McKenzie & Associates to open at Occidental Plaza

WICHITA — Marriage and family therapist Mac McKenzie has left the Parker Group at Occidental Plaza downtown, but he hasn’t gone far.

“I am branching out on my own,” McKenzie says.

His new practice, McKenzie & Associates, also will be at Occidental Plaza at Second and Main.

“It’s smack dab in the middle of town,” McKenzie says. “It’s nice to be kind of centrally located.”

McKenzie will treat any age patient. He’s a certified play therapist and specializes in trauma treatment.

Stephanie Wiens and Chad Stafford of Occidental Management handled the lease.

McKenzie says he likes Wichita history, and Occidental Plaza is a big part of that.

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Smoothie King and two other businesses to open in former Rock Island Depot space

UPDATED — Some people buy sports cars or take extravagant trips for their midlife crises, but Neil Bhakta is choosing to share his with all of Wichita by opening three new businesses.

The Smoothie King partner is planning his fourth Smoothie King site, this time downtown in the former Rock Island Depot, where he also plans a new restaurant and venue space.

“This is going to be my midlife crisis project right here,” Bhakta says.

“I love the building that we’re going into.”

Old Town Martini, which was the last business there, closed in 2009.

Occidental Management purchased the building earlier this year as part of its purchase of the Union Station campus. The company plans a mixed-use development, which will have retail and office space and possibly residential as well. Smoothie King is the first announced tenant.

“It’s good to get the first one done,” says Chad Stafford, Occidental president. “We’re excited to get rolling down there.”

Stafford thinks Smoothie King will do well.

“It’s going to do terrific,” he says. “Certainly there’s a lot of traffic. … That site, as it begins to develop and get rolling, we’ll have a lot of visitors to it.”

Bhakta says Occidental will restore the exterior of the building.

“It’s going to be a nice project.”

It’s one he says he previously wouldn’t have even considered.

In the dozen or so years of having Smoothie King, Bhakta says, “We never looked at downtown.”

That’s even though he grew up in the area.

“We actually left,” Bhakta says. “Downtown in the ’90s, we didn’t have much faith in it … coming back.”

That’s what has happened, though, he says.

“What they’ve done downtown is amazing.”

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Urban Oasis Yoga Studio to open in Delano

WICHITA — A new yoga studio is going in the former Siva Power Yoga space at 535 W. Douglas in Delano.

Lori Morton is opening Urban Oasis Yoga Studio in 2,326 square feet on Jan. 1.

“We’re doing our first class at four o’clock,” Morton says.

It’ll be free to introduce people to the studio.

Morton says she’s made a number of changes to the space, such as adding mirrors.

Stephanie Wiens and Shannon Palmer of Occidental Management handled the deal for the space.

In addition to the studio space, Morton says there will be a relaxation area with spa water, a boutique and “some different, fun things.”

She plans on offering a variety of yoga classes, such as hot yoga, a dance fusion class, yoga for beginners and praise and worship yoga classes during which she says she’ll take donations for World Impact.

Morton also will offer stand-up paddle yoga at the Wichita Swim Club in the winter and various lakes and other water in the summer.

“I’m just hoping that people will be able to find a class that serves them well.”

Premier Martial Arts to open in Derby

WICHITA — Mark Philbrick left his job at Law Kingdon Architecture a week ago, but not because he didn’t like it.

“Working for an architect was a good job, but it wasn’t my true calling.”

Martial arts is, so Philbrick is opening a school called Premier Martial Arts in Derby.

“I like the quote, ‘It’s never too late to be what you might have been,’” Philbrick says. “I’ve always been passionate about the martial arts.”

His passion began as a child.

“I was bullied in school,” Philbrick says. “I found a release in comic books and martial art movies.”

At age 11, he started doing martial arts.

“It really just helped me, I guess, develop myself more and build confidence.”

Now his own children are 11 and 8 and are inspiring his new career.

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Former d’Sozo chef Miguel Larcher to open Garden Grill Cafe at Occidental Plaza

WICHITA — Former d’Sozo chef Miguel Larcher is preparing to open his own restaurant.

Larcher plans Garden Grill Cafe for 1,675 square feet on the first floor of Occidental Plaza at 300 N. Main St. There also will be an outdoor patio.

“It will be all vegan,” Larcher says of his menu.

Larcher grew up in Martinique, where he attended culinary school at age 16. Eventually he attended another culinary school in Nice, France, before coming to the United States 20 years ago.

Initially, the Garden Grill will be open for lunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily except Saturdays, when it will be closed.

There also will be brunch on Sunday and dinner by reservation only on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

Larcher hopes to open by late September or early October at the latest. A month after opening, he says he’ll add breakfasts to his daily servings.

He also plans a smoothie and juice bar.

Entrees will rotate each week, but Larcher says each day of the week will offer a different theme, such as Creole, Italian or French cuisine, among others.

Stephanie Wiens of Occidental Management and Jad Wolf and Shannon Palmer of KW Commercial Hometown Partners handled the deal for the space.

This leaves only one 2,400-square-foot vacancy within Occidental Plaza.

 

Pennsylvania-based Benco Dental to open office at Travel Air Building in Delano

WICHITA — Benco Dental, the third-largest dental dealer in the nation, will be moving to Delano in April.

“We sell everything that a dentist uses in his office,” says Dennis Doyle, a territory representative for the Pennsylvania-based company.

Benco, which arrived in Wichita about seven months ago, is taking 2,600 square feet in Occidental Management’s Travel Air Building at 535 W. Douglas.

The company has been in temporary Occidental space at Northwest Centre at 13th and Tyler while the new space is prepared.

“We’re going to keep the space very open to … show the old architecture of the building,” Doyle says.

There are brick walls and exposed timbers in the ceiling.

“We wanted someplace that wasn’t kind of sterile or an industrial park area,” Doyle says. He says the company wanted “a more relaxed setting.”

“Plus, it’s very centrally located for us as well.”

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Computer Troubleshooters to open second office at Historic Occidental Plaza

WICHITA — Sarah and Alex Nivison are expanding their Computer Troubleshooters with a second, more centralized location.

The couple has been working out of its Rose Hill home since getting the franchise a year ago.

Now, they’re opening a second site in the Historic Occidental Plaza at 300 N. Main in downtown Wichita.

“We love the beauty of the building, we love the location (and) the office space was a great fit because we have literally no work to do,” Sarah Nivison says. “It was set up exactly as we needed it.”

She says 90 percent of their business is at customers’ offices, which is why they want a centralized location in addition to their Rose Hill office.

“We want to be able to get to them as quick as we can,” Nivison says.

Computer Troubleshooters, an Atlanta-based franchise, caters to small businesses and individuals.

“Basically, we like to call ourselves the IT department for small businesses,” Nivison says.

They offer help with technology issues, problem prevention and website development. The company also offers managed service plans.

Stephanie Wiens of Occidental Management handled the deal for the new space.

Nivison says the office will open March 1.

“We’re going to take it to the next level downtown,” she says. “We see that there’s a lot of opportunity in downtown Wichita.”

 

Pita Pit is returning to Rock Road

WICHITA — Pita Pit is returning to Wichita under new ownership.

“This is kind of a mid-life crisis for me,” says Cammy Onek, an El Dorado resident who has been in education and coaching for years.

She and her husband, Chad, are opening a Pita Pit in the former Froz space in Occidental Management’s Northrock Retail Center at 3242 N. Rock Road.

Another franchisee previously had a Pita Pit at 320 N. Rock Road.

The Oneks were considering becoming franchisees when they learned Pita Pit is based in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, where Cammy Onek has relatives and visited every year growing up.

“For me, that was one of those a-ha moments,” she says.

What initially attracted her, Onek says, is that Pita Pit is healthy fast food.

“What really caught me is it’s just a new way to eat.”

There are meat and veggie pitas, breakfast pitas and soups and salads.

“We want you to feel better when you walk out the door than when you walk in,” Onek says.

The Oneks are partners in the business with Tim and Michelle Aberson and Lowell and Marti Aberson.

“Pretty much it will be my baby to be in there day in and day out,” Onek says.

She plans to approach it as she would being a coach or a principal, meaning she’ll be there every day and be visible.

“That’s how I’m going to make it or break it.”

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Another Lady’s Treasure to almost double in size

WICHITA — Tanna Debo-Loreg is almost doubling the size of her Another Lady’s Treasure consignment shop at Northwest Centre.

She’s been in 975 square feet at the center at 13th and Tyler for four years.

“It has just been fabulous,” Debo-Loreg says.

She says she has great consignors and customers.

“It just keeps coming through the door … and going out the door,” she says of merchandise.

The store sells clothing, handbags, jewelry and shoes.

Debo-Loreg says some of her consignors would like to offer antique pieces as well.

“We’ll just have to see,” she says. “I’m already having to put people off bringing clothes in.”

She’s running out of space.

The expansion, which will be ready in the new year, will create a much more open look. There will be new dressing rooms as well.

Stephanie Wiens of Occidental Management handled the deal for the new space.

Debo-Loreg says she doesn’t expect to expand again.

“I’ll still be able to manage to do everything myself,” she says. “It gets too big, and then it’s not fun.”

Wichita Crime Commission to move a few blocks

WICHITA — The Wichita Crime Commission is moving this fall.

“Right now we’re pretty cramped in 720 square feet,” says executive director Gordon Bassham.

Also, the current office at 125 N. Market doesn’t have much parking, so Bassham says that forces the public and the commission’s 180 members to have to park elsewhere and walk.

The commission is taking more than 1,700 square feet in Occidental Plaza at 300 N. Main St.

The commission is a privately funded nonprofit that works with law enforcement to support it and fight crime in a proactive way.

“We needed more room for potential future growth,” says Bassham, who is working to grow membership.

He says the commission is closely affiliated with Crime Stoppers, and there’s room at Occidental Plaza for that group to potentially have an office there as well.

Chad Stafford and Stephanie Wiens of Occidental Management handled the deal.

Bassham says the move will happen in November.

“We expect to be in the new location for quite some time.”