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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Auburn Spirits to expand at Auburn Pointe

WICHITA – Gary Oborny and Frank Sauerwein are expanding their Auburn Spirits liquor store in time for the busy holiday season.

The two opened the store in 2008 at Oborny’s Auburn Pointe shopping center at the southeast corner of 135th and Maple, which his Occidental Management manages.

Auburn Spirits currently is in 4,800 square feet and is adding an additional 1,600 square feet from where Java Salon used to be. The salon moved to Central and Maize earlier this year.

With the new space, Auburn Spirits will expand its selection of liquor, wine and beer.

“We’re really excited about having more craft beer options for customers,” says marketing manager Emilee Clark.

She says customers will now be able to assemble their own six packs.

“It’s the easy way to not commit to the entire six pack but just be able to try different things.”

Also, the extra square footage means the store will be able to double its storage space.

“Storage is huge in the liquor industry to be able to offer good deals,” Clark says.

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Ninza Sushi Bar to open at Northwest Centre at 13th and Tyler

WICHITA — Lots of college students work in restaurants while going to school, but Ada Yang is taking it one big step farther.

The Wichita State University economics student is opening Ninza Sushi Bar at the end of the month.

The restaurant will be next to National American University in Occidental Management’s Northwest Centre at 13th and Tyler.

Occidental chairman and CEO Gary Oborny handled the deal for the 60-seat restaurant.

This is Yang’s first restaurant, which she’s opening with boyfriend Seong Han. Han was a sushi chef and head chef in California for years.

“He has a lot of experience,” Yang says.

Han and Yang plan to serve Japanese and Korean food, including traditional sushi as well as other kinds. They’ll also have a full bar.

The word “ninja” is the inspiration for the Ninza name, substituting “z” for “j.”

“Just like Krispy Kreme, they change the ‘c’ to ‘k,’” Yang says.

Though Yang is still working on her degree, with opening a restaurant she’s decided to take this semester off.

“This semester I’m too busy.”

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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Empower Martial Arts to open at Auburn Pointe at 135th and Maple

WICHITA — A new martial arts school is opening in Occidental Management’s Auburn Pointe development at 135th and Maple.

Chief Master Stephen Westbrook, an eighth-degree black belt, is opening Empower Martial Arts in early October.

He also has a school in Overland Park, as does Noeu Chan, who manages the schools.

“Our main base is teaching Songahm taekwondo,” Chan says.

That’s a traditional form. Chan says the goal is to teach attitude, discipline and confidence.

He says students “can go anywhere and learn punching and kicking.”

“Our school takes it one step further. We want to be leaders of today.”

There are 1,200 Empower Martial Arts schools nationally.

Matt Hahn, one of Chan’s students, will run the Wichita school.

“We want to offer a state-of-the-art training facility,” Chan says.

He says he likes Auburn Pointe for its visibility and cleanliness. Chan says he wants to get away from the image of a martial arts studio being in a less-than-desirable neighborhood.

Occidental president Gary Oborny handled the deal.

The school has classes for all ages, starting at age 3.

Chan says the Auburn Pointe site won’t be the only Empower Martial Arts in Wichita.

“We’re planning on opening a few more in the Wichita area.”

 

Papa Murphy’s coming to Auburn Pointe

WICHITA — There’s a Papa Murphy’s coming to Auburn Pointe, Occidental Management’s almost 40,000-square-foot development at 135th West and Maple.

This leaves only three spaces left at the 4-year-old center.

Occidental chairman and CEO Gary Oborny handled the deal, and Troy Farha of Grubb & Ellis/Martens Commercial Group represented the Papa Murphy’s corporation.

Oborny says the new restaurant, which has what it calls “take ‘n’ bake” pizzas, will feature the chain’s new sign design.

“They have a really cool new sign design.”

You don’t say

“This (is) every legal citizen’s chance to learn how to roll your own — cigar that is.”

Occidental Management chairman Gary Oborny, joking about the Rocky Patel rolling event at Auburn Spirits Cigar Shop Wednesday

Michael Monteferrante to become CEO of Texas-based Future Food

mmf2WICHITA — Seven years after coming to Wichita to lead Optima Bus, Michael Monteferrante is leaving to work for the same company that used to own Optima.

American Capital has hired Monteferrante to be CEO of Future Food in Carrollton, Texas.

“It’s pretty interesting,” Monteferrante says of his career path. “From subway cars to locomotives to buses to real estate to food.”

Monteferrante was with Optima until American Capital sold it in 2006. He then joined Occidental Management as CEO.

“It’s been a lot of fun,” says Occidental chairman Gary Oborny.

He expected this to happen, though.

“Just because of his . . . business experience it would be difficult to keep him in Wichita very long,” Oborny says. “Not a lot of companies can compete with those larger national companies when they come calling. You can’t match what they offer.”

Future Foods has two major brands: Santa Barbara Bay, which includes spreads and dips, and Salads of the Sea, which has things like “krab” dip.

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You don’t say

“We’re trying to reverse the recession all by ourselves.”

Occidental Management’s Gary Oborny on how his company is trying to make some deals