Despite sign to the contrary, T.J. Maxx isn’t coming to New Leaf Plaza

WICHITA — Shoppers in the 21st and Amidon area had brief hope that T.J. Maxx is coming to the intersection. A business in the area even had a sign saying so, but it’s not true.

“It speaks to a need or a demand at that intersection that’s probably not being fully fulfilled,” says Scott Harper, a broker with Landmark Commercial Real Estate.

“We have contacted them,” Harper says of T.J. Maxx. He was courting the store for New Leaf Plaza at the southwest corner where a Walmart Neighborhood Market is but says he “didn’t really get too far with it.”

Harper says that soft goods retailers such as T.J. Maxx like to cluster together.

“At the moment, that’s a little bit of a challenge for the intersection,” he says. Harper says it’s only one of a couple of intersections in the city with three grocers.

“I think soft goods are under served at the intersection,” he says. “A lot of them aren’t overly attracted to grocery-anchored centers.”

He says grocery stores are a draw for fitness centers.

“That’s why it’s good for Planet Fitness.”

The franchise opened in New Leaf Plaza last year, and Harper says it’s convenient for people to pop into the grocery store after their daily or weekly workout routine.

“Or, in my case, once-a year routine.”

Gold’s Gym may not come to Wichita after all

WICHITA — As Have You Heard? has chronicled the ever-growing list of new workout facilities coming to town, the natural follow-up question has been, “Can Wichita support all these places?”

Apparently, the folks at Gold’s Gym may have been wondering the same thing.

No one with the Texas-based company could be reached for comment, but it looks like Gold’s may not be headed here after all.

In January, Coleman Brown, director of real estate for TRT Holdings in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, told Have You Heard? that “we have identified Wichita as a market that we are going to build out, and we do have some sites that we’re currently working.”

It looked like the company wanted at least three gyms in different locations across Wichita. A deal at Harry and Rock was close to being finalized.

Planet Fitness may have had an impact on Gold’s decision to come here.

The chains negotiated for some of the same spaces. For instance, Gold’s apparently wanted to locate at 21st and Amidon, but Planet Fitness got the deal done. This may have affected the Harry and Rock deal.

At best, Gold’s plans for the market appear to be on hold. We’ll let you know if that changes.

A-OK Pawn Shops owner Bruce Harris to start Better Living lease-to-own business

WICHITA — A-OK Pawn Shops owner Bruce Harris is starting a new lease-to-own furniture business that he hopes will become a chain of stores.

“It’s a brand-new concept we’re coming up with,” he says of Better Living.

The first store will open in 35,000 square feet at the Marina Lakes Shopping Center at 21st and Amidon next to where Harris is opening a new pawn shop, jewelry store and phone store along with a tax services, payday loans and check cashing center.

“Other large chains of pawn shops around the country are starting to do this,” he says.

Harris says he wants to “give people a better choice” on furniture, appliances and TVs.

“We’re going to try to upscale that,” he says.

Harris says he’s starting the concept in response to customers’ requests.

“We’re giving them an additional option,” he says. “It’s very similar to the retail side of our pawn business.”

Most of the first Better Living will be in the former Hollywood Video space at Marina Lakes. An additional 10,000 square feet for storage will come from the strip center next door.

If the business is successful, Harris says he’ll add a Better Living to his pawn shop complex at Harry and Oliver next.

Eventually, he says he wants to expand the centers – including the Better Living stores – to Hutchinson and the Kansas City market.

“We’re becoming a developer rather than just a pawn shop.”

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It’s confirmed: Planet Fitness to open at Normandie Center

WICHITA — Last week, Have You Heard? reported confirmation of Planet Fitness deals at 21st and Amidon and near 21st and Maize and said it looked like a deal also was done at Normandie Center at Central and Woodlawn.

Now there’s confirmation of that, too, in the form of a building permit.

Planet Fitness has a permit for $550,000 at the center.

 

Planet Fitness signs two new deals

WICHITA — There are deals for two new Wichita Planet Fitness sites, though the chain still isn’t talking about its plans here.

Have You Heard? previously reported that the company is working on locations in the former Star Lumber space at Normandie Center at Central and Woodlawn, at Marina Lakes at 21st and Amidon where a new Walmart Neighborhood Market is and also at the 21st and Maize area.

Since then, Scott Harper of Landmark Commercial Real Estate and Grant Tidemann of J.P. Weigand & Sons finalized a deal for the Marina Lakes space.

On Friday, Tidemann and Landmark’s Nick Esterline finalized a deal for the former bowling alley space at 2350 N. Maize Road. That’s where Countryside West Lanes closed in 2007.

It looks like there may already be demo work going on at the possible Planet Fitness space at Normandie.

Planet Fitness isn’t the only new gym coming to the city.

Gold’s Gym International also has been working on sites here. In fact, it appears it was negotiating for some of the same space Planet Fitness nabbed.

Earlier this year, Have You Heard? reported that a Gold’s deal at Harry and Rock may already be done.

Both companies are being similarly silent. We should hear something from them soon, though.

 

Planet Fitness coming to Wichita with at least three gyms

WICHITA — Gold’s Gym International isn’t the only new fitness chain coming to Wichita.

Planet Fitness is finalizing deals for three locations as well.

In fact, the two chains have been jockeying for some of the same spaces.

No one with Planet Fitness is talking just yet, but it looks like the company is working on locations in the former Star Lumber space at Normandie Center at Central and Woodlawn, at Marina Lakes at 21st and Amidon where a new Walmart Neighborhood Market is and also at the 21st and Maize area.

The website for Planet Fitness describes its gyms as fairly basic.

“We don’t have any salespeople, and we don’t bother with all the extras like juice bars and childcare that drive up costs and can make a gym membership seem more like a car payment.”

Look for more news on the deals in the coming weeks.