Credit Union of America to move and expand Derby branch

WICHITA — The Derby Credit Union of America, which currently is at 620 N. Baltimore, is moving to the northeast corner of Rock Road and James Street.

“We’ve got this land deal done, and we’re trying to go full speed ahead on this branch,” says Glenda Burkett, vice president for marketing and business development.

“It is going to be a larger branch.”

The credit union is in 1,200 square feet now and will have 3,000 square feet in its new space. There also will be a drive-through with two or three lanes and an ATM lane. The current branch doesn’t have a drive-through.

“This will be a freestanding location that we are building,” Burkett says.

She says there won’t be a traditional teller line at the new branch.

Burkett says the employees who greet members will be full-service workers who are able to handle all of members’ needs.

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Optometric Billing Solutions to quadruple its space with new Maize building

UPDATED — Less than a decade after starting Optometric Billing Solutions in a home basement, sisters Branda Barton and Brooke Armstrong are making their third move to a new building.

At 21,000 square feet, this one should last a while. The sisters are in negotiations to buy the former SecureNet building at 10501 W. Hampton Lakes in Maize.

Though they say the space is nice and that the $1.6 million in industrial revenue bonds the city is giving them in the next three years will be helpful, Armstrong says they would have had the same things in Wichita.

“To be honest, it really was the city of Maize,” she says of the decision to locate there.

“The sense of community in that place was amazing,” Armstrong says. “Branda and I … really left there with the sense and impression of community and values. Their whole culture just seemed really in line with what we value as a corporation.”

City Administrator Richard LaMunyon says the city felt the same about them.

“We just really kind of hit it off,” he says. “They were just excited about their business. You could tell that they were professional in what they were doing.”

He says that’s important because the company will be one of the larger private ones in Maize, and he expects it to be there for some time to come.

“It has great potential for growth.”

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You don’t say

“Things are good at work. I’m in good health. Let’s do something before either one changes.”

Jerry Gray, vice president and general manager of the commercial division of J.P. Weigand & Sons, on why he’s retiring as of June 30

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.”

Qdoba Mexican Grill to open in Yen Ching Chinese Restaurant & Club space

UPDATED — It turns out Qdoba Mexican Grill is what’s going to open in the space Yen Ching Chinese Restaurant & Club will be vacating at Central and Rock, and it will be unlike any other in the national chain.

“Central and Rock Road is a great intersection,” says restaurateur Eric Estes.

He plans a special theme for the site.

“Qdoba was going to kind of let us step out a little bit on this,” Estes says.

He says the interior will celebrate Wichita’s aviation and military history.

“That’s kind of what shaped Wichita,” Estes says. “It’s part of the Wichita DNA. … We kind of have this inspiration, if you will.”

The restaurant will have an aviation theme and feature a tail and propeller from a 1941 AT-6 Texan.

The theme is important to Estes, who says his grandfather was working as a riveter at Boeing for his first job when he received orders to go to Italy in World War II.

“It just kind of shapes everything we do,” Estes says of the heritage.

It was summer 2012 when he first told Have You Heard? he’d be bringing Qdobas to the state.

Qdoba is similar to Chipotle Mexican Grill in that customers order from a counter with a number of protein, vegetable and salsa selections for burritos and tacos.

Estes says there are a lot of healthy options, such as vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free dishes, along with kids’ meals.

His first Qdoba opened in Hutchinson in June, and Estes says it’s doing well. Another is under construction in Hays.

Estes says work on the east-side Qdoba will start in June, but he’s not sure if the restaurant will be in the same building that was home to Yen Ching for 30 years or if he’ll build a new one.

“We’d love not to demolish it,” he says. “We like to repurpose buildings where we can.”

He adds, though, “If we do repurpose it, then all we’d be repurposing is four walls.”

Leisa Lowry of J.P. Weigand & Sons handled the deal.

Look for an August or September opening. After that, Estes hopes to open another Qdoba on the west side, though he hasn’t started looking for a site yet.

You don’t say

“My only problem with Bradley Fair is they continue to attract new tenants that attract my wife.”

Jerry Gray of J.P. Weigand & Sons speaking at the company’s annual real estate forecast on Tuesday

Lotus Leaf Cafe to move to Old Town

UPDATED — Three years after opening in Delano, the Lotus Leaf Cafe & Creperie is moving to Old Town.

The newly named Lotus Leaf Cafe will open at the southwest corner of Second and Washington next to the new Taste & See. Both restaurants are in part of the former Doc Howard’s Lounge space.

“There’s so many more things I want to do,” owner Jacquelyn Keefer says of needing more space.

Her restaurant at 613 W. Douglas is 1,153 square feet with about 30 seats.

“It’s sad to say, but you have to be fairly thin to work there,” Keefer says of negotiating among the tables.

The kitchen is tiny, too, which she says means that what executive chef Rebecca Gold has been able to do is “miraculous.”

The new space, which will be ready in early April, is almost 2,000 square feet.

“The thought of what she can do with a real kitchen will be pretty amazing,” Keefer says of Gold.

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316 Vapes to open in Tallgrass Plaza

WICHITA — It may seem like a lot of electronic cigarette shops are opening around town, but store owner Derek Hoover doesn’t think there are many here.

“That’s one reason I chose Wichita,” he says of opening his second shop. “My friends and I, we all have stores. We always try to stay ahead of the game.”

His first store is in Muskogee, Okla.

Hoover is now working on opening 316 Vapes in Tallgrass Plaza at the northeast corner of 21st and Rock Road.

The store will sell electronic cigarettes, the liquid that goes in them and related accessories.

“The way we have it set up is it’s a bar,” Hoover says. He says anyone 18 and older can sit at the bar and sample his products.

Hoover says he has an acquaintance who is a chemist and a graduate student at the University of Oklahoma who will mix their liquids.

“I hate to say it,” says Hoover, an Oklahoma State University graduate.

The store will open in almost 1,500 square feet sometime next week.

Krista Lowry with J.P. Weigand & Sons handled the deal.

Sugar Salon to open at Normandie Center

WICHITA — After more than a decade working in downtown Wichita, stylist Susan Brady is opening a new salon at Normandie Center at Central and Woodlawn.

Sugar Salon will open in mid-November in 1,200 square feet, which is bigger than Brady’s current Salon Lush at Occidental Plaza and smaller than Urban Image, which she used to have at Old Town Square.

“I would rather keep it small and intimate,” Brady says. “It makes for a cozier, more friendly environment.”

The chief difference with the new salon, other than being on the east side, is that Brady is once again going to have an Aveda salon.

“We had decided when we opened Salon Lush we would not carry Aveda; we would see what else is out there to offer,” Brady says.

She missed the quality of Aveda’s products and color along with Aveda’s education and “just their general support.”

“I finally realized I just need to stay with Aveda,” Brady says. “So when the opportunity presented itself to open … another Aveda salon, I of course jumped at the chance.”

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MOXI Junction coffeehouse to open in Maize

WICHITA — About a dozen years ago, three Maize-area mothers with special needs kids started getting together to “laugh about and cry about” their problems, says Joanna Kilgore – one of those moms.

She says they got “used to having awesome support and awesome jobs” for their kids through the Maize school district.

Now that their children are grown, though, they’re having a harder time finding work. So the moms, Scarlett Tully and Pat Leon, along with a fourth friend, Kate Scheer, are opening a coffeehouse as a place for their kids to work.

“We started off thinking we were just going to have a simple coffee shop,” Kilgore says.

The concept has grown to include a bakery and an art gallery at the northwest corner of Park and Central in Maize.

LewJene Schneider of J.P. Weigand & Sons handled the deal.

Each mother is bringing a different talent to the business, which they’re calling MOXI Junction. MOXI stands for Mothers of Exceptional Individuals.

“It was a coming together of ideas and hopes and dreams, so that’s how we got ‘Junction,’” Kilgore says.

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