Vliet family sells Old Town property

UPDATED — Rich and Marni Vliet were a young couple in 1975 when they first started buying Old Town property.

“Rich began having this Old Town dream when we met,” Marni Vliet says of her late husband, who died of ALS two years ago.

First, they purchased the Looking Glass restaurant in the 400 block of East Douglas.

Then, in the mid 1980s, they began eyeing a dilapidated area of Old Town in the 900 block along East Douglas.

“We were beginning to get a feel for the frontage of Douglas,” Vliet says. “We used to sit at the Beacon and look at the block over our omelettes.”

The Vliets shared a dream and a dedication to the redevelopment of Old Town, and that included what Rich Vliet thought of as the entry point of Old Town.

“Rich was right,” Vliet says. “He said, ‘Old Town needs a face. … It needs a front door.’”

The Vliets purchased the property from 910 through 926 E. Douglas, which has 29,531 square feet over nine units. Friday, they sold it to a group called Old Town Ventures.

“I wouldn’t even characterize it as bittersweet,” Marni Vliet says. “It’s the end of a chapter for our family.”

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West-side Realty World Alliance to move

UPDATED — Realty World Alliance continues to grow, so owner Greg Fox is moving his west-side office to accommodate that.

“Frankly, I’m nearly doubling my space, so it’s giving us a lot more room to grow,” Fox says.

Currently, Realty World has 3,700 square feet at Northwest Centre at 13th and Tyler. It’s moving to 6,800 square feet at 6617 W. Central, which is a former Blockbuster site across from Two Brothers BBQ.

“We decided that we would rather have a stand-alone building,” Fox says. “People seem to find you a lot easier.”

Fox and Troy Farha and Nathan Farha of NAI Martens handled the deal for the lease.

The move should happen in early March. Fox thinks he’ll initially need about 4,000 square feet of the 6,800 square feet, and the rest will be room to grow.

“My business everywhere is growing,” he says. “I’m a blessed man.”

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Immediate Medical Care to open new clinic

UPDATED — It was almost five years ago that Grover Hershberger opened his first immediate care clinic in the former Souper Salad space at 4722 W. Kellogg.

Now, he’s preparing to open an east-side Immediate Medical Care clinic at 5838 E. Central. That’s the 6,728-square-foot former Blockbuster space in Carriage Parkway.

“The new location has plenty of traffic and provides great visibility,” Hershberger said in a statement. “Also, it is easily accessible to the large surrounding population.”

The clinic can see patients quickly for injury, illness, physicals, X-rays and lab work, among other things.

Grant Glasgow of NAI Martens represented Hershberger in the deal, and his colleagues Nathan Farha and Troy Farha represented the landlord.

Look for Immediate Medical Care to open in March.

Cycle Gear to open in Wichita

UPDATED — Cycle Gear, which bills itself as the country’s leading retailer for motorcycle accessories and apparel, is coming to Wichita.

The chain is taking 3,100 square feet at 3236 N. Rock Road, which is in the same center as Buffalo Wild Wings.

Don Piros of Landmark Commercial Real Estate and Nathan Farha of NAI Martens handled the deal.

Cycle Gear, which is employee-owned, has 105 stores in 33 states. It has another Kansas store in Lenexa. According to the store’s website, Cycle Gear tries to be involved with riding in the communities where it has stores, such as sponsoring events.

The almost 40-year-old company also likes to be known for 30-day best-price guarantees and hassle-free helmet exchanges.

Via e-mail, company spokesman Johnny Lin says the company is “very excited” about a Wichita store. Lin says it’s “a very vibrant motorcycle market” with more than 20,000 riders.

Look for the store to open in March.

 

 

Valley Center’s Midwest Dance Mechanix to move to Wichita and expand

UPDATED — The 3-year-old Midwest Dance Mechanix in Valley Center has grown so much – from 35 students to about 175 – it’s out of space.

Owner Jana Owen looked for new space in Valley Center but didn’t find any, so she’s instead moving to 3805 N. Hydraulic in Wichita. That’s the northwest corner of 37th and Hydraulic. She says it’s only 10 minutes from where she is now, “which is important to me to not alienate … the people who we started our business with.”

The business is growing from two studios in 2,300 square feet to three studios in more than 4,500 square feet.

“It’s got some real benefits to it,” Owen says of the building. She says it’s safe and quiet, and “it just has a real presence about it.”

Owen says she’ll be able to add more classes so students can practice more and, she hopes, go on to become professional dancers.

That’s “the ultimate goal for us,” she says.

“It’s just really kind of coming to the culmination of what I’ve always wanted for the kids.”

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Tractor Supply to open Augusta store

UPDATED — Tractor Supply, a national chain that sells lawn, garden and animal care products, is expanding with a new store in Augusta.

The company already has stores on East and West Kellogg.

The new store is tentatively set to open Oct. 10 at the southwest corner of Southwest Diamond Road and East Kellogg. Jeff Englert and Nathan Farha of NAI Martens represented a seller who sold three and a quarter acres to a developer who is a building a building for Tractor Supply.

Englert and Farha’s client has another eight acres near there to sell.

Via e-mail, a Tractor Supply representative said the area is especially attractive because of farmers and horse owners who live and work there.

The store, which will be almost 20,000 square feet, will employ 12 to 17 full-time and part-time employees.

 

Loony Bin closes deal for downtown space

UPDATED — As expected, the owners of the Loony Bin closed a deal this week to buy the 13,000-square-foot building between First and Second streets on St. Francis across from the urban park on the southeast corner of Second and St. Francis.

“We hope to get open probably early fall, September or October at the latest, I would say,” says partner Jeff Jones.

The Loony Bin had been at 21st and Woodlawn in Oxford Square from 1999 until it closed in late March.

The new space is two buildings — one a single story and one that’s two stories — that are attached.

The 3,400-square-foot single-story space is where the comedy club will be. It will hold about 150, which is down from the 299 that the previous space held.

“Although that was pretty optimistic,” Jones says.

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Shine Salon to move to Sunburst Plaza

UPDATED — There’s a new tenant coming to Phil Ruffin’s Sunburst Plaza at 1725 at 1725 E. Douglas, which may be better known as the home of Tanya’s Soup Kitchen.

Shine Salon is moving into 2,500 square feet next to the former Integrity Auto Group space at the center.

“We’ve kind of been looking to expand, to grow our business,” says Val Sigg, who owns the business with his wife, Casey. “Our business has been fantastic.”

The salon will celebrate five years at 110 N. Hillside on March 18.

Currently, Shine has six styling chairs and eight stylists.

“We’re trying to accommodate 14 hair stylists at our new space,” Sigg says. “We are actively looking for … hair stylists to come work with us over there.”

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Social Manor to open in Old Town

WICHITA — A new shop is coming to Old Town in time for Christmas.

Erin Kice and Lauren Johnson are opening Social Manor in the former Gingeroot Studios space at 920 E. Douglas, which is next to I Do Bridal & Tux.

The store will have furniture, accessories and gifts along with design services.

Johnson and Kice say they hope to inspire people.

“We kind of really feed off each other,” Johnson says.

She says Kice will handle the business side, and she’ll focus on marketing and design.

Johnson had been working in the marketing department for Intrust Bank when she decided to return to school to get an interior design degree. She’s also been doing staging for real estate.

Erin Kice has worked at Alltite for six years in various capacities, including accounting, human resources and office management. She says she “learned a lot about how a small business operates.”

“That has always been my dream, to have a shop of my own,” she says.

Kice says she knew out of college she didn’t have the experience she needed to open her own business.

“My time at Alltite has been great for that.”

“Erin has a passion for entertaining and throws the most wonderful events in her home,” Johnson says.

Johnson says she also likes entertaining but with more of a focus on interior design.

Kice says they’ll offer in-store instructional events.

“Kind of a decorating 101 type thing,” she says. “That’s kind of part of our creating a fun and entertaining atmosphere.”

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Simon Property Group hires local firm to market space

WICHITA — It’s not exactly news when new space is available at a mall, but Jeff Englert makes a good case for 8,000 square feet that he and Grubb & Ellis/Martens Commercial Group colleagues are marketing at Towne East Square.

“To my knowledge, it’s the first time that Simon used third-party brokers in Wichita,” he says of Simon Property Group, which owns the mall.

Perhaps more significantly, Englert says, “They want to go after nontraditional mall tenants for this.”

Not that he and fellow brokers Nathan Farha and Grant Glasgow won’t look at retail.

“Retail is definitely going to be our first play there.”

However, Simon has had some luck with nonretail tenants, such as Wright Career College.

“They want to explore that some more,” Englert says.

The space is located on the west side of Towne East between Dillard’s and Sears at the second-most busy main entrance of the mall. Englert says it’s possible to add a glass exterior so the space is visible from outside the mall.

After retail, Englert says there could be possibilities such as office users, educational facilities or a fitness center.

He says he’ll soon have news on a new Towne West Square tenant.

“This will be pretty big news, let’s put it that way.”

Look for it in about a month or so.