You don’t say

“He said i could leave him out (of) the press, but not out of the commission.”

– A text from J.P. Weigand & Sons broker Bradley Tidemann about his father, Grant, and whether he wanted a mention for handling a real estate deal

Planet Fitness signs two new deals

WICHITA — There are deals for two new Wichita Planet Fitness sites, though the chain still isn’t talking about its plans here.

Have You Heard? previously reported that the company is working on locations in the former Star Lumber space at Normandie Center at Central and Woodlawn, at Marina Lakes at 21st and Amidon where a new Walmart Neighborhood Market is and also at the 21st and Maize area.

Since then, Scott Harper of Landmark Commercial Real Estate and Grant Tidemann of J.P. Weigand & Sons finalized a deal for the Marina Lakes space.

On Friday, Tidemann and Landmark’s Nick Esterline finalized a deal for the former bowling alley space at 2350 N. Maize Road. That’s where Countryside West Lanes closed in 2007.

It looks like there may already be demo work going on at the possible Planet Fitness space at Normandie.

Planet Fitness isn’t the only new gym coming to the city.

Gold’s Gym International also has been working on sites here. In fact, it appears it was negotiating for some of the same space Planet Fitness nabbed.

Earlier this year, Have You Heard? reported that a Gold’s deal at Harry and Rock may already be done.

Both companies are being similarly silent. We should hear something from them soon, though.

 

Robert Eyster purchases the former Protection One building with plans for new residential and commercial development

WICHITA — It’s getting to the point you can’t call Robert Eyster and Michael Ramsey nascent developers any longer.

Eyster has purchased the former Protection One building at the northwest corner of First and Market, which makes the sixth downtown property he’s bought to redevelop in less than a year.

“In the process of looking for buildings that have kind of been neglected or buildings that are too big or too small for people . . . we’ve looked at probably all the buildings downtown,” Ramsey said.

That’s how they found the 7-story, 171,000-square-foot Protection One building, which the former Kansas Gas and Electric Co. built in 1953.

“That building has got some very dynamic bones to it,” Ramsey said. “It just spoke to us.”

He and Eyster are renaming the building the Lux and creating luxury apartments and possible condos along with commercial on the first two floors.

“It sounds like a really exciting development,” said Patrick Ahern of Grubb & Ellis/Martens Commercial Group, who was one of the agents who handled the deal.

Ahern, who specializes in downtown properties, said, “More people living downtown will attract more retail and give more vibrance to downtown and that area in particular.”

He said the sale of that much Class B downtown property “potentially helps the market because it’s less space for other buildings to compete with.”

Ahern and Steve Martens represented Protection One, and Marty Gilchrist and Grant Tidemann of J.P. Weigand & Sons represented Eyster.

Eyster has already purchased and is redeveloping the former Zelman building, the Board of Trade building, Victoria Park Apartments, the two-story building at 100 S. Market and Kelly Donham’s former property on Douglas between Main and Market.

With the help of Kansas City, Mo., architect El Dorado Inc., which designed the Finn Lofts on Commerce Street, Eyster and Ramsey hope to use a lot of the 1950s architectural elements already in the mid-century modern building. That includes light fixtures, door knobs and railings.

“They have actually cataloged everything they could in the KGE building in the hopes we . . . could repurpose those elements,” Ramsey said.

Farha Construction is the contractor and Builders Inc. is managing the building.

“This is really going to be a unique facility,” said Larry Weber of Builders Inc.

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U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services may take 13,000 square feet of former Davis Furniture space in Delano

UPDATED — A deal is close for a new tenant in the former Davis Furniture space, and it’s as unlike a country-and-western bar as it can be.

It looked like there was a done deal earlier today, but it’s not finalized yet. If it happens, though, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services would take 13,000 square feet in the building.

“You know, it’s not glamorous, but it’s a really vital part of government resources,” says Chris Ruffin, director of real estate for his father Phil Ruffin’s Ruffin Properties.

Chris Ruffin says an Immigration Services lease would mean a lot for Delano, too.

“It’s a big deal,” he says. “It saves that derelict building. It’s been an eyesore in Wichita for a really, really long time.”

The Ruffins plan to heavily invest in the property, where they once planned a bar, before Immigration Services would move in.

“The building’s going to look spectacular,” Chris Ruffin says. “It’s not going to look like a government building per se.”

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Tect Aerospace signs lease at Garvey Center

UPDATED — TECT Aerospace has signed a new lease for 5,600 square feet at the R.H. Garvey Building at 300 W. Douglas.

The firm will take about half of the first floor.

This brings the building’s occupancy, along with the occupancy at the O.W. Garvey Building at 200 W. Douglas, to 100 percent for now.

“That’s a neat feeling to have,” says Larry Weber of Builders Inc., which owns the buildings. “I can’t tell you the last time that that had happened.”

Marty Gilchrist and Grant Tidemann of J.P. Weigand & Sons represented TECT in the deal.

TECT currently has its headquarters at 2872 N. Ridge Road.

A couple of its new neighbors at the Garvey Center will be leaving or downsizing in the next couple of weeks.

Attorney Mark Kahrs is vacating 2,500 square feet on the first floor of the O.W. Garvey Building.

Harrington Health, which has two and a half floors in the R.H. Garvey Building is giving back half a floor.

“They’re consolidating their spaces,” Weber says.

Still, he says he’s pleased with what’s happening at the Garvey buildings and in downtown in general.

“There is a lot happening in downtown right now,” Weber says.

“Downtown is alive and well.”

Braum’s on South Rock to open in late June

WICHITA — More than a year ago, Braum’s closed on a deal for new space at 1261 S. Rock near Harry and Rock.

Now, the company is beginning work on the store.

It’ll be similar to the one on Seneca near Douglas that opened last month and the one near 21st and Amidon that opened last year.

Like those stores, the new one will be 5,756 square feet with a drive-through and a Fresh Market grocery area.

“That’s our largest model,” says spokeswoman Andie Schwab.

Braum’s has been replacing older stores with the newer model. The Rock Road store is new, though, and not replacing another store.

Leisa Lowry, a broker with J.P. Weigand & Sons, represented Braum’s in the deal, and Weigand brokers Grant Tidemann and his son Bradley represented the seller.

The new store is slated to open in late June.

At least two new Braum’s stores to open in Wichita next year

braumWICHITA — Two new Braum’s stores are planned for the Wichita area, and more could follow.

One will be at 1261 S. Rock near Harry and Rock.

A source with Braum’s, who prefers not to be named, says that location will fill a void in the chain’s market area.

Leisa Lowry, a broker with J.P. Weigand & Sons, represented Braum’s and closed the deal Friday.

Weigand brokers Grant Tidemann and his son Bradley represented the seller.

Braum’s will tear down the vacant building on the property, which has been a couple of different restaurants in recent years.

Once Braum’s has a building permit — and that can take several months — it typically takes four to six months to build a building depending on weather.

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