Wichita River Festival consolidates, moves storage into one facility

WICHITA — Ever since Wichita Festivals gave up its longtime Wichita River Festival command center and storage facility to make way for AVI Seabar & Chophouse, it has used a couple of different places for storage.

“We have been guests of the Drury and their parking garage,” says Festivals president and CEO Mary Beth Jarvis.

Festivals also has been using the former Michaels building on East Kellogg. That building is slated to be razed next year, which is necessitating new storage space.

“We have been looking around for a new home for our odd collection of stuff,” Jarvis says.

That includes such things as signs, fencing and ticket booths.

Now, Jarvis says, “the wonderful folks at PEC” are donating part of the former Chilton Billiards space at 300 S. Topeka, which Professional Engineering Consultants owns, for Festivals to use.

“They are going to allow Wichita Festivals to park our stuff there,” Jarvis says.

PEC is still looking for someone to lease the 30,000-square-foot building. If a prospective tenant needs the entire space, “then we would have to gracefully yield,” Jarvis says. “Our goal will be to co-exist.”

Read More »

Lane Bryant is the latest retailer coming to NewMarket Square at 21st and Maize Road

WICHITA — Lane Bryant is the latest retail shop coming to the newest phase of NewMarket Square at 21st and Maize Road.

The store is one of several — Pier 1 Imports, Kirkland’s, Ulta Salon, Cosmetics & Fragrance, the Children’s Place, Rue 21 and Christopher & Banks — that will locate in the two buildings that form an L shape between Petco and Michaels.

That’s also near where the new Best Buy is at the Slawson Cos. property.

“We were talking to most of these tenants when we were dealing with Best Buy and Michaels,” says Slawson’s Jerry Jones. “Then we had the 2008 financial crisis that just put all these deals on the back burner.”

He and broker April Reed, who handled the Lane Bryant deal among others, kept talking to the companies.

Though the deals took longer to put together than planned, Jones says it’s still a win to get the businesses — especially without a full market recovery.

“We were able to do it in a time where it was challenging to put deals together,” he says.

Read More »

Pier 1 Imports coming to NewMarket Square

UPDATED — Fort Worth-based Pier 1 Imports is bringing a third one of its home stores to Wichita, this time to NewMarket Square at 21st and Maize Road.

“It’s just a great location, and it certainly made a lot of sense for our business,” says Jennifer Engstrand, a Pier 1 spokeswoman.

The store will take 8,558 square feet next to where the new Kirkland’s is locating. That store and Ulta Salon, Cosmetics & Fragrance, the Children’s PlaceRue 21 and Christopher & Banks are opening in two buildings that form an L shape between Petco and Michaels.

The five new stores in that area will begin opening in July and continue opening throughout the summer.

The new Pier 1 will open in late summer or early fall.

Jerry Jones of Slawson Cos., which owns NewMarket Square, says Pier 1 will have a new design prototype. The fresher look with feature an updated entrance, a more open interior and new lighting and fixtures.

“We’re excited that this will be one of the first stores in the country . . . using the new design prototype,” Jones says.

With Kirkland’s and Michaels near Pier 1, he says, it will “make it a destination for people shopping for home accessories.”

There are also Pier 1 stores at Bradley Fair on the east side and at 4500 W. Kellogg.

For now, Pier 1 will have three stores in the market. Engstrand couldn’t say when the existing west-side Pier 1′s lease is up or if that store will close at that time.

She says the company will hire about 15 full and part-time employees.

Slawson’s April Reed handled the deal. Kansas City-based LaSala-Sonnenberg Commercial Realty represented Pier 1.

Slawson has one more imminent store announcement for that portion of NewMarket Square. Look for news soon.

Bluebird Arthouse art supply store and studio to open in former Kellogg-Buck Furniture space in Delano

UPDATED — During her pursuit of a master’s degree in fine arts — she graduated from Wichita State University in May — Emily Brookover discovered a business opportunity.

So now she’s going to open Bluebird Arthouse in the former Kellogg-Buck Furniture space at 914 W. Douglas in Delano to sell art supplies and offer an outlet for artists.

“We have a real need for it here,” Brookover says.

When she was in school, she says, “There was no place to go for materials or support or a place to ask questions.”

There are three components to Brookover’s business.

First, the store is an art materials retailer.

“That will be our number one priority,” Brookover says.

She says local craft stores offer only student-grade supplies.

“We’re going to be carrying brands and lines that you can’t get at Michaels and Hobby Lobby.”

Among lines she plans to carry are Golden for acrylic paint and Gamblin for oil paint.

Brookover will offer supplies for a range of disciplines, including drawing, sculpture, ceramics and print-making.

She’ll also rent studio space for artists, and she’ll offer classes and demonstrations.

“I’m not just an art supplier,” Brookover says. “I want to be a place for artists to come and mingle and talk and be inspired.”

She plans to offer classes that aren’t currently available here.

“I’m not interested in competing with our amazing art centers here in town.”

Read More »

Five new stores to open at NewMarket Square at 21st and Maize

UPDATED — Slawson Cos. is kicking off its latest development phase at NewMarket Square at 21st and Maize.

The center is getting five new stores: Ulta Salon, Cosmetics & Fragrance, the Children’s Place, Rue 21, Kirkland’s and Christopher & Banks.

The stores will be in two buildings that form an L shape between Petco and Michaels.

“It’ll link together then the entire development from north to south,” says Slawson’s Jerry Jones.

Jones says NewMarket’s walkability will be improved with the new 56,000 square feet of stores.

Key Construction is the contractor, Architectural Innovations is the architect and PEC is the engineer.

“It’s the largest building project for us out there — single building project — really since the first phase,” Jones says of when NewMarket kicked off in 2001.

“We expect the initial openings to be right around the first of July.”

This will bring NewMarket’s total square footage to 830,000 square feet with 82 stores, restaurants and banks. It’s the third-largest shopping center in Wichita and the largest open-air shopping center.

The White Dress, a bridal boutique, will open at NewMarket Square in June

WICHITA — The area around the new Best Buy at NewMarket Square at 21st and Maize continues to fill up.

The White Dress, a bridal boutique, is going to open in June between Best Buy and Dustee’s Fashion Accessories.

Best Buy opens late this month. Dustee’s opened Thursday. The new Michaels craft store opened there Feb. 28.

“It really provides us with a lot of exposure right there,” owner Kristi Mouser says. “We are kind of a good match for the Dustee’s and Michaels clientele, too.”

April Reed of Slawson Cos. handled the deal for the 3,500-square-foot space.

Mouser has been planning the shop for three years with her mother, Debbie Mouser, who will be a manager in the store.

Read More »

Michael’s store on Kellogg to close when NewMarket Square Michael’s opens

WICHITA — Not surprisingly, when the new Michael’s craft store opens at NewMarket Square next month, the existing one at 6610 W. Kellogg will close.

No one with the company will comment officially, but an employee at the west-side Michael’s says the Kellogg store will close in late February.

The new store is scheduled to have a grand opening Feb. 28, with a soft opening likely in the day or two before that.

When the current west-side Michael’s closes depends on how quickly the inventory sells. The last couple of days, most everything will be on clearance.

Dustee’s Fashion Accessories to open in NewMarket Square

newmarkWICHITA — An Oklahoma City-based women’s fashion accessory chain is the latest tenant for NewMarket Square’s newest area of development.

Dustee’s Fashion Accessories will locate in the 10,000-square-foot building between the new Michael’s, which opens in March, and Best Buy.

Best Buy doesn’t have an opening date yet, but it will be sometime this spring.

NewMarket’s tenant mix is part of what attracted Dustee’s.

“It seemed like that was an area that was growing,” says COO Scott Bulmer.

He and partners David Green and Larry Mattocks own the chain of 11 Dustee’s stores.

There are six in Texas and four in Oklahoma.

“In our expansion mode, we just decided a long time ago we would radiate out from Oklahoma City,” Bulmer says. “Wichita was certainly a logical place for us to be.”

Read More »