New west-side spa Fresh to offer medical-grade treatments

WICHITA — Jacqueline Benefiel says she’s built medical spas for physicians in the past, and now she’s going to build one for herself.

“I have always wanted to have my own facility,” Benefiel says. “Everything is going to be a little more personal.”

She’s opening Fresh near the QuikTrip at the northeast corner of 21st and Ridge.

“We’re going to be doing medical-grade type treatments for the skin,” Benefiel says, “… and then also kind of having a pampering side to it.”

She will offer massage, body treatments and nail care and also have a retail area to sell the products she uses.

“We have really unique pedicure chairs and things like that to make it a little more comfortable and relaxing.”

Benefiel says when she’s worked at other spas, some were more medical and austere and others were more spalike.

“I’ve always had the extreme to one side or the other,” she says.

Fresh “is just a really great mix of both. I think it’s what people are really looking for.”

Benefiel hopes to be open late April or early May – as long as she’s in business in time for Mother’s Day.

She had considered east-side space, but in hindsight Benefiel says she’s glad it didn’t work out.

“It turns out it makes more sense to be on the west side,” she says.

“There’s a lot of medical spas … on the east side.”

Benefiel says in addition to having fewer spas, the west side is where a lot of her clients already are.

“Although they were willing to travel,” she says, when they heard she’s going west, “they were just thrilled.”

Harry and Webb QuikTrip opens; 39th Street North and Ridge Road QuikTrip still planned

WICHITA — Wichita’s newest QuikTrip opened Thursday at the southeast corner of Harry and Webb.

Like the other new Generation 3 QuikTrips that have opened here, this one has auto diesel and ethanol-free gasoline, which the Tulsa-based chain calls EO.

In 2009, before the company starting building Gen 3 stores here, it announced plans to build a new QuikTrip near 39th Street North and Ridge Road. That hasn’t happened, and there’s still no construction date slated, but QuikTrip spokesman Mike Thornbrugh says it will still happen.

“The answer is yeah, we’ve always planned to have a store there,” he says in response to a reader’s question. “It’s a site we want to pursue.”

QuikTrip confirms new Gen 3 store at K-15 and 31st Street South

WICHITA — QuikTrip spokesman Mike Thornbrugh now confirms what Have You Heard? reported in early October: The chain is opening a store at the southeast corner of K-15 and 31st Street South.

“It’s going to be another Generation 3 store,” Thornbrugh says. “We hope to begin construction in January 2014.”

He says that means the store should open around August.

The Tulsa-based chain’s first Gen 3 store in Wichita opened at 625 S. Hillside last year. A second opened recently at the southeast corner of Kellogg and Broadway. A third will open at the southeast corner of Harry and Webb this month, and another is planned at the northwest corner of Meridian and MacArthur for February.

The Gen 3s are proving so popular, Wichitans should expect to keep seeing more.

“We’re spoiling everybody because that’s the direction we’re going,” Thornbrugh says. “It’ll take us just a little bit of time, but we’re getting there.”

Not every store will be converted or rebuilt as a Gen 3, though. Thornbrugh says some locations are so good, the company doesn’t want to move the stores, and there’s not enough room to do Gen 3 conversions.

“We’ll make a lot of modifications that will get us real close to it,” he says. “We’re going to do as many as we possibly can.”

New QuikTrip may be coming to K-15 and 31st Street South

WICHITA — New QuikTrips seem to just keep coming.

According to an application with the city, it looks like one is coming to 2.24 acres at the southeast corner of K-15 and 31st Street South.

QuikTrip spokesman Mike Thornbrugh isn’t talking yet.

“It’s just too premature for us to comment.”

QuikTrip has two more Gen 3 stores planned in addition to three others in the works

UPDATED — QuikTrip is working on a couple of new Generation 3 stores in addition to the ones the Tulsa-based chain has already announced in Wichita.

The next one to be done after ones already slated for Kellogg and Broadway, Meridian and MacArthur and Harry and Webb will be one at the northeast corner of 37th and Rock Road.

“Yes, we are going to be doing a relocation there,” says QuikTrip spokesman Mike Thornbrugh.

Currently, there’s a QuikTrip on the southwest corner of the intersection.

“It will be a Generation 3 store,” Thornbrugh says of what QuikTrip plans for the new site. “Hopefully, construction will start sometime this year and open up spring of next year.”

The new stores are much larger than older models and have an average of 5,700 square feet along with more fresh food options.

The chain also plans to do its new prototype at the northwest corner of Central and Oliver to replace the existing QuikTrip, though that one won’t happen as quickly.

QuikTrip has plans to tear down three houses and one commercial property to have room to do the new store, but the houses need to be rezoned to limited commercial.

Read More »

Property owner Jeff Greenberg confirms state is considering leasing his building

WICHITA — Property owner and Wichita broker Jeff Greenberg confirms the state is considering leasing his 100,000-square-foot building near East 47th Street South and South Oliver, but he says the potential deal has nothing to do with a payback for supporting the governor or anyone else.

“It’s not political,” he says.

Since Have You Heard? reported that the state of Kansas has notified the city of Wichita that it’s leaving the Finney State Office Building downtown, Rep. Jim Ward (D-Wichita) has raised concerns that the search for new space might be politically motivated. He says he’s also worried that clients – particularly at the Department for Children and Families – won’t have easy access to services if the state moves.

Greenberg wants to address both of those points.

“The biggest thing … is allegations of political payback,” he says.

Greenberg says he’s registered as a Republican but only so he can vote in primaries.

“I’ve never been able to pigeonhole myself,” he says. “I’m not political. I’m not an activist.”

Greenberg says he hasn’t made a political contribution to Gov. Sam Brownback or anyone else in at least a decade or more.

He says a broker with J.P. Weigand & Sons brought him the possible deal.

“This was a natural,” Greenberg says of his space.

Read More »

Jill Landrith School of Dance to open in Delano

WICHITA — Longtime dance instructor Jill Landrith is reopening a dance studio, this time in Delano.

Wichita dancers know Landrith from Wichita Children’s Theatre & Dance Center and from when she owned the Nancy Hervey School of Ballet from 2004 to 2009.

They also know her mother, June Landrith, who founded the Metropolitan Ballet of Wichita, taught here and then moved to Topeka and opened a ballet school. Jill Landrith says her mother had hoped she might take over her business.

“If she were in town, absolutely no question. I would have jumped happily into her place,” she says. “My official line to her is, ‘There really isn’t a QuikTrip in Topeka.’”

There is in Delano, though, where Landrith will open Jill Landrith School of Dance at 1600 W. Douglas across from the Wichita Fish Co.

Since losing her sublease at her former school, Landrith has been at Children’s Theatre.

“They’re absolutely wonderful,” she says. Landrith wants to work with students more as they progress through their training, though.

“I’d like to have more of a customized training plan for the dancers,” she says. “I find that nowadays dancers need to be so well rounded.”

She and other instructors will teach ballet, tap, jazz, modern dance, lyrical dance and yoga.

Read More »

QuikTrip to build two new Generation 3 stores on the south side

WICHITA — QuikTrip is planning two new Generation 3 stores to replace existing ones in south Wichita.

“Unfortunately, a lot of the stores we have in Wichita are the older models,” says spokesman Mike Thornbrugh. “It’s a more mature division.”

The QuikTrip at the southeast corner of Meridian and MacArthur is moving to the northwest corner.

“To do the new Gen 3 the way we want to do it, we can’t do it on the current site, so we’re going across the street,” Thornbrugh says.

The existing store at the intersection has only a few pumps.

“That doesn’t cut it in today’s world for QuikTrip,” Thornbrugh says.

The other new store will replace the one at Harry and Webb.

“That’s what we call a scrape-and-build, meaning we will tear down the existing (store) and build a new store in that location,” Thornbrugh says.

The Tulsa-based chain has 38 stores in the greater Wichita area. Thornbrugh can’t say how many will need to be replaced or when that might happen.

“Honestly, you’ve got to look at them store by store.”

Read More »

Drainage work under way at 31st Street South and Greenwich, but Greenwich Plaza still a few years away

WICHITA — South-siders and others passing by the 31st Street South and Greenwich area are wondering what’s going on at the southwest corner of that intersection. It used to be home to horses, but now the horses are gone and machinery to move dirt is in their place.

“It’s really not a new development,” developer Len Marotte says. “It’s something we planned years ago called Greenwich Plaza.”

The property, which is 8.2 acres, already is zoned for limited commercial use. The development likely is still a few years away, though.

“It’s basically a diversion project for drainage,” Marotte says of the work being done. It “opens up the middle portion of our site for development.”

He’d been letting a friend with horses use the property for grazing. Once machinery arrived to fix the drainage, the horses had to go.

“We didn’t want to, you know, scare the horses,” Marotte says.

He says he hasn’t started marketing the property and has “no immediate plans for anything at the moment.”

“It’ll probably be several years,” Marotte says. “It’s still very rural out there. … QuikTrip’s not knocking our door down to locate there.”

With the drainage work, though, he says “maybe I can get it moving a little quicker.”

QuikTrip buys land by Broadway and Murdock store but isn’t ready to expand

WICHITA — QuikTrip looks like it’s building something new at Broadway and Murdock, but that’s not the case — yet.

The company purchased a house or two behind its property on the southeast corner and is now leveling that area.

“We’re not ready to do anything right now,” says Tim Heuback, director of operations. “It’s just a timing opportunity that we just didn’t want to waste.”

Heuback echoes what most anyone who has been to that QuikTrip can tell you: It can be a tight squeeze.

So why not expand now?

“We’re just not ready.”

He adds, though, “We obviously wouldn’t be buying property just to tear down houses.”

Heuback can’t say if the extra space would be for more parking or if QuikTrip would build a new store on it.

“You just don’t want to talk about everything until it’s buttoned up,” he says. “So right now, the story really is we’re not doing anything.”