Zelman Lofts fully leased on residential side; commercial leasing is next

WICHITA — The nine residential spaces at Zelman Lofts are now completely leased.

“It’s some proof in the pudding that we’re hard workers,” says Michael Ramsey, who is redeveloping the building with Robert Eyster.

Now, they’re moving on to leasing 4,800 square feet of retail or restaurant space that fronts Douglas and another 1,000 square feet of office space that fronts St. Francis.

“The group is going to be particular about who goes in there because it’s very special space,” says Leisa Lowry of J.P. Weigand & Sons, who handles Ramsey and Eyster’s real estate deals.

The building, which was Sam Zelman’s namesake clothing store for decades, is across from Intrust Bank Arena and between an existing city park and another one being built just up St. Francis.

“It’s a tremendous corner,” Ramsey says.

Lowry says the response so far has been great, too.

She says interest has mostly been from restaurateurs, and it looks like that’s what will go in the space.

“We’ve had a lot of excellent activity on it.”

Robert Eyster buys Stewart’s Jewelry building at 415 E. Douglas

WICHITA — Developer Robert Eyster has purchased another downtown property, but he and business partner Michael Ramsey don’t have big redevelopment plans for this one.

Eyster purchased the Stewart’s Jewelry building at 415 E. Douglas.

“We bought that building because it was the … remaining property that was in the Esther Moses portfolio,” Ramsey says.

Eyster already purchased the late Esther and Herbert Moses‘ former Zelman’s clothing store space at Douglas and St. Francis, which he and Ramsey redeveloped for residential and commercial use.

David Stewart’s jewelry store will remain where it is.

“I’ve been here 31 years,” Stewart says.

At one time, he’d hoped to buy the building.

“In their family, pretty much once you buy property, it stays in the family,” he says of how the Moses family operated.

The couple had planned for their son, David Moses, to use the 415 E. Douglas property for his law practice when he got out of school.

Instead, Moses, now with Case, Moses, Zimmerman & Martin, went to work for Vern Miller in the district attorney’s office.

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Zelman Lofts available to tour Saturday

WICHITA — Developers Robert Eyster and Michael Ramsey are offering a sneak peek at their new Zelman Lofts on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The two have been renovating Sam Zelman’s former namesake men’s clothing store, which was in business at Douglas and St. Francis from the 1920s to 2006.

Two of the lofts will be available to tour. They’ll be outfitted with furniture, though they don’t yet have appliances.

Other lofts in the building will be available to see as well, though they’re unfinished.

There will be studios and one-bedroom lofts in the building.

The open house will include refreshments and a prize giveaway.

Former Zelman’s building to be turned into mixed-use development, including retail, lofts and a restaurant

WICHITA — It turns out that, as predicted, the former Zelman’s building is soon going to be seeing a lot more activity than just an estate sale.

Earlier this month, Have You Heard? reported that there’s going to be an estate sale at the 15,000-square-foot building on the northeast corner of Douglas and St. Francis on Dec. 30, 31 and Jan. 1.

Now, lawyer David Moses has a contract to sell the building where his grandfather Sam Zelman’s namesake men’s clothing store was from the 1920s to 2006.

Two Wichita developers, who prefer to remain anonymous until the deal closes next month, plan a mixed-use development at the property.

That will include a couple of retail areas and a combination restaurant and bar on the ground floor and residential lofts on the top floor.

“It’s especially exciting because it’s local developers who share the vision that our family has had for years about downtown,” Moses says.

“The fact that the development will affect a lot of people, that’s exciting. It’s something we would have loved to have done ourselves.”

Moses says the timing wasn’t right for his family.

“Now is the time to develop the corner,” he says.

The city’s new master plan for downtown influenced the developers.

“What brought us to downtown was actually the changes the downtown project had initiated,” one of the developers says.

“It just looked like this was going to be a hotbed of activity. . . . We just want to be part of that.”

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Estate sale to be held in Zelman’s building

David Moses stands in front of his family's former downtown shop.

David Moses stands in front of his family's former downtown shop.

WICHITA — Almost a year after David Moses announced that he was preparing his family’s Zelman’s building for development, the downtown space is ready to see some activity.

First, there’s going to be an estate sale there Dec. 30, 31 and Jan. 1.

“It’ll be a very, very interesting sale because there’s a lot of history,” says Becky Leason of Becky’s Estate Sales.

Moses’ grandfather, Sam Zelman, immigrated here from Czechoslovakia in 1920 and started his Zelman’s clothing store in the ’20s.

There will be all kinds of store fixtures for sale, including glass counters, shelves, hangers, advertising displays, signs, a hall tree and a hat rack that Bonnie Bing apparently has already claimed.

“I looked at it in the window for years,” Bing says.

There also is some jewelry for sale and some things from the former hotel upstairs, such as a few pieces of furniture.

“And we’ve got a wonderful antique cash register,” Leason says. “Just absolutely beautiful.”

She says she’s still researching it to determine how old it is. She estimates it’s not newer than 1920.

“It could easily be earlier.”

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Zelman’s downtown building ready to lease

WICHITA — After not being home to much activity for the last several years, the Zelman’s building at the northeast corner of St. Francis and Douglas is ready for new tenants.

“If you take a look at the studies and downtown revitalizing, this is the prime location, and I think we owe it to the city and to the community to do something with the corner,” says David Moses, whose family has occupied the building since the 1920s and has owned it for decades.

Moses is a lawyer at Case Moses Zimmerman & Martin, but he says, “If I didn’t have my own professional career right now, it would be kind of neat to try and continue what my grandfather started back in the ’20s.

“It’d be neat to try to do a men’s clothing store down there again.”

Moses’ grandfather, Sam Zelman, immigrated here from Czechoslovakia in 1920 and started his Zelman’s clothing store in the ’20s with the intention of bringing his family here once he got established.

“By the time he was able to do that, Hitler was taking power,” Moses says.

“By the time my grandfather was able to make all the arrangements, it was too late.”

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