Vliet family sells Old Town property

UPDATED — Rich and Marni Vliet were a young couple in 1975 when they first started buying Old Town property.

“Rich began having this Old Town dream when we met,” Marni Vliet says of her late husband, who died of ALS two years ago.

First, they purchased the Looking Glass restaurant in the 400 block of East Douglas.

Then, in the mid 1980s, they began eyeing a dilapidated area of Old Town in the 900 block along East Douglas.

“We were beginning to get a feel for the frontage of Douglas,” Vliet says. “We used to sit at the Beacon and look at the block over our omelettes.”

The Vliets shared a dream and a dedication to the redevelopment of Old Town, and that included what Rich Vliet thought of as the entry point of Old Town.

“Rich was right,” Vliet says. “He said, ‘Old Town needs a face. … It needs a front door.’”

The Vliets purchased the property from 910 through 926 E. Douglas, which has 29,531 square feet over nine units. Friday, they sold it to a group called Old Town Ventures.

“I wouldn’t even characterize it as bittersweet,” Marni Vliet says. “It’s the end of a chapter for our family.”

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Auto-Motion to open in former Shelton Collision Repair space

WICHITA — A new automotive shop is going to open in Derby at 122 N. Georgie, which was home to Shelton Collision Repair for more than three decades until its recent move.

Casey Kallhoff, who has worked for Advance Auto Parts for the last five years, is opening Auto-Motion.

“I just wanted to … have my own business,” Kallhoff says.

He says he and his staff of four will work on all makes and models but will specialize on later-model vehicles.

Kallhoff is leasing about 6,000 square feet of the 8,600-square-foot space.

“It will be huge,” he says. “We’ve got a lot of room to grow and add things and get bigger in the future.”

Grant Glasgow of NAI Martens handled the lease.

Auto-Motion will open in early January.

Kallhoff says Shelton Collision Repair will use the remainder of the building as overflow from its new shop, which is at 325 W. Patriot.

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Immediate Medical Care to open new clinic

UPDATED — It was almost five years ago that Grover Hershberger opened his first immediate care clinic in the former Souper Salad space at 4722 W. Kellogg.

Now, he’s preparing to open an east-side Immediate Medical Care clinic at 5838 E. Central. That’s the 6,728-square-foot former Blockbuster space in Carriage Parkway.

“The new location has plenty of traffic and provides great visibility,” Hershberger said in a statement. “Also, it is easily accessible to the large surrounding population.”

The clinic can see patients quickly for injury, illness, physicals, X-rays and lab work, among other things.

Grant Glasgow of NAI Martens represented Hershberger in the deal, and his colleagues Nathan Farha and Troy Farha represented the landlord.

Look for Immediate Medical Care to open in March.

Menards finalizes deal for Derby store

UPDATED — Menards, the Wisconsin-based home improvement chain, has finalized its deal for a store near the southwest corner of East Patriot Avenue and Buckner Street in Derby.

“It’s been a long time coming,” says Grant Glasgow of Grubb & Ellis/Martens Commercial Group.

Glasgow and colleague Jeff Englert represented North Derby Investments, which sold 46.13 acres to Menards.

Marty Gilchrist and Grant Tidemann of J.P. Weigand & Sons represented Menards

The deal, which was in the works for a couple of years, closed Sept. 28 for an undisclosed amount.

“We recently purchased 50.63 acres in Derby, KS and if everything goes as planned, we hope to build a new Menards store on this property some day,” Menards spokesman Jeff Abbott said through an e-mail. “We are still in the initial planning stages and no final decisions have been made just yet.”

The total number of acres includes a residential property Menards purchased as well.

Glasgow says he’s not sure when construction will start or when to expect the store to open.

“They weren’t able to share that with us yet.”

This makes the third Menards that will open in the greater Wichita area.

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Social Manor to open in Old Town

WICHITA — A new shop is coming to Old Town in time for Christmas.

Erin Kice and Lauren Johnson are opening Social Manor in the former Gingeroot Studios space at 920 E. Douglas, which is next to I Do Bridal & Tux.

The store will have furniture, accessories and gifts along with design services.

Johnson and Kice say they hope to inspire people.

“We kind of really feed off each other,” Johnson says.

She says Kice will handle the business side, and she’ll focus on marketing and design.

Johnson had been working in the marketing department for Intrust Bank when she decided to return to school to get an interior design degree. She’s also been doing staging for real estate.

Erin Kice has worked at Alltite for six years in various capacities, including accounting, human resources and office management. She says she “learned a lot about how a small business operates.”

“That has always been my dream, to have a shop of my own,” she says.

Kice says she knew out of college she didn’t have the experience she needed to open her own business.

“My time at Alltite has been great for that.”

“Erin has a passion for entertaining and throws the most wonderful events in her home,” Johnson says.

Johnson says she also likes entertaining but with more of a focus on interior design.

Kice says they’ll offer in-store instructional events.

“Kind of a decorating 101 type thing,” she says. “That’s kind of part of our creating a fun and entertaining atmosphere.”

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Simon Property Group hires local firm to market space

WICHITA — It’s not exactly news when new space is available at a mall, but Jeff Englert makes a good case for 8,000 square feet that he and Grubb & Ellis/Martens Commercial Group colleagues are marketing at Towne East Square.

“To my knowledge, it’s the first time that Simon used third-party brokers in Wichita,” he says of Simon Property Group, which owns the mall.

Perhaps more significantly, Englert says, “They want to go after nontraditional mall tenants for this.”

Not that he and fellow brokers Nathan Farha and Grant Glasgow won’t look at retail.

“Retail is definitely going to be our first play there.”

However, Simon has had some luck with nonretail tenants, such as Wright Career College.

“They want to explore that some more,” Englert says.

The space is located on the west side of Towne East between Dillard’s and Sears at the second-most busy main entrance of the mall. Englert says it’s possible to add a glass exterior so the space is visible from outside the mall.

After retail, Englert says there could be possibilities such as office users, educational facilities or a fitness center.

He says he’ll soon have news on a new Towne West Square tenant.

“This will be pretty big news, let’s put it that way.”

Look for it in about a month or so.

Marquee Motorcars building is on the market

WICHITA — A historic Wichita property is back on the market.

The art deco Marquee Motorcars building on East Douglas just west of Hillside is listed for $525,000 with Grant Glasgow of Grubb & Ellis/Martens Commercial Group.

The building first was home to Allen Grocery in 1930.

In 2005, businessman Jim Collins bought the building for his Marquee Motorcars, which sold premium pre-owned vehicles and vintage cars.

At the time, Collins told Have You Heard? he’d had his eye on the building for years hoping to display cars there.

“I know it may sound a little hokey, but it’s the truth,” he said.

Before his 2008 death, Collins succeeded in getting the building on state and national historic registries.

“It was his baby,” says Collins’ widow, Jane. “He loved the labor of meticulously redoing and restoring the building.”

Mechanic Johnathan Goodwin, who is best known for converting singer Neil Young’s 1959 Lincoln Continental into an electric car, had been leasing space at the building and this spring said he had plans to return.

“It’s just not in my cards right now,” says Goodwin, who now operates out of two facilities in El Dorado.

Jane Collins says she doesn’t want to be in the property management business, nor does she have another use for the building.

“I have a job I love, and I don’t have the entrepreneurial spirit that Jim had,” she says.

Glasgow says the Marquee building, with its large windows and plentiful light, would be a great home for designers or something art related.

“It’s a great showroom for a lot of different things,” he says.

“Anybody who really likes nostalgia and just cool buildings, this is it.”

Liquor Warehouse to open at Prescott Center near 21st and Maize

WICHITA — Though Greg and Melissa Wilson aren’t locating their new Liquor Warehouse at NewMarket Square, NewMarket is part of what convinced them to choose the 21st and Maize intersection.

The Wilsons’ store will open at Prescott Center near the southwest corner of the intersection in September.

That’s across from the NewMarket entrance by Walmart.

“It’s a perfect draw coming right out of that Walmart exit,” Greg Wilson says.

He says he and his wife looked at several properties in the area, but that one “was going to be much more customer friendly.”

Jeff Walenta and Grant Glasgow of Grubb & Ellis/Martens Commercial Group represented the landlord, and Cory Harkleroad of KW Commercial represented the Wilsons.

The store will be 3,000 square feet.

Wilson says he won’t know what he’ll specialize in until his customers tell him what they want.

“We have been customers for our entire lives, and no one has asked us our thoughts and our opinions on anything,” he says. “We as customers just accept what folks do with us.”

Wilson says that’s not how he wants his store to be.

“Our notion is let’s mix and match,” he says. “Let’s kind of be the disc jockeys of the retail world and take special requests and take call-in orders and (do) unique packaging.

“The customers run the thing. Not us.”

Burger King space has activity, but that’s it

WICHITA — The long-vacant building at 2020 E. 21st near Wichita State University has seen some activity this week, but it’s not from a new tenant.

The windows at the former Burger King space have been boarded due to vandalism.

But Grant Glasgow, a broker with Grubb & Ellis/Martens Commercial Group, says there could be some news at the property coming soon.

“We have had some interest lately.”

Hutch’s Stutzmans enters Wichita market

LIFE HOME-NEWPLANTS 7 TB

There’s going to be some new nursery competition in Wichita this spring, summer and fall.

Stutzmans Greenhouse & Garden Center of Hutchinson will have a temporary building at Northwest Centre at 13th and Tyler for most of the year.

“We are seasonal, but yet we take the seasons from spring to fall,” says Ben Miller, who owns the business with his wife, Marlene.

The Millers have owned the business, which opened in Pleasant View in 1956, since 1985. In the past several years, they’ve expanded their retail operation in Hutchinson and opened in Pratt and Salina.

Expanding in Wichita is a possibility, too.

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