King partner is planning his fourth Smoothie King site, this time downtown in the former Rock Island Depot, where he also plans a new restaurant and venue space.

“This is going to be my midlife crisis project right here,” Bhakta says.

“I love the building that we’re going into.”

Old Town Martini, which was the last business there, closed in 2009.

Occidental Management purchased the building earlier this year as part of its purchase of the Union Station campus. The company plans a mixed-use development, which will have retail and office space and possibly residential as well. Smoothie King is the first announced tenant.

“It’s good to get the first one done,” says Chad Stafford, Occidental president. “We’re excited to get rolling down there.”

Stafford thinks Smoothie King will do well.

“It’s going to do terrific,” he says. “Certainly there’s a lot of traffic. … That site, as it begins to develop and get rolling, we’ll have a lot of visitors to it.”

Bhakta says Occidental will restore the exterior of the building.

“It’s going to be a nice project.”

It’s one he says he previously wouldn’t have even considered.

In the dozen or so years of having Smoothie King, Bhakta says, “We never looked at downtown.”

That’s even though he grew up in the area.

“We actually left,” Bhakta says. “Downtown in the ’90s, we didn’t have much faith in it … coming back.”

That’s what has happened, though, he says.

“What they’ve done downtown is amazing.”

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Nail Elements to expand in Derby

WICHITA — Nail Elements, one of the first tenants that opened in Occidental Management’s Spring Creek shopping center at Madison and Rock Road in Derby, is expanding.

Owner Vivian Le says it’s all about “more options for customers.”

She’s adding 632 square feet to her existing 1,600 square feet. Le says this will allow her to add more pedicure stations and throw parties for people wanting group nail treatments.

Le says the effect is “pretty much more delux.”

Occidental’s Chad Stafford handled the deal.

Sources: Occidental Management signs letter of intent to buy Union Station

WICHITA — After about five years of courtship with various suitors, it looks like Union Station finally may be engaged again.

Sources say Occidental Management has signed a letter of intent to buy the downtown property that Cox Communications owns and where it previously had its Kansas headquarters.

“We continue to have discussions with interested parties,” says Jay Allbaugh, Cox’s vice president of government and public affairs for the Cox Central Region.

Allbaugh won’t say anything further, and Occidental chairman and CEO Gary Oborny says he can’t comment on the situation.

Union Station and its 111,000-square-foot campus first went on the market in spring 2008, about a year after Cox left for bigger offices at 901 George Washington Blvd.

The list price for the former train station at 701 E. Douglas is $6.4 million.

Clay Center businessman Phil Frigon’s $5.5 million, 2009 deal to buy the campus to create a mixed-use development collapsed when he failed to reach an agreement for the city to lease parking from him for Intrust Bank Arena.

A mixed-use development that potentially would include retail, office and residential space and would help further revitalize downtown has been the top hope of potential uses for Union Station.

Oborny and Occidental have a history of converting older properties into new developments, most notably with the former Northrock 6 Theater at 32nd Street and North Rock Road. They converted the theater into an 80,000-square-foot, Class A office complex where Occidental now has its headquarters.

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Pennsylvania-based Benco Dental to open office at Travel Air Building in Delano

WICHITA — Benco Dental, the third-largest dental dealer in the nation, will be moving to Delano in April.

“We sell everything that a dentist uses in his office,” says Dennis Doyle, a territory representative for the Pennsylvania-based company.

Benco, which arrived in Wichita about seven months ago, is taking 2,600 square feet in Occidental Management’s Travel Air Building at 535 W. Douglas.

The company has been in temporary Occidental space at Northwest Centre at 13th and Tyler while the new space is prepared.

“We’re going to keep the space very open to … show the old architecture of the building,” Doyle says.

There are brick walls and exposed timbers in the ceiling.

“We wanted someplace that wasn’t kind of sterile or an industrial park area,” Doyle says. He says the company wanted “a more relaxed setting.”

“Plus, it’s very centrally located for us as well.”

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Pita Pit is returning to Rock Road

WICHITA — Pita Pit is returning to Wichita under new ownership.

“This is kind of a mid-life crisis for me,” says Cammy Onek, an El Dorado resident who has been in education and coaching for years.

She and her husband, Chad, are opening a Pita Pit in the former Froz space in Occidental Management’s Northrock Retail Center at 3242 N. Rock Road.

Another franchisee previously had a Pita Pit at 320 N. Rock Road.

The Oneks were considering becoming franchisees when they learned Pita Pit is based in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, where Cammy Onek has relatives and visited every year growing up.

“For me, that was one of those a-ha moments,” she says.

What initially attracted her, Onek says, is that Pita Pit is healthy fast food.

“What really caught me is it’s just a new way to eat.”

There are meat and veggie pitas, breakfast pitas and soups and salads.

“We want you to feel better when you walk out the door than when you walk in,” Onek says.

The Oneks are partners in the business with Tim and Michelle Aberson and Lowell and Marti Aberson.

“Pretty much it will be my baby to be in there day in and day out,” Onek says.

She plans to approach it as she would being a coach or a principal, meaning she’ll be there every day and be visible.

“That’s how I’m going to make it or break it.”

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Wasabi Japanese Restaurant owner to open similar concept in former Bossa Grill space

WICHITA — Wasabi Japanese Restaurant owner Eun Young still has plans for an east-side restaurant, but they’ve changed slightly.

Young, whose first Wasabi is at 912 E. Douglas in Old Town, signed a deal this spring to open a similarly named restaurant in the 1,782-square-foot former Froz space at 3242 N. Rock.

After striking that deal with Occidental Management, Young learned of another nearby Occidental space that became available.

Now, he’s worked out a deal to take that 3,200-square-foot space where Bossa Grill used to be.

“He wanted the bigger space and obviously liked that it was already built out for a restaurant,” says Occidental president Chad Stafford.

He handled the lease with Occidental’s Bree Kelley.

Stafford also sold Young the restaurant equipment in the building.

Young is tweaking his Wasabi concept.

“I am going to try to be kind of a little bit . . . upscale,” he says.

The name will still be Wasabi, but it will be spelled differently. Young hasn’t decided how yet.

He likes the expanded space because it will allow him to do booths.

“I can make it more private.”

Young hopes to open in about two months.

Stafford is now working on finding a new tenant for the former Froz space.

“We’ve got several interested parties right now.”

Wichita Crime Commission to move a few blocks

WICHITA — The Wichita Crime Commission is moving this fall.

“Right now we’re pretty cramped in 720 square feet,” says executive director Gordon Bassham.

Also, the current office at 125 N. Market doesn’t have much parking, so Bassham says that forces the public and the commission’s 180 members to have to park elsewhere and walk.

The commission is taking more than 1,700 square feet in Occidental Plaza at 300 N. Main St.

The commission is a privately funded nonprofit that works with law enforcement to support it and fight crime in a proactive way.

“We needed more room for potential future growth,” says Bassham, who is working to grow membership.

He says the commission is closely affiliated with Crime Stoppers, and there’s room at Occidental Plaza for that group to potentially have an office there as well.

Chad Stafford and Stephanie Wiens of Occidental Management handled the deal.

Bassham says the move will happen in November.

“We expect to be in the new location for quite some time.”

Physiotherapy Associates to open at Auburn Pointe

UPDATED — Physiotherapy Associates, which has more than 650 sites nationally, is coming to Wichita for the first time in early September.

The Pennsylvania-based company is taking 2,000 square feet at Occidental Management’s Auburn Pointe development at 135th West and Maple.

Occidental’s Chad Stafford and Bree Kelley handled the deal. Bradley and Brandon Tidemann of J.P. Weigand & Co. represented Physiotherapy Associates.

The company provides outpatient physical therapy and has an orthotics and prosthetics division as well.

Initially, the clinic will have a physical therapist and an athletic trainer.

Physiotherapy Associates also is looking to add two more clinics in the Wichita area.

Stafford, Occidental’s president, says another restaurant is in the works for Auburn Pointe, where Great Wall, Scooter’s Coffeehouse and Subway already are and Papa Murphy’s is coming.

That leaves only one space left to lease at the 5-year-old, 36,540-square-foot center.