Two Providence Square businesses to move to make room for Walmart

WICHITA — A couple of more businesses at Providence Square are moving to make room for the Walmart Neighborhood Market that will be coming to 13th and Oliver.

Mid-K Beauty Supply is moving to the west side of the site next to the police station.

Easyhome also is moving, though it’s not going far. It will move one spot down and be next to Capitol Federal.

Last month, Have You Heard? reported that Ken-Mar Family Drugs was closing to make room for the Arkansas retail giant.

Ken-Mar Family Drugs to close after almost 40 years to make way for Walmart

UPDATED — After almost 40 years of being a thriving part of the neighborhood around 13th and Oliver, Ken-Mar Family Drugs at Providence Square is closing to make way for a Walmart Neighborhood Market.

“Man, I hate to see them go out of business. Wow,” says Stanette Hawkins, who worked at the drug store in the 1980s. “I just can’t believe that.”

Owner and pharmacist Darrel Steinshouer is rather surprised himself.

The landlord “sent me a letter. You got 60 days to get out.”

Saturday is the last day in business.

“It’s a loss,” Steinshouer says. “It’s just been part of my life.”

He and his pharmacist wife, Sylvia, and their store have been integral to people’s lives in that area through the decades after they opened in 1972.

“It’s amazing because everybody has a story,” says Carla Eckels, a reporter with KMUW, 89.1-FM.

Eckels used to work for Ken-Mar Family Drugs and says four generations of her family have shopped there.

The Steinshouers “just really have helped people in this community,” Eckels says.

“This one little lady came in and said, ‘Darrel, can you give me my white pills?’

“Now, there are thousands of white pills, and he went right on back. It was amazing. I just went, ‘How in the world?’ ”

The Steinshouers are residents of College Hill, but their lives have revolved around the 13th and Oliver neighborhood.

“I actually know the people in this community better than where we live,” Sylvia Steinshouer says.

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Wal-Mart is close to final Neighborhood Market deals at 21st and Amidon, 13th and Oliver and possibly 31st South and Seneca

WICHITA — Some Wichita investors have the Marina Lakes shopping center under contract on the southwest corner of 21st and Amidon, which is directly across from Twin Lakes.

Those investors in turn have a contract with Wal-Mart for the chain to put one of its Neighborhood Markets in part of the space.

The market, which is a small grocery concept, would go on the north end of the center.

This doesn’t mean that it’s a done deal, though.

First, the investors have to close on the property. The earliest that will happen is the first part of 2011.

Only then can the Wal-Mart deal be completed.

Wal-Mart has already closed deals for three other markets — at Central and Maize, Central and West and Harry and Webb — and there’s a good chance this deal could close as well.

However, as is the case with any deal like this, especially in this economy, nothing’s for sure until the deal is truly done.

Wal-Mart also has a contract to go to 13th and Oliver at Providence Square, though there are some hurdles yet to go.

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Wal-Mart keeps eyeing Wichita intersections for Neighborhood Markets

WICHITA — The Wal-Mart way is, not surprisingly, to not talk about any of its deals for new stores until they’re practically built — and maybe not even then.

But sources say the Arkansas retailer is still heavily scouting Wichita for more potential Neighborhood Markets.

As Have You Heard? previously reported, Wal-Mart has plans for its smaller grocery concept at Central and Maize and at Central and West.

Also, 31st South and Seneca is still percolating.

Though the company has looked at just about every important intersection in the city — and beyond — a few places that may be of particular interest keep popping up.

The chain is seriously eyeing Providence Square, the former KenMar shopping center, at 13th and Oliver. A letter of intent may even be imminent.

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Community Housing Services to move to former Alan Appliance Service building

WICHITA — The former Alan Appliance Service building at 1300 E. Central is going to be the new home of Community Housing Services.

“We try to build houses for low-to-moderate income people,” says the nonprofit’s Danny Jakub.

Jakub is the contractor for houses the group builds or renovates, and he’s also the contractor converting the 8,000-square-foot former shop into offices.

Community Housing currently is in Providence Square (formerly KenMar) at 13th and Oliver.

Community Housing’s rent was going to go up due to renovations the new owners of the center made.

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Bud Gates to bring Easyhomes to Wichita


WICHITA — For the first time, Bud Gates of Easygates is bringing two of his Easyhome stores to Wichita.

He has eight others elsewhere, including stores in the Kansas City area and Salina.

The stores sell, lease or lease to own home furnishings, electronics and appliances.

The two here will be in the former KenMar shopping center at 13th and Oliver, which is now called Providence Square, and on Pawnee near Broadway in front of Wal-Mart.

The stores will be about 5,000 square feet each.

The one down south will be in a new building, which Larry Cook of Cook Construction is building. Construction has just begun.

The other store, which Coast to Coast Builders is preparing space for, should be ready within a few weeks.

“We’re very excited to be going in there because of the work they are doing and the development they are doing around that center,” says Chris Prater, president of sales and finance for Easygates.

He says the redevelopment of that center is part of what attracted Easyhome.

Prater says there are no other plans for more Easyhomes here yet, but he says, “We will most likely do some more here.”