Cato apparel and accessory shop to open in Wichita and have as many as three stores

WICHITA — Cato, an apparel and accessory shop for women and girls, is coming to Wichita with what looks like will be three stores.

So far, the North Carolina-based chain is confirming only one Cato, which is going in the former Senor Tequila space at Pawnee and Broadway.

There currently are Catos in Derby, Newton and El Dorado.

The Pawnee and Broadway Cato, which will open in November, will be Wichita’s first. Leisa Lowry and Cristi Howell of J.P. Weigand & Sons handled the deal.

Cato Corp. also owns Versona Accessories, which opened in this spring at Bradley Fair.

Second Sedgwick County drivers license bureau to open in Bristol Square in Derby

WICHITA — The state has decided on a second drivers license bureau for Sedgwick County. As many had hoped, it will be in Derby.

“It is the first time that Sedgwick County will have had more than one drivers licensing bureau … in a decade,” says spokeswoman Jeannine Koranda.

The bureau will be in 4,500 square feet at the Bristol Square shopping center at Madison and Rock Road.

The last time the county had a second bureau, it was in the Parklane Shopping Center at Lincoln and Oliver. Koranda says she’s not sure why that one closed.

“I can’t speak to that because it was a prior administration,” she says. “Since then, there’s only been one.”

Koranda says the new bureau will open this fall to accommodate a growing population, particularly in that area.

The state is adding staff for that office and for the bureau in Andover, which Koranda says is another growing area.

The new Derby bureau will be similar to the existing one at the Twin Lakes shopping center and handle new licenses and renewals, driver testing and concealed-carry licenses.

Bradley Tidemann with J.P. Weigand & Sons handled the deal for the Bristol Square space.

Fielder’s Choice, a baseball practice facility, to open near Kellogg and Edgemoor

WICHITA — Some people struggle with picking a major in college, but Tommy Bryant was already planning his first business while on the baseball field in school.

He’s opening Fielder’s Choice, a baseball practice and instructional facility, at 506 S. Edgemoor near Kellogg and Edgemoor. It’s similar to one he attended during school in the Kansas City area.

“I’ve been planning this since college,” Bryant says. “It just now fell into place.”

Bryant mainly was a catcher at the University of Central Missouri, including in 2003 when the school won the Division II championship, and at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. He then played most of five seasons in the American Association of Independent Professional Baseball.

Most recently, Bryant has been the dining room manager at the Wichita Country Club. He says his plan was to work in the business world for a while before starting his own business.

He says Fielder’s Choice is for anyone from children to adults, but instruction will be geared to ages 8 to 18.

There will be a pitching simulator, which Bryant says “is basically a really fancy batting cage.” He says it’s a good tool and “also a lot of fun.”

There will be clay mounds for indoor pitching practice.

Bryant says the facility’s 10,700 square feet will be ideal for consistent instruction and practice during winter months or when players can’t be outdoors.

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J.P. Weigand & Sons to close rental division

WICHITA — A year ago, J.P. Weigand & Sons created Weigand Residential Rentals & Management to capitalize on a rapidly growing rental market, but now the division is folding.

“It was just a financial decision,” says Weigand CFO Peggy Ward.

Does that mean it wasn’t performing as well as hoped financially?

“Since it’s a financial decision, that would insinuate it was a profitability issue,” Ward says.

Last summer, Weigand officials said the success that other real estate companies had with similar divisions prompted them to start one, particularly to counter an environment of sluggish home sales.

Ward is hesitant to say much more now.

“We’re kind of limited on what we can say at this point.”

The division will close as of Sept. 10.

Ward says she can’t yet say what will happen with current Weigand rentals.

“At that time, we’ll have another solution that we can announce.”

Kay & Bee Studios to open photography business in Old Town

WICHITA — Candid outdoor shots have long been the the pictures that photographers Ashley Burbank and Ashley Knolla prefer, but now they’re taking their business inside for some shots with a new Old Town studio.

The two, who have worked on their own for the past five years with Knolla’s Stellar Photography and Burbank’s Jean Snaps photography business, have formed Kay & Bee Studios. They’re moving into part of the loft space at 914 E. Douglas, which is where New Earth Journey also is opening a few doors east of Larkspur.

“We can definitely grow into it as we get more into indoor studio work,” Knolla says of the 550-square-foot space.

“We love the wood floors and the brick,” she says. “It looks all original, and it’s really rustic in there. It has a lot of character.”

Knolla says there’s also a lot of light from the space’s large windows.

The company will offer wedding and lifestyle photography, which Burbank describes as their take on more traditional portrait photography.

“We like to capture them in their element,” she says of clients.

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New Earth Journey to locate in Old Town

UPDATED — Candace Craw-Goldman had what she calls “a profound spiritual experience” six years ago that led to her starting New Earth Journey to help others. Now, she’s going to be doing that from a new office a few doors east of Larkspur in Old Town.

“In a general sense, I’m a metaphysical consultant,” Craw-Goldman says. “I help people understand how their consciousness affects every aspect of their life, including health, relationships, work – all of that.”

She follows the teachings of Arkansas-based Dolores Cannon, who is well known in the hypnotherapy world.

Craw-Goldman says she had a session with Cannon and took a class from her, and they immediately changed her life.

“I began practicing the method that she teaches almost immediately and put everything else in my world aside,” she says.

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New 3D-XEnergy to move into Domestic Design Building

WICHITA — Some new energy is coming to the Domestic Design Building in the Douglas Design District.

The new 3D-XEnergy, an oil and gas exploration company, is taking 2,578 square feet in the 1915 building at 1425 E. Douglas.

“They’re doing a lot of renovation, and a lot of kind of creative companies are in it now,” says partner Andy Kemmer.

Kemmer had been involved with another company, Vanguard Petroleum, before forming this LLC in March.

Geologist Monica Williams is a colleague in 3D-XEnergy.

The unusual name is a reference to the firm’s use of three-dimensional seismic technology in exploration.

Craig Ablah of Classic Real Estate and Marty Gilchrist and Randy Johnston of J.P. Weigand & Sons handled the deal for the space.

Brent Dorrah of neighboring ACI Design Studio is redesigning the space, which should be ready by early September at the latest.

Kemmer says he’s been in the oil business for more than 35 years.

“We all tend to put partnerships together with other oil guys,” he says.

Kemmer says he likes the idea of being with creative companies in the building, such as ACI, Greteman Group and the Workroom. He calls it a “comfortable” surrounding.

“It’s good people.”

Property owner Jeff Greenberg confirms state is considering leasing his building

WICHITA — Property owner and Wichita broker Jeff Greenberg confirms the state is considering leasing his 100,000-square-foot building near East 47th Street South and South Oliver, but he says the potential deal has nothing to do with a payback for supporting the governor or anyone else.

“It’s not political,” he says.

Since Have You Heard? reported that the state of Kansas has notified the city of Wichita that it’s leaving the Finney State Office Building downtown, Rep. Jim Ward (D-Wichita) has raised concerns that the search for new space might be politically motivated. He says he’s also worried that clients – particularly at the Department for Children and Families – won’t have easy access to services if the state moves.

Greenberg wants to address both of those points.

“The biggest thing … is allegations of political payback,” he says.

Greenberg says he’s registered as a Republican but only so he can vote in primaries.

“I’ve never been able to pigeonhole myself,” he says. “I’m not political. I’m not an activist.”

Greenberg says he hasn’t made a political contribution to Gov. Sam Brownback or anyone else in at least a decade or more.

He says a broker with J.P. Weigand & Sons brought him the possible deal.

“This was a natural,” Greenberg says of his space.

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Cow & Sow Deli and mini grocery coming to the Renfro apartments downtown

WICHITA — Renfro residents, along with other downtown dwellers and workers, soon will have a taste of country cooking from Conway Springs.

Tracey Coln and Teresa Gerber now live in Wichita, but Coln describes herself and Gerber as “just the country girls . . . trying to bring some country cooking into the city.”

They’re opening the Cow & Sow Deli next month at the new apartment building at 612 E. Douglas.

Coln’s mother grew up on a dairy farm in Viola, which is Coln’s inspiration for desserts and side dishes with lots of cream and butter — thus the “cow.”

Gerber grew up on a farm outside of Conway Springs, which is where she learned her family’s recipe for German sausage — thus the “sow.”

“We were being silly,” Coln says of trying to come up with a name.

Joking about the Cow & Sow “caught on, and everybody loved it,” Coln says.

Coln, who owns Heartfelt Memories photography studio, and Gerber, who recently left Cessna Aircraft, grew up together in Conway Springs.

“We were best friends,” Coln says.

Gerber’s departure from Cessna is what’s leading the two to open the deli, which will specialize in take-and-bake sausage, sandwiches, side dishes and a salad bar that Coln calls “something fresh and unique and not just a basic salad bar.”

They’re also going to carry some grocery items, such as milk, eggs, toilet paper and toothpaste as a convenience to residents.

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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.