Domestic Laundry building selling again

FILE  The Domestic Laundry building at 1425 E. Douglas. (Sept. 18, 2012)UPDATED — The Domestic Laundry building is so popular, it’s selling for the second time in less than two years.

“Yes . . . surprisingly enough,” says Transitions Group owner Bill Jackson. “Someone else wants it worse than we do.”

Jackson and six employees bought the building at 1425 E. Douglas just east of Old Town in September 2012.

“We never had any intent of buying it to sell it,” Jackson says. “We love the building and love the community along there.”

Jackson says he understands the buyer wants the building’s first floor space fronting Douglas for a showroom and then will use third floor space for offices.

It looks like Joe Hayes is buying the building for his Open Road Brands business, which creates reproductions of nostalgic signs and other Americana memorabilia.

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ACI Design Studio to close

WICHITA — After not quite five years in business, ACI Design Studio is closing.

Former Abode Home manager Brent Dorrah had the idea for Abode Commercial Interiors and convinced Transitions Group owner Bill Jackson to start the company around the time Abode converted to an event center. The upscale furniture store is in Jackson’s Domestic Design Building at 1425 E. Douglas.

“The store’s been improving each year, and as a matter of fact, we’ve had our best year ever this year,” Dorrah says.

However, he says, “We’ve still struggled.”

Dorrah says it’s been a challenging period in the industry, and Internet sales are now more popular than ever.

“We’ve just struggled to kind of get towards profitability basically each year,” he says. “I don’t think there’s any one reason.”

Dorrah says “that’s the sad reason” behind the closure. There’s a happier reason, though.

Transitions Group also owns Furniture Options and ExecuStay.

“They’re doing extremely well,” Dorrah says. “They’re experiencing a lot of growth. … Fiscally, it makes more sense for us to focus our energies on those businesses.”

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Bill Jackson and six employees purchase Domestic Laundry building on Douglas

Bill Jackson, one of the new owners of the Domestic Laundry building, says of this vintage photo of the building and all its delivery trucks, "Yep, the laundry business must have been very good back then. I guess there probably wasn't a washer and dryer in every home or maybe not even in hotels."

WICHITA — Wichita’s well-known Domestic Laundry building at 1425 E. Douglas has a new owner.

“We’ve all loved that building for a long time,” says Bill Jackson, Transitions Group owner, of himself and six employees who bought the building.

Jackson has been leasing space in the building for his ACI Design Studio for the last couple of years.

“A group of my employees who have been with me for a long time — some of them up to 25 years — and myself formed a little LLC and bought it.”

DL 1425, which stands for Domestic Laundry and the building’s address, includes Karen Cundiff, whom Jackson describes as an instrumental player in the Douglas Design District; Brent Dorrah, who runs ACI; Barney Lehnherr; Brendan Hogan; and Jackson’s children Piper Ayala and Josh Jackson.

Bill Jackson says they’d hoped to have another name for their LLC, but “every interesting, fun name was taken.”

Jackson says the Domestic Laundry building is a key piece of Douglas and his group will do what it can to improve its stature.

“That part of East Douglas was always known for its neon signage,” he says.

He points to GLMV Architecture’s prominent new sign just down the street and says his group would like to do something similar.

Jackson says he has pictures of the “cool signage” from the building’s early history and may use that for inspiration.

“We were thinking about maybe looking into the possibility of maybe redesigning the sign that’s up there now.”

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