Dentist Chris Hickerson to open new practice at Spring Creek in Derby

WICHITA — Derby dentist Chris Hickerson had already been thinking of starting his own practice when his employer asked him to sign a contract.

“I just really didn’t want to get tied down,” Hickerson says.

That’s why he’s decided to start his own practice.

“I thought, well, this is probably just as good of time as any.”

Hickerson’s self-named practice will be in the Spring Creek shopping center, an Occidental Management property in Derby at the southeast corner of Madison and Rock Road.

The practice, which will be in 2,000 square feet, will open sometime next week.

“I’d like to say Monday, but it’s hard to say,” Hickerson says.

Austin Kinzle of Healthcare Real Estate Group handled the deal.

Hickerson says he’ll offer general dental care for all ages along with some orthodontics. He says he’s also an Invisalign provider and will repair implants, which he says he hopes to also place in the future.

Eventually, he says he may also add an associate dentist to his staff.

“For a good while, it’ll probably just be me.”

Hickerson says he chose to name the practice after himself for a reason.

“I feel like I wanted people to know it was a locally owned and operated kind of place.”

A 1,500-square-foot Scooter’s is second tenant for Union Station

WICHITA — Occidental Management now has its second tenant in its new development at Union Station, which it is planning to transform into a multi-use destination in the heart of the city.

“We’re going to be putting in a Scooter’s coffee cafe,” says Occidental president Chad Stafford, who handled the deal with chairman and CEO Gary Oborny.

Wichita businessman Tad Fugate will open the Scooter’s in 1,500 square feet on the east end of what was the Grand Hotel immediately to the west of The Wichita Eagle. The businesses are across from the entrance to Old Town.

“So they’ll have great presence along Douglas,” Stafford says.

“To have them in this with their coffee brand is pretty exciting,” he says of Fugate and his company.

This won’t be a typical Scooter’s kiosk.

“This is a little bit different for them in that they’re getting into a little cafe style.”

There are similar Scooter’s cafes on the Plaza in Kansas City and in Overland Park.

There will be a drive-through at the cafe.

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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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McKenzie & Associates to open at Occidental Plaza

WICHITA — Marriage and family therapist Mac McKenzie has left the Parker Group at Occidental Plaza downtown, but he hasn’t gone far.

“I am branching out on my own,” McKenzie says.

His new practice, McKenzie & Associates, also will be at Occidental Plaza at Second and Main.

“It’s smack dab in the middle of town,” McKenzie says. “It’s nice to be kind of centrally located.”

McKenzie will treat any age patient. He’s a certified play therapist and specializes in trauma treatment.

Stephanie Wiens and Chad Stafford of Occidental Management handled the lease.

McKenzie says he likes Wichita history, and Occidental Plaza is a big part of that.

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Auburn Spirits to expand at Auburn Pointe

WICHITA – Gary Oborny and Frank Sauerwein are expanding their Auburn Spirits liquor store in time for the busy holiday season.

The two opened the store in 2008 at Oborny’s Auburn Pointe shopping center at the southeast corner of 135th and Maple, which his Occidental Management manages.

Auburn Spirits currently is in 4,800 square feet and is adding an additional 1,600 square feet from where Java Salon used to be. The salon moved to Central and Maize earlier this year.

With the new space, Auburn Spirits will expand its selection of liquor, wine and beer.

“We’re really excited about having more craft beer options for customers,” says marketing manager Emilee Clark.

She says customers will now be able to assemble their own six packs.

“It’s the easy way to not commit to the entire six pack but just be able to try different things.”

Also, the extra square footage means the store will be able to double its storage space.

“Storage is huge in the liquor industry to be able to offer good deals,” Clark says.

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Smoothie King and two other businesses to open in former Rock Island Depot space

UPDATED — Some people buy sports cars or take extravagant trips for their midlife crises, but Neil Bhakta is choosing to share his with all of Wichita by opening three new businesses.

The Smoothie King partner is planning his fourth Smoothie King site, this time downtown in the former Rock Island Depot, where he also plans a new restaurant and venue space.

“This is going to be my midlife crisis project right here,” Bhakta says.

“I love the building that we’re going into.”

Old Town Martini, which was the last business there, closed in 2009.

Occidental Management purchased the building earlier this year as part of its purchase of the Union Station campus. The company plans a mixed-use development, which will have retail and office space and possibly residential as well. Smoothie King is the first announced tenant.

“It’s good to get the first one done,” says Chad Stafford, Occidental president. “We’re excited to get rolling down there.”

Stafford thinks Smoothie King will do well.

“It’s going to do terrific,” he says. “Certainly there’s a lot of traffic. … That site, as it begins to develop and get rolling, we’ll have a lot of visitors to it.”

Bhakta says Occidental will restore the exterior of the building.

“It’s going to be a nice project.”

It’s one he says he previously wouldn’t have even considered.

In the dozen or so years of having Smoothie King, Bhakta says, “We never looked at downtown.”

That’s even though he grew up in the area.

“We actually left,” Bhakta says. “Downtown in the ’90s, we didn’t have much faith in it … coming back.”

That’s what has happened, though, he says.

“What they’ve done downtown is amazing.”

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Nail Elements to expand in Derby

WICHITA — Nail Elements, one of the first tenants that opened in Occidental Management’s Spring Creek shopping center at Madison and Rock Road in Derby, is expanding.

Owner Vivian Le says it’s all about “more options for customers.”

She’s adding 632 square feet to her existing 1,600 square feet. Le says this will allow her to add more pedicure stations and throw parties for people wanting group nail treatments.

Le says the effect is “pretty much more delux.”

Occidental’s Chad Stafford handled the deal.

Ninza Sushi Bar to open at Northwest Centre at 13th and Tyler

WICHITA — Lots of college students work in restaurants while going to school, but Ada Yang is taking it one big step farther.

The Wichita State University economics student is opening Ninza Sushi Bar at the end of the month.

The restaurant will be next to National American University in Occidental Management’s Northwest Centre at 13th and Tyler.

Occidental chairman and CEO Gary Oborny handled the deal for the 60-seat restaurant.

This is Yang’s first restaurant, which she’s opening with boyfriend Seong Han. Han was a sushi chef and head chef in California for years.

“He has a lot of experience,” Yang says.

Han and Yang plan to serve Japanese and Korean food, including traditional sushi as well as other kinds. They’ll also have a full bar.

The word “ninja” is the inspiration for the Ninza name, substituting “z” for “j.”

“Just like Krispy Kreme, they change the ‘c’ to ‘k,’” Yang says.

Though Yang is still working on her degree, with opening a restaurant she’s decided to take this semester off.

“This semester I’m too busy.”

Michael Monteferrante named Envision CEO

WICHITA — The fixer is back.

Michael Monteferrante, the turnaround specialist who first came to Wichita in 2003 as CEO of Optima Bus, is returning as the new president and CEO of Envision.

“It’s a nonprofit, and we didn’t know if someone with as entrepreneurial spirit as Michael has would want to make the leap to the nonprofit world,” says Sam Williams, chairman of Envision’s board.

“This opportunity I’m looking at completely different than I have at previous opportunities of employment,” Monteferrante says. “I can’t be more excited than to take all the things I’ve learned over the years and apply it to a company that helps people.”

In addition to serving the blind and low-vision community through services and education, Envision is the second-largest employer of blind and low-vision people nationally. Envision Industries has a number of production and distribution divisions.

“I’ve always been extremely passionate about the mission of Envision,” Monteferrante says.

He still remembers his first tour of the Envision plant on Water Street years ago.

“I could not tell who was blind and who wasn’t, and I just said, ‘Wow. I want to be a part of this. This is one of the most inspirational plant tours I’ve had.’”

Monteferrante sees bigger things for Envision, though.

“While it has grown – it’s grown tremendously over the years – I believe that the boundaries of growth for the mission of Envision … are endless,” he says. “I’ve always felt that the mission at Envision could be more than a Wichita-based, Kansas-based situation.”

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Urban Oasis Yoga Studio to open in Delano

WICHITA — A new yoga studio is going in the former Siva Power Yoga space at 535 W. Douglas in Delano.

Lori Morton is opening Urban Oasis Yoga Studio in 2,326 square feet on Jan. 1.

“We’re doing our first class at four o’clock,” Morton says.

It’ll be free to introduce people to the studio.

Morton says she’s made a number of changes to the space, such as adding mirrors.

Stephanie Wiens and Shannon Palmer of Occidental Management handled the deal for the space.

In addition to the studio space, Morton says there will be a relaxation area with spa water, a boutique and “some different, fun things.”

She plans on offering a variety of yoga classes, such as hot yoga, a dance fusion class, yoga for beginners and praise and worship yoga classes during which she says she’ll take donations for World Impact.

Morton also will offer stand-up paddle yoga at the Wichita Swim Club in the winter and various lakes and other water in the summer.

“I’m just hoping that people will be able to find a class that serves them well.”