Crossroads shopping center undergoes remodeling, prepares for large, new tenant

WICHITA — Passersby have noticed some work going on at Phil Ruffin’s Crossroads shopping center at Central and Ridge and wondered what’s happening.

“I’m just remodeling it,” says Jon Cyphert of Jon Cyphert Commercial Real Estate, who is the leasing agent for the center.

He says there was a time the center was always 100 percent leased.

“Things kind of started to shift away, and now I think they’re shifting back,” Cyphert says.

Though the center has been more active in recent years, he says, “I’ve got quite a bit of  space left to lease.”

Twenty-three thousand square feet, to be exact.

State Beauty Supply expanded its presence there in 2012. The Eric Fisher Academy is on the east end, and Gordmans is on the far west part of the property next to the shopping center.

Gordmans got a new roof in 2010, and the center is getting a new roof now.

Cyphert says he has a announcement of a new, large tenant coming within a month or so.

Possible new tenant at Sunburst Plaza

WICHITA — There’s some activity going on at Phil Ruffin’s Sunburst Plaza at 1725, which is at 1725 E. Douglas and is best known for being home to Tanya’s Soup Kitchen.

There’s about 2,500 square feet adjacent to the former Integrity Auto Group space that’s being readied for a new tenant.

A deal for that tenant is imminent. We’ll let you know when it closes.

Ruben’s Mexican Grill is moving by spring, most likely within Delano

WICHITA — Ruben’s Mexican Grill is moving – again – but probably not far.

Almost a decade ago, Ruben & Anita’s Tacos left the Farm & Art Market in Old Town for a new home in Delano. Ruben Acosta changed the restaurant’s name and opened near the northwest corner of Douglas and McLean.

Now, he’s negotiating to take space at the northwest corner of Douglas and Osage, which is just down Douglas in Delano.

“We’re still kind of like maybe a month out from really knowing,” says Omar Acosta, Ruben Acosta’s son.

Omar Acosta says “we’re kind of getting kicked out” due to the restaurant’s rent getting tripled. Ruben’s subleases space from Valero. Phil Ruffin owns the property.

“It’ll be a good change,” Acosta says. “I don’t think anybody really minds having to move. It’s just the process of having to do it.”

The restaurant’s lease is up in April.

Chris Ruffin, who handles real estate for his father’s properties, says the Douglas and McLean property is “up for redevelopment.”

“We’re looking into it,” he says.

Anything new is at least a year away. Ruffin says he’s considering options for what to do there.

“I haven’t made any plans.”

Occupational Safety & Health Administration to move to Bank of America Center

UPDATED — The Occupational Safety & Health Administration is going to open an office in the Bank of America Center at Douglas and Broadway.

“We’re real excited about having them,” says Chris Ruffin, director of real estate for his father Phil Ruffin’s Ruffin Properties.

OSHA, which is taking 6,500 square feet on the fourth floor, signed a 10-year lease.

Grant Tidemann and Marty Gilchrist of J.P. Weigand & Sons helped with the deal.

“They were a lot of help,” Chris Ruffin says. Government deals “are very complicated.”

Martin Pringle also recently signed a 10-year extension on its lease at the Bank of America Center. The law firm has the entire fifth floor, which is about 35,000 square feet.

When Phil Ruffin bought the building in 2006, it had a 52 percent occupancy rate. Now, it’s at about 94 percent.

“We are getting full,” Chris Ruffin says. “We only have a little bit of space left.”

He says he’s working with several people on other potential deals there.

“We’re just trying to get the rest of the spaces leased.”

You don’t say

“To save a couple of bucks, I switched.”

Phil Ruffin, who dropped his Wichita cellphone and got a Vegas one instead because of roaming fees

Phil Ruffin solves one headache, fights another and does lots of business in between

WICHITA — As always, Phil Ruffin has a lot on his plate, and some things are going better than others.

This week, a federal judge threw out an age discrimination lawsuit against Ruffin’s Treasure Island hotel and casino in Las Vegas.

“We wanted to put a first-class spa in,” Ruffin says of his wife’s namesake Oleksandra Spa & Salon. “Oleksandra was very familiar with that business and wanted a bunch of new things put in.”

That included hiring people with the necessary skill sets, he says.

“The ones who didn’t have the skills sued us,” Ruffin says.

He describes it as a typical headache.

“You get those things all the time. You try not to, but you can’t help it sometimes.”

He’s also added a second Starbucks on his property along with the Margarita Bar, both of which are near Treasure Island’s pirate show on the strip.

“Nine thousand people a night look at that,” Ruffin says. He wants to accommodate each of them with a drink.

Ruffin also is working with Cirque Du Soleil to revamp “Mystere,” one of the most popular Vegas shows, which also is at Treasure Island.

The new show debuts Feb. 12.

“It should be an even better show,” Ruffin says.

Back in Wichita, Ruffin is once again working on getting slots at his closed Wichita Greyhound Park.

“We keep trying,” he says.

Read More »

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services finalizes lease for former Davis Furniture space in Delano

WICHITA — The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has closed on its deal to lease the 13,000-square-foot former Davis Furniture space in Delano.

“It’s all done and signed,” says Chris Ruffin, director of real estate for his father Phil Ruffin’s Ruffin Properties.

In August, Have You Heard? reported the lease was a possibility.

At the time, Chris Ruffin — who previously planned a country-and-western bar for the space — admitted the immigration office might not have the same flair.

“You know, it’s not glamorous, but it’s a really vital part of government resources.”

The renovated space will be ready in about a year.

Spangenberg Phillips Tice Architecture is the architect.

“It’s going to look really good,” Ruffin says. “I love the plans.”

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services may take 13,000 square feet of former Davis Furniture space in Delano

UPDATED — A deal is close for a new tenant in the former Davis Furniture space, and it’s as unlike a country-and-western bar as it can be.

It looked like there was a done deal earlier today, but it’s not finalized yet. If it happens, though, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services would take 13,000 square feet in the building.

“You know, it’s not glamorous, but it’s a really vital part of government resources,” says Chris Ruffin, director of real estate for his father Phil Ruffin’s Ruffin Properties.

Chris Ruffin says an Immigration Services lease would mean a lot for Delano, too.

“It’s a big deal,” he says. “It saves that derelict building. It’s been an eyesore in Wichita for a really, really long time.”

The Ruffins plan to heavily invest in the property, where they once planned a bar, before Immigration Services would move in.

“The building’s going to look spectacular,” Chris Ruffin says. “It’s not going to look like a government building per se.”

Read More »

Deal in the works for the former Davis Furniture space in Delano

WICHITA — Chris Ruffin is close to announcing a new deal for the former Davis Furniture space in Delano.

“I’m working on something big,” says Ruffin, who is director of real estate for his father Phil Ruffin’s Ruffin Properties.

Chris Ruffin at one point planned a 15,000-square-foot country-western bar and restaurant for the space, but he and his father decided to go in a different direction.

It sounds like the new deal is with a local company possibly looking to expand, but Ruffin won’t go into details about what kind of business it is.

“I really can’t because if our competitors find out, that wouldn’t be good for us. There’s a reason real estate is so secretive.”

Look for news within a week.

“It’s such a great deal.”

You don’t say

“We’re always looking at properties next door to us, but you can’t force someone to sell.”

Treasure Island owner Phil Ruffin, quoted in Vegas Inc, when asked if he’s looking to buy more properties on the Strip