J.V. Johnston takes Newman University job and keeps ownership in Johnston’s

jvWICHITA — J.V. Johnston is the new vice president of institutional advancement at Newman University, which means he’s now the former president of Johnston’s, the men’s clothier at his Collective development just east of 21st and Greenwich.

“I’m leaving because I’m able to leave,” says Johnston, who will remain an owner in the business.

He says he’s been delegating more and more the last several years.

“One day, I came in, and I said, ‘I don’t have anything to do,’” he says. “I really kind of delegated myself out of a job.”

He didn’t have any intentions to work at Newman, though, until he felt a calling.

“It may sound squirrely,” Johnston says. “I’m religious. I’m not fanatical. I never had a calling. This time I did.”

Before he got that higher calling, though, Johnston heard from Bob Simpson, his friend who owns Simpson Construction Services.

Simpson told Johnston about the open position and the qualities the school was looking for in that potential employee.

“I’ll get you some names,” Johnston told him.

Simpson made it clear he had someone else in mind for the job.

“He leans over the table and says, ‘I’m looking at him.’”

Johnston says he “really felt like someone hit me with a club over the head, and I was going to fall out of the chair.”

He asked president Noreen Carrocci if she would consider him. She advised he get a resume for starters.

“I never had a resume, which is weird.”

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Extremo Vino liquor store to open at the Collective at 21st Street and K-96

UPDATED — Computer programmer David Keeton discovered a love of wine three years ago and now wants to combine it with his longtime passion for technology.

Keeton is one of the founders of Callcap, a 10-year-old Wichita company that helps businesses track and analyze customer calls.

Now, he’s opening Extremo Vino, a liquor store at the Collective, which is J.V. Johnston’s development at 21st Street and K-96.

“Basically, it was born out of my own frustration,” Keeton says.

He’s developed software to help customers keep track of wines they’ve enjoyed and then offer recommendations based on those.

“I never could remember what wines I liked and what wines I didn’t like.”

With his system, customers can track the wines they like with his software on their home computers or use the system in the store with a key chain bar code tag.

Keeton also plans iPhone and iPad apps.

Based on what customers enter, he says, “Then we can make some suggestions about what else (they) might like in the store.”

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Collective Merchants Association sues salon owner and developer Sami Halaseh

WICHITA — Salon owner and developer Sami Halaseh is in a dispute with Collective developer and Johnston’s owner J.V. Johnston.

The Collective Merchants Association has filed a lawsuit against Halaseh’s Jordan’s Place LLC.

Halaseh bought ground at the Collective, which is at East 21st Street and K-96, where he then brought Soho Salon and Mini Dental Implant Centers of America. He’s also negotiating to bring a 4,000-square-foot medical spa there.

The lawsuit is over maintenance fees for things like mowing, snow removal and the operation of fountains on the property. The merchants association is suing for $11,400 in nonpayment of those services, plus interest and attorney’s fees.

“I’m doing my own maintenance,” Halaseh says. “I’m just basically separating myself from the Collective area. That’s the dispute.”

Halaseh says he never signed anything agreeing to maintenance.

“Yeah, he signed it,” Johnston says.

“When you buy the land, you sign it just like a homeowner’s situation,” Johnston says.

“He just doesn’t want to pay. He said, ‘I’m going to take care of it myself,’ and I said, ‘No, you can’t.’ ”

Halaseh doesn’t think Johnston and the association have a case.

“I said, ‘If you want to do it that way, fine, we’ll take it to court,’ ” he says.

Johnston says the association continues to take care of all of the Collective property, including Halaseh’s.

“He’s a nice guy,” Johnston says, “but I wish he’d pay.”

PS Designs moving to Towne East Square

WICHITA — PS Designs is heading back to the mall.

The home and garden accessories shop left Towne West Square in early 2007 to open at the Collective, J.V. Johnston’s development at East 21st Street and K-96.

Now, the store is moving to Towne East Square.

“They just got too far behind on their rent, honestly,” Johnston says. “It happens. I hope they do well.”

Co-owner Bobby Peltier says the rent at the Collective was too high for the amount of shoppers he had.

“Just with the recession . . . there’s no traffic out here,” Peltier says. “We’re so far out to the northeast side of town that, you know, we’re basically just drawing from the local neighborhood that’s here close to the store.”

His new store, which should open by late March, will be by Specs Eyewear on the upper level of Towne East.

“I feel comfortable that we’ll at least be able to survive the recession,” Peltier says of his move there.

He’s leaving 3,000 square feet at the Collective.

“I’ve got a couple of people looking at it, actually,” Johnston says of potential tenants, “which is kind of amazing in this economy.”

Neurology Consultants of Kansas moving to The Collective

WICHITA — After more than a decade near the St. Francis campus, Neurology Consultants of Kansas is moving east to J.V. Johnston’s Collective at K-96 and East 21st Street.

“We are going to be building a new 10,000-square-foot building for outpatient neurology and electrodiagnostic medicine,” says Tally Bell, a nurse practitioner and administrator for the group.

“We’ve really outgrown our space,” she says.

Bell says new patients often have to wait five or six months to be seen.

“We’re going to try to better meet that need,” she says.

That means the practice will be adding another physician at some point for a total of five.

Bell says the group will take its time finding one.

“It’s very important to us that we keep . . . . what we think is a good mix,” she says. “We’ve got such a good mix right now.”

There also are two nurse practitioners, and a third is a possibility.

Along with more room for procedures, outpatient hours will expand as well to keep up with what Bell calls “unmet needs in the community.”

“It’s way ahead of us, so to speak,” she says.

Construction will begin in late July or early August.

Simpson & Associates is the contractor, and WDM Architects is the architect.