Brooks Insurance moves to East Central

WICHITA — Jennifer Martinez-Brooks is looking for more space and a new clientele for her Brooks Insurance with her move to 5050 E. Central.

Her office has been at 564 S. Oliver for six years, and Martinez-Brooks says she’s done mostly nonstandard auto insurance there. That means a lot of her clients were high-risk clients.

“We’re just trying to maybe target a different customer base,” Martinez-Brooks says. “I’m looking for the more preferred market where people are packaging their home and auto together.”

She says she’s working around some remodeling at her new space.

Tony Utter of Utter Commercial Real Estate handled the deal.

Encompass Home Health & Hospice moving to more central site

WICHITA — Dallas-based Encompass Home Health & Hospice is moving its Wichita office to a more centralized site.

The company is moving from 8415 E. 32nd St. North to the Farm Credit Bank Building at 245 N. Waco. At almost 4,000 square feet, Encompass will be using about the same square footage it does now.

The office has three divisions: hospice, home health for the elderly and a pediatric division.

“Nurses and therapists see patients all over the city, so being kind of centrally located helps,” says Andrew Ingram, vice president of operations for Encompass in Dallas.

He says Encompass’ Hutchinson office recently moved to a more functional space as well.

Tony Utter of Utter Commercial Real Estate handled the Farm Credit deal along with Tim Fisher of Cresa in Kansas City.

Aflac regional office moves from west side to O’Rourke Title Building downtown

WICHITA — The regional Aflac office has moved from the west side to 2,010 square feet at the O’Rourke Title Building at William and Broadway.

“We just wanted to get downtown,” says regional manager Kathy Wiedemann.

She says part of the reason is to have a more centrally located office, but also, she says, there’s “just a little bit more energy downtown.”

Not to mention there’s also the Cafe Bel Ami factor. The restaurant is located on the building’s first floor.

“You know, we just got done eating lunch there,” Wiedemann says of her first day in the new office on Monday.

“It’s just so convenient,” she says. “It’s fun being down here.”

Tony Utter of Utter Commercial Real Estate handled the deal.

Wiedemann says there’s been extensive remodeling and painting in Aflac’s new suite except for her office, which once belonged to Pat O’Rourke of O’Rourke Title.

“I’m sitting right now in his old office,” Wiedemann says. “I didn’t touch his office because I just like it the way it is.”

She says it has old, wood paneling.

“It might sound kind of ugly, but it’s really not,” Wiedemann says.

“Imagine all the deals that went on back in the day when he was in here,” she says. “So it’s kind of neat to be in his office.”

Empire Energy to expand to Riverview

WICHITA — Pennsylvania-based Empire Energy is expanding its Wichita office.

The company established an office here following an oil acquisition in 2011. Currently, it is in 1,600 square feet at the Twin Lakes Office Park at 1900 N. Amidon.

Empire is moving to the Riverview building at 345 Riverview near Third and Waco.

“It’s been going well,” says Rob Kramer, vice president of Empire’s mid-continent region.

“We’ve drilled a few new wells, had decent results and just been kind of maintaining,” he says. “We haven’t grown a great deal. There’s a lot of maintenance and upkeep with the wells we took over.”

Empire has almost 300 producing wells in the greater central Kansas area. It has drilled 16 new wells.

Kramer says that “16 wells over two years is not a very fast pace.”

He says the company prefers to grow through acquisition.

“We’ve got several deals currently in the works.”

The new office is 2,209 square feet.

Tony Utter of Utter Commercial Real Estate and Grant Tidemann and Marty Gilchrist of J.P. Weigand & Sons handled the deal.

Empire recently hired a new employee and is looking to possibly hire a couple more soon.

“We just need more office space here,” Kramer says. “We are trying to grow.”

Tony Utter surprises fellow brokers as the Wichita Executive Centre’s new listing agent

Other brokers may question what he’s doing, but Tony Utter is confident in the future of the Wichita Executive Centre.

UPDATED — Some of Tony Utter’s fellow commercial brokers have had a recurring question for him since learning he’s taken over the listing for Real Development’s Wichita Executive Centre.

“Basically, was I out of my mind?”

Utter, who owns Utter Commercial Real Estate, acknowledges financial and other issues the Minnesota Guys and the building at 125 N. Market have faced in recent years.

“It’s been a topic of conversation quite a bit lately,” he says.

Calvin Klaassen, who works with Utter, will be helping him with the leasing.

“We did a lot of research before we agreed to it,” Utter says. “It was only after we were satisfied and reached … a high comfort level that we agreed to do this.”

Maintenance and other issues at the building aren’t all that had Utter concerned.

“We wanted to be very careful, very cautious before we agreed to take on a building of this size,” he says.

The 19-story, more than 300,000-square-foot building has about 80,000 vacant square feet of office space and about 100,000 vacant square feet of former hotel space. Utter says it’s the second-tallest office building in the state next to the neighboring Epic Center.

“This is the most complicated office building that I’ve ever been involved with,” Utter says. “It has a long history in Wichita.”

He’s had some history there already himself.

Utter was the leasing agent for the building for eight months before Real Development purchased it in 2007.

“So I’m back,” he says.

There are a few reasons Utter agreed to get involved.

No. 1, he is confident that his firm and any vendors will get paid.

“The good thing is that the lender is heavily involved,” Utter says of Security National Capital of Salt Lake City.

“We’re expecting a lot of assistance from other real estate brokers, and they want assurances that they’re going to be paid,” Utter says. “We depend heavily on working with other brokers. We consider them as part of our team.”

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B/E Aerospace signs Northrock Place lease

WICHITA — B/E Aerospace has signed a lease for 15,000 square feet at 8110 E. 32nd St. North in Northrock Place.

No one with the company is sharing details yet, but it sounds like B/E may be adding as many as 60 engineers.

Calvin Klaassen of Utter Commercial Real Estate and Ted Branson of Landmark Commercial Real Estate handled the deal.

Branson also just did a lease for B/E for an 80,000-square-foot warehouse at the Greenwich Industrial Park near K-96 and Greenwich.

B/E currently has a 50,000-square-foot warehouse in Comotara Business Park.

Mickey’s Yogurt to open on Andover Road

WICHITA — Shawn and Mandy Berkley, with help from their three small children, are opening Mickey’s Yogurt in Andover later this year.

They’re modeling the business, which is named after Mandy Berkley’s stepfather, on her mom and stepfather’s Fresno, Calif.-area shop of the same name.

“The biggest appeal, besides it being tasty, is it’s just a fun atmosphere,” says Shawn Berkley, who is a designer at Bombardier Learjet.

“Everybody goes in there happy and excited. It’s a special treat.” Berkley says the positive customer relations “makes for a fun place to be.”

The shop will open in early November at 626 N. Andover Road. That may not seem like the best time to open a yogurt business, but Berkley says, “The health benefits of yogurt versus ice cream makes it a much healthier alternative regardless of season.”

Mickey’s will offer 12 flavors, about 40 toppings and syrups. There also will be hot chocolate and cappuccino.

Mandy Berkley, who is a part-time massage therapist, will run the store most days.

Calvin Klaassen of Utter Commercial Real Estate handled the deal.

The Berkleys’ children – Trenton, 8, Carter, 6, and Savannah, 5 – are particularly excited about Mickey’s.

“They’re all for more free yogurt,” Shawn Berkley says.

He says his kids have been helping sample a lot of yogurt.

“They’re happy to partake in our market research.”

HRN Performance Solutions to move to Farm Credit Bank Building on North Waco

UPDATED — HRN Performance Solutions is moving from the High Touch building at 110 S. Main St. to 2,541 square feet at the Farm Credit Bank Building at 245 N. Waco.

“We were just looking for a space that allowed us more collaboration and teamwork,” says vice president Lea Ann Gabbert.

She says as the company expanded in the High Touch space, it resulted in a long, skinny row of offices and cubicles. Gabbert says the new space will be a big square “so that we could all be together.”

The company, which is headquartered in Salt Lake City and provides compensation and performance management solutions for clients nationally, will be in its new space Sept. 24.

Tony Utter of Utter Commercial Real Estate and Don Arnold of NAI John T. Arnold Associates handled the deal.

The lease brings the Farm Credit Bank Building to 100 percent occupancy.

Healthy Eyes for Life to move on west side

WICHITA — Optometrist Ronald Fiegel is moving his Healthy Eyes For Life, but not far.

Currently, he’s near the northeast corner of 21st and Ridge behind Emprise Bank.

“I’m going to a little better visibility,” Fiegel says of his new space.

He’s moving to 3460 N. Ridge, which used to informally be known as the Hearth and Home Center when the Hearth and Home store was there.

“The space is completely empty, which will make the construction go a little faster,” Fiegel says.

Depending on city approval, he expects the new space to be ready in early August.

Tony Utter of Utter Commercial Real Estate and Dan Unruh of InSite Real Estate Group handled the deal.

Fiegel, who opened his business in 1980, expects this to be his last move.

“Oh, yeah,” he says.

Then he rethinks it and laughs.

“Where I’m at was going to be the last move.”

A Bicycle Service to open in Andover

WICHITA — A Bicycle Service owners Richard Bledsoe and Eric Patterson are preparing to open their third shop, this time in Andover.

The two opened their first store in 1,400 square feet in Derby in 2008.

A month ago, they opened an 1,100-square-foot store in El Dorado.

“It’s doing good,” Bledsoe says. “We can’t keep bikes in there.”

The new store will be in 2,200 square feet at 620 N. Andover Road.

“It’s just basically to make it convenient for the customer,” Bledsoe says.

The stores service bicycles and sell brands such as KHS, Manhattan, Torker and several lines of BMX bikes. They also have skateboards and related merchandise and Monster products, such as helmets and apparel.

Tony Utter of Utter Commercial Real Estate and Dave Lewis of Weigand-Omega Management handled the deal. Lewis also did the deal in El Dorado.

Look for the Andover store to open sometime next week.