DeVaughn James Injury Lawyers to move to former Palmers Grill space

WICHITA — A new business is opening in the former Palmers Grill space near K-96 and Webb Road where Fritz Co. Grille used to be.

Not surprisingly, it’s not a restaurant.

DeVaughn James Injury Lawyers has bought the building.

“We’ve been growing fast,” says Dustin DeVaughn, who founded the firm with Richard W. James in early 2012.

Their firm, which has 14 employees, including five lawyers, is now in 2,000 square feet a half mile east of Greenwich on Central.

The new space is about 7,500 square feet, and DeVaughn says the firm will be using the whole building.

“Oh, absolutely.”

He says the firm is adding another attorney and a couple of employees.

“We’re wanting to be in there and working before the beginning of the new year,” DeVaughn says.

Classic Real Estate handled the deal.

“We loved the visibility there on K-96,” DeVaughn says. “It’s a beautiful environment right there, and there’s going to be some exciting stuff happening out there.”

Palmers Grill near K-96 and Webb Road closes after less than a year in business

WICHITA — After not quite a year in business, Trey Dower has closed his Palmers Grill where Fritz Co. Grille used to be near K-96 and Webb Road.

“It is accurate,” says Don Ablah of Classic Real Estate, who handles leasing at the building.

“He just decided that he needed to not pursue it further,” Ablah says.

The building and the equipment in it are once again for lease. Ablah says the building’s owners are open to selling as well.

Before Dower made the decision to close, two other parties expressed interest in the space. Ablah says those parties aren’t interested in putting a restaurant there.

We’ll let you know what happens.

 

Landlords file temporary injunction against Johnny Carino’s owner

WICHITA — The owners of the building where Johnny Carino’s closed last week have filed a motion for temporary injunction to prevent the former tenant, Kampco Bevco, from taking anything else from the building near K-96 and Webb.

“They got two rental trucks and spent two days loading them,” says Daryl Crotts, property manager for the group of 11 owners who do business as Sun Toben.

Crotts says representatives of Kampco took stoves, booths, tables, appliances and “anything that they could easily just disconnect.”

“They told me they weren’t going to close till the end of the month,” Crotts says. “I think they were guilty of . . . a little deception.”

He says he thinks they were trying to “give themselves an opportunity to remove a lot of the fixtures and assets of the building prior to our being able to take any action.”

Randy Kamp, operating manager of the now-defunct Kampco, says that’s not true.

“I told him I didn’t know the exact date, but it was imminent,” Kamp says.

“The equipment is collateralized for bank loans,” he says. “We’re paying the bank for the loans.”

A hearing for the injunction is set for Friday.

Crotts says there were several years remaining on Kampco’s lease.

“We’ve been working with them for some time,” he says. “We’ve deferred a number of their obligations.”

He says the “owners purchased a sign for them since they couldn’t afford it and didn’t want to commit” to it.

“Which coincidentally and ironically was installed last Friday,” Crotts says.

He says he had to wait on the new, nearby Menards before the sign was installed. It now advertises Menards and is blank where the Carino’s name was supposed to be.

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Palmers Grill to open in former Fritz Co. Grille space near K-96 and Webb Road

WICHITA — The investors who recently purchased the former Fritz Co. Grille space near K-96 and Webb Road have a tenant for the space.

Trey Dower, who has a long history as an Old Chicago manager for several locations, is opening Palmers Grill where Fritz used to be.

“It’s pretty much ready to go,” he says of the space.

He’s painted quite a bit, but he’s not doing too much else right now.

“It’s like buying an older house. When you start tearing into things, you find more than you want,” Dower says. “We’re really going to kind of live with it before we make further changes.”

The restaurant will serve burgers, sandwiches, steaks, pasta and salad.

Dower is calling it Palmers after “an old family name on my wife’s side.”

Picking a name “was probably the hardest part. It was kind of nuts.”

Picking a location was easier.

“I always liked the building,,” Dower says. “It’s unique for restaurants anymore.”

Don Ablah of Classic Real Estate handled the deal.

Dower likes the layout of the former Fritz space and the two private dining rooms, which seat 40 and 12.

The main dining room seats 100, and the bar seats 50. There are another 32 seats on a patio and a deck.

New neighbor Menards is another factor in Dower’s decision to locate there, as is the road that connects that stretch of businesses to the businesses near Golf Warehouse.

“It was a dead end road before the Menards was built,” Dower says.

Look for the restaurant to open around the end of February.

Former Fritz Co. Grille space sells

WICHITA — There’s more happening near K-96 and Webb Road than just the new Menards.

Investors also have purchased the former Fritz Co. Grille space, which has been empty since the restaurant closed in May 2007.

“They’re working with a prospect,” says Don Ablah of Classic Real Estate, who handled the deal for the buyers.

The prospect is another restaurant.

“That’s what we’re hoping for,” Ablah says.

When Fritz closed after less than two years in business, a real estate broker said he expected a new business would open there not long after the Menards deal closed.

Then, deals fell through for the Wisconsin-based home improvement chain to bring two stores to Wichita.

This year, the deals were back on, and Menards is under construction near K-96 and Webb and 37th North and Maize Road.

“We’re just thrilled that the bank was willing to hang in there during this time while Menards was under construction,” says Brad Saville of Landmark Commercial Real Estate.

He handled the deal for First State Bank & Trust, which owned the Fritz building.

In 2008, the building was appraised at $1.78 million. In 2009, that was reduced to $1.1 million after the building sat empty.

“I just really feel like they got a great value,” Saville says of the buyers. “I feel like their timing is perfect with Menards opening in the next 60 to 90 days.”

We’ll keep you posted on a possible new tenant and the Menards opening date.

Menards deal is back on at K-96 and Webb Road, and a second Menards isn’t far behind

UPDATED — The Menards deal at K-96 and Webb Road, which stalled when the economy tanked, is back on.

The Wisconsin-based home improvement store has purchased 17 acres just northwest of Johnny Carino’s and will break ground on a 200,000-square-foot building in the next 30 days.

“It’s big news, because how many 200,000-square-foot buildings are under . . . construction right now?” says Christian Ablah of Classic Real Estate, who handled the deal.

The Menards building permit will be for more like 240,000 square feet including overhangs.

Menards will employ 130 people, about half of whom will be full-time workers.

Ablah says that although Wichita is definitely seeing more commercial activity, it still takes a lot to get deals done right now, especially one of this size.

“Everything is so scrutinized to make sure everything absolutely is done perfect.”

He says that even nationally, these kinds of deals aren’t happening every day like they used to.

“There’s not a lot of big boxes doing new deals right now all across the country, so for Wichita to get this, it’s a coup,” Ablah says. “It’s awesome for Wichita.”

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