Family Christian Stores to move from Normandie Center to Eastgate Plaza

WICHITA — After more than a decade in Normandie Center, Family Christian Stores is moving to Eastgate Plaza at Kellogg and Rock Road.

“We’re actually going where we feel more of our customers shop,” says Paul Sobol, vice present of real estate for the Michigan-based chain.

Normandie is at Central and Woodlawn, which Sobol says is “not a regional shopping area.”

New stores at Eastgate, such as Ross Dress For Less, “really have a similar customer so that we feel we can reach out to more and more people,” Sobol says.

There’s also a Family Christian Stores location in NewMarket Square at 21st and Maize Road that’s been open for about seven years.

Nationally, there are almost 300 stores, which sell Christian-themed products, such as gifts, books, jewelry, CDs and DVDs.

“We reach out to the whole Christian community,” Sobol says.

The new east-side store will be in the former Mattress Firm space, which is about 4,000 square feet. That’s slightly larger than the Normandie space.

Leisa Lowry of J.P. Weigand & Sons and Andy Boyd of Walter Morris Cos. handled the deal.

Look for the Eastgate Family Christian Stores to open around Oct. 25.

Ross Dress For Less signs for east-side store a week after inking west-side deal

WICHITA — East-siders, Ross Dress For Less has not forgotten you.

Last week, Have You Heard? reported the discount chain is opening in 25,000 square feet of the former Circuit City space on West Kellogg.

Now, the national retailer has signed a deal for the 25,000 square feet Barnes & Noble is vacating at Eastgate Plaza at Kellogg and Rock Road.

The bookstore’s last day in business there is Dec. 30. A Barnes & Noble spokeswoman previously said the chain decided to consolidate its Wichita stores into one location at Bradley Fair.

Ross Dress For Less will take possession of the building in February. Remodeling should take two or three months.

“It’s great for the center,” says Andy Boyd of Walter Morris Cos., who is one of the brokers who handled the deal.

With stores such as Friends Fashion and T.J. Maxx already at Eastgate, Boyd says there’s a nice cluster of clothing shops.

“It’s kind of becoming more of a fashion-centric center.”

Boyd says Ross Dress For Less’ two leases here also represent growth nationally and confidence in Wichita.

Christian Ablah of Classic Real Estate and Randi Lefko of R.H. Johnson in Kansas City also were involved in the deal.

Ross Dress For Less coming to Wichita

UPDATED — Discount retailer Ross Dress For Less, which is similar to T.J.Maxx, is entering the Wichita market.

“I’m surprised it’s taken them this long . . . because this will be a good market for them,” says Doug Malone of J.P. Weigand & Sons.

Malone represented Bldg Management of New York City in the deal for about 25,000 square feet of the former Circuit City space next to Kohl’s in the Westgate shopping center on West Kellogg.

“They’ve got a great price point,” Malone says. “They’re good operators.”

Malone expects Ross Dress For Less to open in the second quarter of 2012.

There is about 11,000 square feet left to lease in the former Circuit City space. Malone says he’s talking to a number of potential tenants.

“We’ve had some people that would fit real good next to Ross,” he says.

This is a difficult time of year for new deals, though.

“Most everybody that’s doing a 2012 store has already made a deal,” Malone says.

He tries to stay on their radars so if another deal falls through, Wichita will be top of mind for retailers.

“That’s the whole point about getting their attention.”

Malone says Ross Dress For Less and Kohl’s make a powerful attraction.

“I mean, now you’ve got a really good lineup.”

Look for news of a possible east-side Ross Dress For Less soon.