Mid-America Powersports to sell or close

WICHITA — Earlier this week, Ross Reed thought he was going to close his Mid-America Powersports. Since he began telling customers, though, there’s now a chance he could sell the business.

“It’s kind of one of those fluid situations,” Reed says.

The store, which opened in 1988 and is in four buildings at 333 N. West St., is “a mixture of several businesses that I purchased over the years,” Reed says.

He sells motorcycles, ATVs, watercraft and power products, such as lawnmowers.

“It’s a huge deal here, and it’s very rare in this industry unless you’re on one of the coasts,” Reed says of the variety of merchandise he offers. “We’re a destination store.”

Though Reed says the business is financially solid, the economy is behind his decision to close.

“My wife and I didn’t take this decision lightly,” he says. The struggle is too much, Reed says.

“We’re just tired.”

Reed hasn’t been successful in marketing the business for the last four years, so his plan was to close shop and sell his buildings. Marlin Penner of John T. Arnold Associates is helping him sell the property, which has more than four acres and could be divided. The buildings have a combined total of more than 40,000 square feet.

Now, Reed says there are four potential buyers, one of whom seems especially interested, and he says he’s willing to sell or lease his property.

If he’s forced to close, Reed says he hopes it might make people think twice before buying products that aren’t local.

“If you don’t support your local business, this is what happens.”

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Grubb & Ellis/Martens Commercial Group is now NAI Martens; NAI John T. Arnold Associates drops its NAI affiliation

Steve Martens (left) and Tom Johnson of the newly named NAI Martens.

WICHITA — Turns out Steve Martens will have to order new stationery.

“We have left Grubb and Ellis,” says the CEO of what formerly was known as Grubb & Ellis/Martens Commercial Group.

The company now is an affiliate of NAI Global and will be known as NAI Martens.

Wichita’s John T. Arnold Associates previously was an NAI affiliate and now is an independent operation.

“We’re just kind of relooking at our … working model,” says John T. Arnold president Marlin Penner. He says he and executive vice president Don Arnold decided to focus on the clients they have and simplify their operation. NAI asked that they retain the affiliation until it could find another one in the market.

“We have a huge respect for Steve and his organization, and we’re just thrilled they’re taking it over,” Penner says. “It was the right thing for everybody involved.”

California-based Grubb & Ellis filed for bankruptcy early this year and eventually sold to BGC Partners.

At the time, Martens told Have You Heard? that there was a chance the firm could remain an affiliate or go another direction.

“We wanted to find the right fit,” he says.

“We looked at virtually every other opportunity that was out there,” says NAI Martens president Tom Johnson. “Anyone that’s not in the market is someone we talked to.”

NAI is a group Martens talked to before deciding to affiliate with Grubb & Ellis in 2000.

“Over the years, they have really grown and matured as a company,” Johnson says.

C-III Capital Partners completed its purchase of NAI Global this summer.

“C-III brings to them the capital they need to grow and really develop that company,” Johnson says.

With more than 5,000 employees in 350 offices, NAI Global is the largest international network of commercial real estate firms. All its affiliates are independently owned and operated, which is key for Martens and Johnson.

If a company has affiliates and corporate offices, the affiliates “sometimes are stepchildren,” Johnson says.

“With NAI, everybody is on the same footing.”

He says the affiliates can share best practices in a noncompetitive way.

“It allows us to up our business from an entrepreneurial standpoint,” Johnson says.

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Siemens signs lease for 74,000-square-foot Wichita warehouse near 37th and Hydraulic

WICHITA — Siemens, a diversified international company with a focus on energy, is planning to announce Thursday that it has signed a lease for 74,000 square feet of warehouse space at 1090 E. 37th St. North.

“They have been a fabulous company to do business with,” says NAI John T. Arnold Associates president and supervising broker Marlin Penner, who handled the deal with NAI’s Tymber Lee.

“We’re just thrilled to death to see them have a presence in Wichita,” Penner says. “We hope this is a harbinger of more to come.”

Siemens is opening a wind power distribution center, which will provide storage, procurement, kitting, refurbishment and distribution of tooling that’s needed to install wind turbines nationally.

It also will store, repair and distribute new unit transport framing and hardware that’s used to move nacelles, towers and blades around the region.

“With more and more wind projects coming on line in the U.S., we see this new facility in Wichita as a testament to our continued commitment to providing the highest level of service to our customers and to the overall maturation of the U.S. wind industry,” Mark Albenze, CEO of Siemens Energy’s Wind Power Americas business, said in a statement.

“Much like Siemens’ recently announced new wind service facility in Woodward, Oklahoma, the geographic location of the new Wichita distribution center will allow us to address our customers’ installation and distribution needs in a cost-effective and timely manner.”

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Robert Eyster hits the trifecta with his acquisition of 100 S. Market

WICHITA — Developer Robert Eyster has purchased another downtown building.

Michael Ramsey, who is working with Eyster on several downtown projects, says Eyster has acquired the more than 20,000-square-foot, two-story building at 100 S. Market.

“It’s not a very exciting building — yet,” Ramsey says.

This follows Eyster’s purchase of the Board of Trade building at 120 S. Market earlier this summer along with Kelly Donham’s former property on Douglas Avenue between Main and Market streets that became known for a giant hole in the ground.

They’re also renovating and repurposing the Zelman building and the Victoria Park Apartments downtown.

Ramsey says the building at 100 S. Market is “an integral part of the trifecta of the old Donham property and the Board of Trade.”

“Now that we’ve secured all three of the key players in the plan, we can go forth with what the next step is.”

Except they’re not revealing that next step yet.

Ramsey says he’ll share news in a month or so.

Leisa Lowry with J.P. Weigand & Sons and Marlin Penner with NAI John T. Arnold Associates handled the deal for 100 S. Market.

“It holds enormous promise,” Ramsey says.

Jack’s North Hi Carryout to be auctioned

jacksWICHITA — Here we go again.

After years and years of Jack’s North Hi Carryout having the same owner, there have been several changes in recent years, and it looks like there’s about to be one more.

Owner Barbara Moore has hired Bud Palmer Auction to auction the restaurant at 10 a.m. on Sept. 16 at Jack’s, which will remain open through Sept. 15.

“I came out of retirement basically to keep it going,” Moore says. “I’m like Brett Favre. I’m going back into retirement.”

Moore’s husband, Joe, reopened the restaurant in March 2009 but then died in November.

The restaurant and its restoration was his labor of love.

“All of that was his design, and he restored it,” Moore says. “And, of course, it looks great. He did a great job.”

Included in the auction is the longtime menu board from the restaurant, some North High School yearbooks from the 1930s and books with signatures from North High students from 1929 to the present.

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