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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Jeremy Wade plans ‘new American’ dining for remodeled Drury Plaza Broadview Hotel restaurant

WICHITA — Jeremy Wade is kicking off his Jeremy Wade Catering with a party tonight where he and business partner Ben Arnold of Corporate Catering of Wichita will discuss their catering businesses and the restaurant they plan for the remodeled Drury Plaza Broadview Hotel restaurant.

The restaurant will have 286 seats over two floors. The upper floor will have a bar overlooking the restaurant, which is scheduled to open in spring 2011.

Wade says he’ll offer “new American food,” which he describes as iconic American food made really, really well.

“It’s not going to be anything pretentious or frou frou,” Wade says.

He’s opting for an American menu rather than a Mediterranean or European menu because he feels those have been “played out” in Wichita.

“There’s not really a good American restaurant around except for Chester’s,” Wade says.

He plans to specialize with as much local produce and protein as he can.

Arnold says the “Drury people have just been fabulous through this whole thing,” but the restaurant will be independent of the hotel.

The restaurant will be situated on the northeast corner of the hotel on the Waco side, and Arnold says it won’t feel like a hotel restaurant.

“The restaurant is going to be a Wichitan restaurant first,” he says. “That’s where Jeremy comes in because of how well he is known.”

Wade hasn’t settled on a name yet.

Arnold would like to capitalize on Wade’s own well-known name by doing something like Jeremy Wade’s American Bistro.

“No, no, no,” Wade says. “I’m not that guy.”

He’s open to suggestions, though.

“Maybe we should have a contest.”

Jeremy Wade starts Jeremy Wade Catering and partners with Corporate Caterers of Wichita

1031econ_br2WICHITA — Chef Jeremy Wade has left Yia Yia’s Eurobistro to start Jeremy Wade Catering and join forces with Corporate Caterers of Wichita owner Ben Arnold.

The two will be owners in both companies.

“It’s a project I’ve chased for almost two years,” Arnold says of working with another caterer.

He started talking to Wade a year and a half ago.

“There’s a really, really strong need for a catering company with a very independent and strong culinary background,” Arnold says.

By independent, he means one not tied to a restaurant.

“Catering is always a side job to them,” he says.

Arnold says high-end restaurants call him looking for catering help.

“Wichita has a real need for upscale catering,” Wade says.

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