Firehouse Subs is first tenant at new strip center at NewMarket Square

WICHITA — Slawson Cos. is preparing to start building a strip center in front of the SuperTarget at NewMarket Square later this month and has landed its first tenant for it: Firehouse Subs.

“We acquired from Target an outparcel basically in front of their NewMarket Square store that’ll be just north of the Intrust Bank … branch bank,” says Slawson’s Jerry Jones.

Firehouse Subs will be in 2,000 square feet on the north end of the 10,000-square-foot center.

Jones says two other potential deals for the center are in advance stages of negotiation. If they happen, that would leave 2,800 square feet to lease to a tenant or 1,400 square feet each for two tenants.

Firehouse Subs franchisees Dana and Troy Todd would like to do five of the restaurants in the greater Wichita area. Franchisees Megan and Andrew Reece opened Wichita’s first Firehouse late last year at Eastgate Plaza at Kellogg and Rock Road.

Dana Todd says NewMarket Square is a great place to open Firehouse.

“It’s a well-established area, and it seems to be continuing to grow.”

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You don’t say: Our favorites from 2013

Some were newsy, some were shocking, but most were simply fun or funny. Here are some of our favorite “You don’t say” quotes from 2013.

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“I said, ‘You must know a lot of angry people.’ (They) said, ‘I work at Spirit.’”

Best of Times owner Nancy Robinson on a person who bought 10 Dammit Dolls, the soft dolls angry people can safely slam on any surface to blow off steam on bad days

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“My first place that I am not going to get married at is the Grand Chapel.”

– Sedgwick County Chairman Jim Skelton, whose upcoming marriage to Stacy Luke won’t take place at the facility he sued over his daughter’s wedding

“That’s correct, he’s not.”

– Grand Chapel owner Dennis Wilkie, who says Skelton is “a troublemaker, and I just don’t want to deal with troublemakers.”

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“Women pilots don’t land at the wrong airport. We ask for directions!”

– A tweet from Seattle-based pilot Karlene Petitt (‏@KarlenePetitt) about the Dreamlifter incident at Colonel James Jabara Airport

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“Be aware, Boeing, ‘this route has tolls.’ Bring some change.”

– An NPR story that acknowledged a stranded Dreamlifter likely couldn’t be towed from Colonel James Jabara Airport to McConnell Air Force Base but offered a Google map and driving directions anyway

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“I thought I’d get in line right behind him.”

– Outgoing Chamber chairwoman Debbie Gann, who “about choked” at the group’s annual dinner Tuesday when possible mayoral candidate Jeff Turner suggested she would make a great mayor

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“I’m going to drop off a baked bean can and a string tomorrow … so we can chat later in the day.”

Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers co-owner Scott Redler teasing City Council member Pete Meitzner about his antiquated BlackBerry

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“With all the crying and whining in Washington, I’m feeling ready to be a new father come November.”

– Expectant father U.S. Rep. Kevin Yoder speaking Friday at the 2013 Congressional Summit at the Hotel at Old Town

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“We know you’re a Democrat.”

– Park City administrator Jack Whitson, teasing the city’s chamber president, registered Republican Dean Frankenbery, about a misprint that said Rep. Mike Pompom, not Pompeo, would be the group’s next speaker

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“I know you are all wondering if that beautiful new red car parked over there is a door prize. It’s not. It’s the speaker’s gift.”

Delta Dental of Kansas vice president of human resources Kara Hunt, speaking at the Chamber’s Sunrise Scrambler about a car that Davis-Moore had at the event

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“I thought that Davis-Moore . . . has been hurting so bad that they needed a sale, so I thought I’d help them out.”

– Car dealer Brandon Steven, joking about why he bought a Viper at his competitor’s dealership

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“I think it’s awesome that he bought himself a nice car.”

– Davis-Moore’s Dawson Grimsley, retorting with a teasing implication that Steven couldn’t find a nice car at his own lot

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“The @WichitaOrpheum could use a little Jesus after @RealTracyMorgan’s performance there. #itwaspurefilth”

— A tweet from comedian Ron Shively, aka @FunnyMrBiggs, after hearing City Life Church is going to rent the Orpheum Theatre every Sunday morning for services

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“Puppies and people all over town are sad today.”

—Accountant David Jabara on the death of Doggy Day Care owner Marilyn Walk

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Wichita River Festival consolidates, moves storage into one facility

WICHITA — Ever since Wichita Festivals gave up its longtime Wichita River Festival command center and storage facility to make way for AVI Seabar & Chophouse, it has used a couple of different places for storage.

“We have been guests of the Drury and their parking garage,” says Festivals president and CEO Mary Beth Jarvis.

Festivals also has been using the former Michaels building on East Kellogg. That building is slated to be razed next year, which is necessitating new storage space.

“We have been looking around for a new home for our odd collection of stuff,” Jarvis says.

That includes such things as signs, fencing and ticket booths.

Now, Jarvis says, “the wonderful folks at PEC” are donating part of the former Chilton Billiards space at 300 S. Topeka, which Professional Engineering Consultants owns, for Festivals to use.

“They are going to allow Wichita Festivals to park our stuff there,” Jarvis says.

PEC is still looking for someone to lease the 30,000-square-foot building. If a prospective tenant needs the entire space, “then we would have to gracefully yield,” Jarvis says. “Our goal will be to co-exist.”

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You don’t say

“By the way, I was back at Siena today. The sidewalk view was every bit as good as I remembered.”

– An e-mail from Denice Bruce of Professional Engineering Consultants joking about the Ambassador Hotel’s website, which brags the hotel has views “overlooking the sidewalks of Wichita”

You don’t say

“I admit I’m on a one-woman crusade about it.”

Professional Engineering Consultants communications specialist Denice Bruce, speaking at the Women in Aviation lunch, on outlawing PowerPoint presentations

Kansas Legal Services to move to former Rainbows United space downtown

WICHITA — The Wichita office of Kansas Legal Services is moving to a new home not far from its existing one.

The organization, which is based in Topeka, has offices in 11 counties throughout the state and offers a variety of legal aid to a variety of people and groups.

Currently, the Wichita office is in 7,000 square feet at 200 N. Broadway.

The new office is at 340 S. Broadway where Rainbows United used to be.

“This building is better suited for our needs,” says Rhonda Sullivan, managing attorney.

The new 8,400 square feet will offer more storage space and a conference room, which she says “makes me really happy.”

Sullivan says Kansas Legal Services has been in its current space a dozen years.

“We’ve changed a lot in those years.”

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Koch Industries remodels its Koch Cafe

WICHITA — One of the biggest food venues in town is getting a makeover, but it’s not a restaurant.

It’s the 30,000-square-foot Koch Cafe, which as the name implies is the cafeteria at Koch Industries near 37th Street North and Oliver.

“It is a busy place,” says spokeswoman Melissa Cohlmia.

The cafeteria serves 2,600 employees including Charles Koch, who is a regular diner there.

Eurest Dining Services runs the cafeteria which has been closed since May 11. It won’t reopen until late September.

“So you can imagine with it being closed, people are trying to figure out how to eat,” says Craig Highfill, Koch’s vice president of facilities solutions.

Koch is trying to help.

“If we had all of our employees going out at one time, it would hit the market pretty hard,” Highfill says.

The Flying Stove food truck is now stationed at Koch on Thursdays.

Eurest also is using a remote kitchen to make some items to sell in a temporary cafe.

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Professional Engineering Consultants opens Oklahoma City office

UPDATED — Professional Engineering Consultants has opened its sixth office, this time in south Oklahoma City at 10017 S. Pennsylvania Ave.

“We have a lot of existing clients really throughout Oklahoma,” says spokeswoman Denice Bruce. “We’re hoping to build on that clientele . . . and expand into other client areas as well.”

PEC also has a Tulsa office.

“We have historically done a lot of work for the Oklahoma Department of Transportation . . . and we’re working on several projects for them right now,” Bruce says.

The Oklahoma City office has two engineers and a technician for now.

“Again, the idea is to obviously expand as the clientele expands,” Bruce says.

PEC also has offices in Pittsburg, Topeka and Lawrence. The majority of its 250 employees are in its Wichita office.

Bruce says while the company has long-range plans, there are no immediate deals for other new space.

“We always have our eye open for new markets and new opportunities.”