McGinty Machine has contract on part of the former Big Dog Motorcycles space

WICHITA — In late December, Have You Heard? reported that part of the former Big Dog Motorcycles space at 1520 E. Douglas is under contract.

There’s still not a done deal for the 20,000-square-foot warehouse space near Douglas and Hydraulic, which is east of where Big Dog’s 60,000-square-foot showroom was, but now it’s clear who the potential buyer is.

Nearby neighbor Don McGinty is eyeing the space for his McGinty Machine, which is in a 43,000 square-foot building at First and Hydraulic.

“We’re doing our due diligence now,” McGinty says. “It won’t be definite until I say I really want it.”

It depends on whether he can get tax abatements on the property and new machinery he wants to buy. McGinty says he’s looking at a $3 million to $5 million expansion. He says he’s likely to hire 10 to 15 people over the next couple of years.

“We’re just kicking it up a notch,” McGinty says.

That includes likely developing a sheet metal fabrication shop that will do table-top assemblies to serve aircraft companies.

“In the future, they’re going to want (us) to build the small assemblies, maybe to go into the bigger assemblies,” McGinty says.

His father and uncle started the company in the 1940s by making small aircraft parts.

“Now we go up to 40-foot long,” McGinty says.

More and more, he says, aircraft companies want their machine shop vendors to be one-stop shops for all their parts needs.

“That’s the direction we’re moving,” McGinty says.

To make that possible, his first choice is to expand into the Big Dog space. If he doesn’t get the abatements, though, McGinty says he might have to look elsewhere.

“It’s not really my desire,” he says.

McGinty thinks abatements make sense for Wichita for a couple of reasons.

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Insurance Specialist Group expands at Wilson Estates Office Park

WICHITA — Insurance Specialist Group has moved into almost 4,000 square feet in the Bank of Kansas building at Wilson Estates Office Park near 21st and Rock Road.

Previously, the company had 1,400 square feet at the building.

“We really only had room for basically five of us,” says partner Paul Masterson.

The company, which is an independent insurance agency, has seven employees including Masterson and partner Jeff Dodds.

The new office can accommodate about 15 workers.

“We have room to grow,” Masterson says.

Adam Clements of Builders Inc. and Patrick Ahern of Grubb & Ellis/Martens Commercial Group handled the deal.

Insurance Specialist Group also has a Hutchinson office that DJ Kauffman opened in June. It’s not a franchise, Masterson says, but it is Kauffman’s operation.

“DJ’s been a perfect fit.”

Masterson says he and Dodds are open to having similar arrangements elsewhere.

“We’re always looking for good opportunities.”


Martens Commercial Group’s Grubb & Ellis affiliation in flux

WICHITA — Steve Martens soon may have to order new stationary for his Grubb & Ellis/Martens Commercial Group. Then again, maybe not.

Martens’ company is an affiliate of the California-based Grubb & Ellis Co., which filed for bankruptcy Monday and is working on a deal to sell to BGC Partners.

That’s the parent company of Grubb & Ellis rival Newmark Knight Frank.

“The indication is that the Grubb name and brand remains in the market and that the new buyer is very interested in retaining the affiliated members of this new entity,” Martens says.

That doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll want to remain with them, though.

“We have been researching the … alternatives but no decisions have been made.”

At one point, Grubb & Ellis had almost 60 affiliates. Now, it has about 35.

Martens says he looks forward to seeing the business plan for the new entity and will then make a decision.

“Obviously, these are big changes,” he says, “and what the end result of … those big changes will be, we’ll have to find out.”


Grubb & Ellis/Martens Commercial Group to do real estate forecasts at Wichita Area Outlook Conference

WICHITA — After a decade of doing commercial real estate forecasts every January, Grubb & Ellis/Martens Commercial Group is now going to partner with Wichita State University’s Center for Economic Development and Business Research to do the forecasts each fall.

Steve Martens’ company will be a major sponsor of the Wichita Area Outlook Conference and provide an exclusive commercial real estate forecast at the conference.

“We feel it is a stronger avenue for us to reach customers and clients with relevant commercial real estate information,” Martens says.

It’s a bigger one, too, since CEDBR director Jeremy Hill is expanding the conference’s reach.

“It’ll give us statewide coverage,” Martens says.

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SpringClean Laundry owner to open what he thinks will be the third-largest Laundromat in the country

WICHITA — Perry Duncan is, perhaps arguably, the Laundry King of Kansas.

He’s owned many himself, built plenty of them for others and now is working on what he says likely will be the third-largest Laundromat in the country.

Duncan owns SpringClean Laundry, which in 2009 he told Have You Heard? he wanted to develop into a chain of large, upscale laundries – with large dryers, flat-screen TVs and carpeting.

His newest SpringClean will be in the former Spear’s Restaurant and Pie Shop space at 1930 N. Woodlawn, which is just south of Brittany Center at the corner of 21st and Woodlawn.

Duncan is adding to the building for a total of 13,000 square feet.

So how does he know this might be the third-largest?

“I’ve been doing it 30 years,” he says.

Duncan says he’s quite familiar with the business nationwide.

His first two SpringClean sites, at 416 N. Ridge and 1224 S. Webb, are about 9,000 square feet each.

Duncan says he’s inspired by cinema entrepreneur Bill Warren of Warren Theatres.

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Child Start moves into its new headquarters

WICHITA — This summer, Have You Heard? reported that Child Start would be moving its headquarters within the Parklane Shopping Center.

This weekend, it’s happening.

Child Start, a nonprofit that provides early childhood development services, is keeping a sliver of its current space but moving the rest of its administrative office to about 30,000 square feet where Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores used to be. That store moved to the former CompUSA space at 3665 N. Rock Road.

The new Child Start space is designed to meet the nonprofit’s needs. Eighty of Child Start’s 250 employees will work there, and there will be training facilities as well.

“In addition to having space that is more flexible for staff, we hope that larger training rooms, increased visibility and new signage will make us more available to families and caregivers as we prepare young children for lifelong success,” said executive director Teresa Rupp in a statement.

Dennis Fitzroy, a vice president with Builders Inc., handled the new Child Start lease at Parklane. Jeff Englert of Grubb & Ellis/Martens Commercial Group represented Child Start. WDM Architects also helped with the new space.





Capital Express Inc. opens 8,000-square-foot Wichita warehouse

WICHITA — Capital Express Inc., an Omaha-based courier and logistics company, is now operating in Wichita.

“We have a large customer who asked us to come into this market,” says president Jack Johnson.

Johnson says he can’t say who the customer is.

The 25-year-old company has offices in a dozen greater Midwest cities, including a recently opened Dodge City office.

Johnson says in addition to delivery services, Capital Express helps customers put together systems among various departments in order to streamline processes for deliveries.

“We help them figure out what they need.”

The company’s new Wichita warehouse is in 8,000 square feet at 2544 S. Leonine.

Ted Branson of Landmark Commercial Real Estate and Jeff Englert of Grubb & Ellis/Martens Commercial Group handled the deal.

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Part of the former Big Dog Motorcycles space downtown is under contract

WICHITA — Part of the former Big Dog Motorcycles space at 1520 E. Douglas is now under contract.

No one involved in the deal is talking, but it looks like there’s a contract on the 20,000-square-foot warehouse space near Douglas and Hydraulic. That’s to the east of where Big Dog’s 60,000-square-foot showroom was.

The tract under contract includes an almost 2,000-square-foot office building in front of the warehouse and the land up to the corner of Douglas and Hydraulic. The list price is $850,000.

The deal has not closed yet, but it may soon.

Intrust Bank foreclosed on Big Dog in April, and founder Sheldon Coleman Jr. dissolved the corporation.

He then started a new company, BDM Performance Products, to supply parts, accessories and gear for more than 25,000 Big Dog motorcycles.

The operation is based in Big Dog’s former service and research and development buildings and the former Johnstone Supply building next to where the company’s headquarters was. That property is not for sale.

Jeff Walenta and Scott Salome of Grubb & Ellis/Martens Commercial Group have the listing on the former Big Dog campus, which they’ll sell or lease.

That includes 101,000 square feet and is listed for $4,020,000, though it now looks like there won’t be a package deal.



Martens Cos. adds Hospitality Management division

UPDATED — The Martens Cos. has a added a new division.

The company already has Grubb & Ellis/Martens Commercial Group, Martens Appraisal and Huffman Corridor Consulting. It also added Receivership Services Corp. earlier this year.

Now, the company has formed Hospitality Management.

“It was an opportunity that we wanted to take advantage of,” says CEO Steve Martens.

Due to the company’s role as a bankruptcy court trustee and through state court receiverships, Martens says his company has managed a half dozen properties over the years.

With the new division, the company is now actively pursuing those opportunities.

Its first deal is managing 122 rooms in Blackwell, Okla., at the Comfort Inn and the Best Western.

Martens also now has a small ownership in those properties.

“We are having discussions with other motel (and) hotel owners and pursuing other business,” he says.

It sounds like Martens is open to other new divisions as well, though he isn’t talking specifics.

“We’re just looking for opportunities and new business and . . . ways to grow and expand.”

With the new divisions and with other employees he’s added in the last 20 months or so, Martens says his company now employs more than 100 people.

“That’s kind of a big deal for a little company.”

Franchisee to open fifth Wichita-area Popeyes Chicken & Biscuits on North Rock

WICHITA — Popeyes Chicken & Biscuits franchisee Willie Kendrick has acquired a visible, high-traffic spot for what will be his fifth Wichita-area Popeyes.

He purchased the 2,005-square-foot former Taco Tico space at 3131 N. Rock Road.

“It made sense because it was a rare opportunity to acquire a freestanding, drive-through restaurant on North Rock Road, especially south of K-96 where the traffic is so much more substantial,” says Troy Farha of Grubb & Ellis/Martens Commercial Group, who handled the deal.

Farha says those kinds of sites don’t come along every day.

The new Popeyes will open late this year.

Look here later today for more details on Kendrick’s plans and in Wednesday’s Wichita Eagle.