Alltite and MobileCal owner plans to sell the downtown building where he planned offices

WICHITA — Five months after Alltite and MobileCal founder Tom Smith closed on a deal to buy a 14,000-square-foot building at 141 S. Rock Island near The Wichita Eagle, he’s now selling it.

“To renovate the building the way I was going to renovate, it just didn’t appraise for what it was going to cost to build it,” Smith says.

“I was really disappointed that it didn’t work out.”

In January, Have You Heard? first reported Smith had a contract on the building, which was built in 1901 as a livery stable in conjunction with the adjacent Union Station.

Smith currently leases space on the east side for his companies.

Alltite sells industrial bolting equipment and services to heavy industrial plants. MobileCal is a mobile calibration lab he developed to service industrial equipment on site.

Smith had planned to create a loft-style office for his new space.

The appraisal on the renovation “was kind of the last piece of the puzzle,” Smith says.

He says financing was contingent on it.

“The economies aren’t there.”

Now, he’s trying to decide if he’ll build or look for another existing structure to transform into his offices.

“I’m looking everywhere,” Smith says.

He says several people are interested in the Rock Island space. Smith says potential buyers would renovate the space.

“So something good is going to happen to that building.”

Alltite and MobileCal owner closes on purchase of one-time livery station downtown

WICHITA — Alltite and MobileCal founder Tom Smith has closed on his deal to buy a 14,000-square-foot building at 141 S. Rock Island near The Wichita Eagle.

“We’ve got a lot of customers and employees coming in from all over the country, and I wanted to have a neat, interesting property,” Smith says. “I really like old buildings with a lot of character. It’s just got the cool factor.”

In January, Have You Heard? first reported Smith had a contract on the building, which was built in 1901 as a livery stable in conjunction with the adjacent Union Station.

“The neat thing about the building is there’s a sliding door from the ice house next door,” Smith says.

He says blocks of ice and other refrigerated goods would be loaded onto horse-drawn carriages stationed in his building and then be delivered around Wichita.

Smith currently leases space on the east side for his companies.

Alltite sells industrial bolting equipment and services to heavy industrial plants, and Smith’s MobileCal is a mobile calibration lab he developed to service industrial equipment on site.

Smith says he plans to create a loft-style office for his new space.

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You don’t say

“If you could call someone at the federal government and rattle their cage, that would be great.”

Tom Smith, who is hoping to move his Alltite and MobileCal businesses to 141 S. Rock Island but is waiting to buy the building until he knows if he can get historic tax credits

Alltite and MobileCal founder Tom Smith to move from the east side to downtown

WICHITA — Count Alltite founder Tom Smith as another businessman who is bucking the trend of leaving downtown for the east side.

Smith is planning to leave the east side for downtown.

He has a contract on a 14,000-square-foot building at 141 S. Rock Island near The Wichita Eagle.

“I thought it was a neat, up-and-coming location, and I wanted to move my business downtown,” Smith says.

Alltite sells industrial bolting equipment and services to heavy industrial plants, and Smith’s MobileCal is a mobile calibration lab he developed to service industrial equipment on site.

Smith currently leases 12,000 square feet at 37th and Woodlawn. About 3,000 square feet of that is office space, and the rest is warehouse space.

At the new building, the office space would double.

First, though, Smith needs to get the building on state and national historic registries in order to qualify for tax credits.

The building, which most recently was home to Acme Art Glass, was built around 1907 as a livery stable for the Union Station ice house.

Smith wants to do a historic renovation to the exterior of the building. The interior would be more modern.

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Catalyst Marketing is gone from the former Poet Ethanol building

WICHITA — It was July when entrepreneur Tom Smith announced he was starting Catalyst Marketing, a call center he opened in the former Poet Ethanol building at 37th and Webb.

At the time, Smith said he hoped he would quickly outgrow the space.

Instead, he’s now moved out because it was too much space.

“The cost of keeping the center open at that larger scale wasn’t feasible,” Smith says. “The business didn’t come on as fast and the capitalization of the business ran out, and so I just incorporated Catalyst back into my other two companies for the time being.”

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Catalyst Marketing call center to open in the former Poet Ethanol space at 37th and Webb

WICHITA — Entrepreneur Tom Smith has proven the adage that necessity is the mother of invention, and it’s resulting in a new call center at the former Poet Ethanol building at 37th and Webb.

In 2003, Smith started Alltite, a company that sells industrial bolting equipment and services to heavy industrial plants, like refineries and power plants.

In 2005, he started MobileCal, a mobile calibration lab he developed to service industrial equipment on site for customers in Wichita, Dallas, Houston and Atlanta.

But then Smith ran into a problem.

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