Poe & Associates to move to Phil Ruffin’s Delano building near Douglas and McLean

WICHITA — Phil Ruffin has landed a new tenant for the same building where the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services moved in Delano.

That’s the former Davis Furniture building to the west of Douglas and McLean.

Consulting engineering firm Poe & Associates is taking 4,000 square feet in the building.

“That fills up that building,” Ruffin says. “We’re happy to have them. Very nice firm.”

Brad Saville of Landmark Commercial Real Estate and Grant Tidemann of J.P. Weigand & Sons handled the deal.

Ruffin also owns the vacant space on the corner, which is about a one acre lot. He also has space behind the Immigration building.

“We have quite a bit of acreage there.”

Ruffin says most likely he’ll build to suit for someone.

“We’re taking our time with it,” he says. “Our first choice was to fill that current building.”

Ruffin says he spent several million dollars refurbishing it.

“It’s a beautiful space now.”

He expects the corner property won’t be an issue to fill.

“That area seems to be kind of hot now.”

Former Dillons space at Douglas and Meridian sells and will be leased

WICHITA — The former Dillons at the southwest corner of Douglas and Meridian has sold, and a new occupant is likely to be in the building relatively soon.

Tom Schmeidler and a group of investors called DOME LLC — for Douglas and Meridian — closed on the building last week and are looking to lease it.

“There’s a couple of different entities that are very interested in it,” Schmeidler says.

One would take the entire 20,000-square-foot space, but Schmeidler says he’s opening to dividing the space between users.

The size of the building and its parking — there are about 120 spaces — made the purchase attractive, Schmeidler says.

“It’s a very stout building,” he says. “It’s a block building.”

It also has a basement.

“It’s in the core of Wichita, so if somebody needs to be close to downtown … this is close enough, plus this has the parking,” Schmeidler says. “There’s few buildings that are close to downtown that have the availability of that much parking.”

Brad Saville of Landmark Commercial Real Estate and Grant Tidemann of J.P. Weigand & Sons handled the sale. Saville also is representing DOME in leasing the space.

Empire Energy to expand to Riverview

WICHITA — Pennsylvania-based Empire Energy is expanding its Wichita office.

The company established an office here following an oil acquisition in 2011. Currently, it is in 1,600 square feet at the Twin Lakes Office Park at 1900 N. Amidon.

Empire is moving to the Riverview building at 345 Riverview near Third and Waco.

“It’s been going well,” says Rob Kramer, vice president of Empire’s mid-continent region.

“We’ve drilled a few new wells, had decent results and just been kind of maintaining,” he says. “We haven’t grown a great deal. There’s a lot of maintenance and upkeep with the wells we took over.”

Empire has almost 300 producing wells in the greater central Kansas area. It has drilled 16 new wells.

Kramer says that “16 wells over two years is not a very fast pace.”

He says the company prefers to grow through acquisition.

“We’ve got several deals currently in the works.”

The new office is 2,209 square feet.

Tony Utter of Utter Commercial Real Estate and Grant Tidemann and Marty Gilchrist of J.P. Weigand & Sons handled the deal.

Empire recently hired a new employee and is looking to possibly hire a couple more soon.

“We just need more office space here,” Kramer says. “We are trying to grow.”

Wichita’s LSI office to move to Ruffin Building on East Douglas

UPDATED — When LSI’s Engenio storage division sold to NetApp in 2011, one piece of the LSI business remained at the NetApp building on North Rock Road.

LSI is now moving into its own space at the Ruffin Building at 9111 E. Douglas, which is the one-time Pizza Hut headquarters.

“We’re excited to have them,” says Chris Ruffin, director of real estate for his father Phil Ruffin’s Ruffin Properties.

The 5-year lease is for 19,000 square feet of the 254,000-square-foot building.

“I have about 25,000 left,” Ruffin says of what’s still available to lease.

Marty Gilchrist and Grant Tidemann of J.P. Weigand & Sons helped him with the deal.

“They were instrumental in helping put it together,” Ruffin says.

Also helping was California-based Ham Southworth of Studley Inc. Southworth represents LSI nationally.

He says about 50 people will be moving. Southworth says most are engineers but there are sales, operations and marketing employees as well.

“They’re going to move in as soon as possible,” Ruffin says. He anticipates that will take three or four months.

Other tenants include Ally, CCH and Pure-Formance Sports & Fitness Training Center, which Ruffin says is open to the public.

He says Ruffin Properties recently spent $115,000 on landscaping at the Ruffin Building.

“And it’s going to really improve … the overall appearance to the building.”

Ruffin says the LSI lease is significant.

“It’s just a really good deal,” Ruffin says.

And not just for Ruffin Properties and LSI, he says, but for Wichita in general.

“It means that the private sector’s moving a little bit.”

Crestview Marine closes, building sells

WICHITA — Almost three decades after opening, Crestview Marine near Central and Greenwich has closed.

“My decision to do this is completely economy driven,” says owner Kelly Miller.

Miller opened the business with his father, Homer, in 1987. When his father died in 1998, Miller bought the business.

“It’s been a fun business,” he says of selling and servicing boats.

When the economy crashed, though, so did his business.

“This industry took a pretty hard hit for the past five years,” Miller says. “It just became obvious it was time for something else.”

He says he concentrated on closing with dignity “if there’s any such thing.”

“It’s hard,” Miller says. “It’s what I’ve done for a very long time.”

McCurdy Auction will auction the contents of the building Feb. 21.

“Everything’s going to be sold down to the walls,” Miller says. He says that includes “26 years of accumulation.”

There are new owners of the 5,500-square-foot building, which sits on 1.34 acres at 11018 E. Central. They prefer to remain anonymous.

Patrick Ahern of NAI Martens and Grant Tidemann and Terry Rupp of J.P. Weigand & Sons handled the deal.

Andy Boyd of Walter Morris Cos. is seeking a tenant for the space.

Miller isn’t sure what he’ll do next. He says he didn’t allow himself to think about that while still operating Crestview.

“Once you do, you give up,” he says.

“I’m confident that tomorrow will have some opportunities that will give me something to do. … Tomorrow could be the best thing that ever happened.”

Chris Hamman to open Golf Etc. near K-96 and Greenwich in March

WICHITA — Lifelong golfer Chris Hamman is turning his passion into a career.

Hamman, who played at the University of Kansas, is opening Golf Etc. this spring at 2621 N. Greenwich. That’s near K-96 and Greenwich by Star Lumber and Heartland Coin Gallery.

Hamman was with Koch Industries for almost 28 years. His last position was president of Invista’s polymer and resins business.

Golf Etc. will be what Hamman calls an upscale, full-service golf shop and club-fitting studio.

“We really wanted to be able to provide products and services to golfers of all skill levels to help them improve their game more,” he says.

The store will sell the latest golf equipment, apparel, accessories and gift items.

It also will offer a professional club-fitting service.

“We’ll be able to repair and build golf clubs in our workshop, which is within the store,” Hamman says.

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Professional Home Buyers buys Pixius Communications space on East Central

WICHITA — For the first time in the 11 years since Tony Javier started Professional Home Buyers, he’s going to own the building where his business is.

Javier has purchased the 3,840-square-foot building at 1634 E. Central near Hydraulic where Pixius Communications has been.

“We wanted the space to be able to grow,” he says. “We’re able to create our own identity rather than being in another office building.”

Pixius is moving to Second and St. Francis downtown but will remain in its current space until December.

Javier has been at the Waterfront development at 13th and Webb Road for several years in the Keller Williams Signature Partners office. Professional Home Buyers is licensed with Keller Williams.

Javier’s company buys undervalued properties, renovates them and sells to buyers who generally use conventional financing. The company also has a rent-to-own program that Javier says helps people with poor credit be able to finance a home within six to 12 months.

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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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Kwik Shop to open at Stonebridge

UPDATED — A new Kwik Shop is coming to the Stonebridge development at the southeast corner of 37th Street North and Maize Road.

“Our customers have spoken, basically,” says Clay Brasher, Kwik Shop’s director of real estate. “That’s the main reason.”

Kwik Shop, which is operated by Kroger, has more than 125 stores in Kansas, Iowa and Nebraska. There are 19 Kwik Shops in Wichita. Kroger-owned Dillons has a number of fuel centers at its stores as well.

“We can use the larger presence,” Brasher says.

Menards anchors the 37-acre Stonebridge development, and Sonic also opened there a few weeks ago. Kwik Shop is the third business to be announced there.

“We feel like it’s going to help us spur even more activity,” says Randy Furstenberg, CFO of Vantage Point Properties, the Stonebridge developer.

“Them going there gives us some momentum that will help us.”

Brasher says he’s not sure how big the Kwik Shop will be yet.

“We’re actually still developing our plans on the size and everything it will include inside the store.”

There won’t be a pharmacy as some Kwik Shops now have, but there will be grocery items.

“It’ll have a large offering of food products in it,” Brasher says.

Construction on the store will start this year and should be completed by spring.

“So it’ll be a pretty quick deal for them,” Furstenberg says.

Vantage Point’s Marty Moody handled the deal with Grant Tidemann of J.P. Weigand & Sons, Brad Saville of Landmark Commercial Real Estate and Christian Ablah of Classic Real Estate.

 

 

 

Occupational Safety & Health Administration to move to Bank of America Center

UPDATED — The Occupational Safety & Health Administration is going to open an office in the Bank of America Center at Douglas and Broadway.

“We’re real excited about having them,” says Chris Ruffin, director of real estate for his father Phil Ruffin’s Ruffin Properties.

OSHA, which is taking 6,500 square feet on the fourth floor, signed a 10-year lease.

Grant Tidemann and Marty Gilchrist of J.P. Weigand & Sons helped with the deal.

“They were a lot of help,” Chris Ruffin says. Government deals “are very complicated.”

Martin Pringle also recently signed a 10-year extension on its lease at the Bank of America Center. The law firm has the entire fifth floor, which is about 35,000 square feet.

When Phil Ruffin bought the building in 2006, it had a 52 percent occupancy rate. Now, it’s at about 94 percent.

“We are getting full,” Chris Ruffin says. “We only have a little bit of space left.”

He says he’s working with several people on other potential deals there.

“We’re just trying to get the rest of the spaces leased.”