Randy Cooper’s Fine Jewelry and College Hill Cleaners to move within Bradley Fair; new national retailer coming soon

WICHITA — The latest round of musical chairs — business style — is almost over at Bradley Fair.

“The first piece of the puzzle was moving Howard’s Optique, which we did at the end of last year,” says Cathy Erickson, vice president at Laham Development.

Howard’s moved from its freestanding space to new space between Sephora and Jason’s Deli.

Now, Randy Cooper’s Fine Jewelry is moving into the freestanding building that Howard’s left. Amy’s Hallmark shop already is there.

Cooper’s impending move has been one of the worst-kept recent retail secrets, but now that it’s happening, she’s eager to talk.

“I am so thankful that George Laham has given me this opportunity,” she says of the center’s developer.

“I probably wouldn’t have stepped out on my own and done it,” Cooper says. “It just makes it so much more convenient for our customers to visit.”

Her new space will be 4,000 square feet, which is about 20 percent more than what she has now.

“So we can grow and be a better store and offer new lines and offer more of some lines that we have,” Cooper says.

College Hill Cleaners also is moving. It’s taking 1,300 square feet where Origins used to be and will have a new after-hours box for customers to drop off items needing cleaning.

Read More »

Construction to begin at Cornerstone Office Park with medical office to be built first

WICHITA — Construction is set to begin shortly at the new Cornerstone Office Park at the 520-acre Cornerstone development in Andover.

There will be room for 150,000 square feet of office space at nine buildings, the first of which will be a new medical building.

“With the success of the hospital, it’s just a natural fit to have medical practices wanting to locate at Cornerstone,” says developer George Laham. “Obviously, we have a lot of interest right now from … medical groups that want to be located in the area.”

Laham Development and Ritchie Development are the developers of Cornerstone, which is north of 21st Street between 159th Street East and Andover Road.

The 18,000-square-foot medical building will be adjacent to the Kansas Medical Center. KMC CEO Badr Idbeis will be one of the physicians to use the new space.

The two-level building will have the same architectural design as the hospital.

There will be a reception area, exam rooms and offices for physicians. One feature of the building is a clerestory that will allow natural light inside.

Read More »

Bradley Fair and Fresh Market confirm the grocery store is coming in 2012

UPDATED — Bradley Fair developer George Laham now confirms what Have You Heard? reported last month:

The Fresh Market grocery chain is coming to the former Ultimate Electronics space in 2012.

“The shopping center is just a perfect fit for our concept,” says Drewry Sackett, Fresh Market’s manager of public relations and community relations.

Laham, president of Laham Development, began looking for a specialty grocery store to bring to Wichita even before Ultimate Electronics closed.

In recent years, Wichitans have been hoping for a Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s.

“After looking at the Fresh Market, this was the clear choice,” Laham says.

“The only reason they’re not saying, ‘We want Fresh Market,’ is because they don’t know it,” says Cathy Erickson, vice president at Laham Development.

The Greensboro, N.C.-based chain has about 110 stores either open or opening soon, and this one will be the farthest west.

Sackett calls Wichita “a really solid Midwestern market that supports our growth into that region of the country.”

The chain is heavily concentrated in the southeast, which Laham says is why most Wichitans aren’t familiar with it.

Laham says as he began looking for a specialty grocery store, he looked throughout the industry before choosing Fresh Market.

“They are clearly a market leader,” he says.

Sackett says, “Our stores are a little bit different, certainly, than a traditional grocery store.”

She says the store is a warmer, more intimate atmosphere with classical music playing, freshly brewed coffee awaiting customers and floral arrangements greeting them at the door.

“You can see across the entire store, and that really sort of lends to that feeling of a more intimate setting,” Sackett says.

“It’s very much a European market,” Laham says. “It’s like being in Italy at an open-air market.”

The 22,000-square-foot space will be fairly compact to navigate.

“That’s kind of the beauty of it,” Erickson says.

Read More »

You don’t say

“It’s amazing what you can start when you’re 12 years old.”

– Developer George Laham, the keynote speaker at the 2011 Small Business Awards today, joking about how old he was when he started Bradley Fair 20 years ago

Cabela’s to open in 2012 at Regency Lakes shopping center at 21st and Greenwich

WICHITA — Cabela’s, the Nebraska-based giant national outdoor retailer, is coming to Wichita’s Regency Lakes shopping center at 21st and Greenwich in spring 2012.

“Cabela’s can go to any city in America, and they decided to come to Wichita, America,” says George Laham, president of Laham Development, the Regency Lakes developer.

“That says a lot about Wichita.”

Construction on the 80,000-square-foot store will start this summer.

“Competition is good for everybody,” says Todd Barker, manager of competing Gander Mountain at downtown’s WaterWalk development.

“We’ll keep doing what we’re doing,” Barker says of Gander Mountain, which is one of the chain’s highest-producing stores.

Gander Mountain opened at WaterWalk in 2005 after an effort to lure Bass Pro Shops fell apart over public financing of the project.

City Council member Sue Schlapp was involved in trying to lure Bass Pro.

“I am a person who believes downtown is your center,” she says.

Still, Regency Lakes is in her district, and she’s thrilled Cabela’s is going there.

“Cabela’s is a fabulous attraction,” Schlapp says. “It’s a wonderful thing.”

She doesn’t quibble with the chain’s selection of northeast Wichita over downtown.

“If they feel that that’s a better place for them . . . who am I to tell them something different?”

Cabela’s, which was represented by Brad Saville of Landmark Commercial Real Estate, will locate along K-96 north of the 20,000-square-foot World Market at Regency Lakes. There will be room for a 50,000-square-foot retailer between the stores.

Read More »

YiaYia’s EuroBistro owners to open Newport Grill in former Cibola space at Bradley Fair

guysBill Crooks (left) and Paul Khoury, owners of Newport Grill, which is coming to Bradley Fair.

WICHITA — There have been a lot of questions, not to mention much speculation, about what’s going to go in the former Cibola space — Bradley Fair’s preeminent waterfront property that’s been empty since early 2009.

Now, there’s an answer:

Newport Grill, a new seafood concept created by PB&J Restaurants, the Kansas City firm that owns YiaYia’s EuroBistro, which also is at Bradley Fair.

“We were going to take our time and absolutely do it right,” developer George Laham says of finding a new restaurant for the space.

He almost immediately turned to PB&J’s Paul Khoury and Bill Crooks, who have developed menus for 27 restaurants.

“We just looked at the market,” Khoury says.

He says there are plenty of great steak houses and other restaurants here.

Although Bonefish Grill opened in 2006, Khoury says they still saw an opening for another seafood restaurant.

“Bonefish does a great job, don’t get me wrong,” he says.

Newport Grill will fly fish in six days a week, sometimes from as far away as the Mediterranean.

“When you walk through Newport Grill, you won’t be able to smell fish,” Khoury says. “That’s how fresh it will be.”

Where YiaYia’s ticket prices are about $25 or $26 a person, Newport’s will be more like $30 to $32 a person due to the cost of fish.

“We’re going to have an attitude about not using fish that is over harvested,” Crooks says.

Newport Grill executive chef and owner Aaron Whitcomb, who has been working at YaYa’s EuroBistro in Denver, says he wants to redefine some traditional seafood dishes.

There will be nonseafood items on the menu as well.

Crooks says there will be an emphasis on using locally grown produce and naturally fed and sustainably raised beef, pork and chicken. Lamb also will be served.

There will be 190 seats at Newport Grill, which is about 40 more than Cibola had.

Read More »