Two east-side business offices to move

WICHITA — A couple of businessmen are moving their east-side offices, but not far.

Bud Gates is moving his Easygates office from the Tallgrass Executive Park at 22nd and Rock Road to the Polo Club Office Park near 13th and Rock Road.

“We just ran out of space,” Gates says. “We’ve got people in closets over here.”

He says he had been looking to lease another space. In the process, he came across a Tallgrass building to buy.

The Easygates office currently is about 2,900 square feet and is moving to about 4,600 square feet next month. Gates says the new office will offer a lot more storage room in addition to more office space.

Gates is the master franchisor for Easyhome lease-to-own stores in 36 states. He says there are 38 stores under his umbrella – 17 stores that he operates and 21 that are franchises.

“We’re just kind of clicking along,” Gates says. “We probably would like to grow 10 stores per year.”

He says he’ll lease about 900 square feet of his new building to a tenant.

“I can’t reveal that one yet.”

Further east, Paul Jackson is moving his Vantage Point Properties within the Waterfront.

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Mike Lewis moves Newton gym, opens training center in Wichita

UPDATED — Mike Lewis has moved his Newton-based gym and is opening a personal training center in Wichita.

Mike Lewis Fitness is now in about 6,000 square feet at the Chisholm Trail Center-Outlet & Retail Shops in Newton.

“Basically, I’m growing,” Lewis says of his business, which opened in 2009.

The gym offers a variety of workout options, such as spin classes, boot camps and personal training.

The new business, Fitness on the Waterfront, is opening at the Waterfront development at 13th and Webb Road exclusively for personal training.

“The clientele up there around the Waterfront is the main reason I want to do the Waterfront one,” Lewis says.

Don Piros of Landmark Commercial Real Estate handled the deal.

Personal training that he received, along with a sports background, inspired Lewis to open the gym.

“I’ve played every sport known to man,” he says. “I always wanted to open my own gym.”

You don’t say

“If it was any kind of confusion, they would have never gave us that name.”

David Foster, who says he wouldn’t have been able to get a permit for his new Waterfront Cafe and Catering near I-235 and Seneca if it would be confused with the Waterfront development at 13th and Webb Road

Massage Envy Spa to open at the Waterfront in May in space that Irvin Jacks is vacating

WICHITA — East Wichita no longer has a reason to be envious of west Wichita, at least when it comes to Massage Envy Spa.

The first Wichita Massage Envy opened in NewMarket Square at 21st and Maize Road in 2010.

Now, one is moving into the Irvin Jacks space at the Waterfront in early May.

It’s not clear what’s happening with Irvin Jacks, a “barber spa” for men. Owner Felicia DeSpain didn’t return calls for comment.

Massage Envy franchisee Amy Gilliland, who also owns the Lawrence Massage Envy, says she’d actually hoped to open on the east side first.

“There was just no place to go that we wanted to go,” she says of when she looked previously.

She says she’s excited about the 3,290 square feet that’s coming open at the Waterfront.

“I love how upscale it is. I love the aesthetic. I like the tenant mix. I like the landlords a lot. They’re really great.”

Don Piros of Landmark Commercial Real Estate handled the deal.

Gilliland says Massage Envy is an affordable, approachable business that offers therapeutic massage and healthy skin facials.

The chain, which started in 2002, now has 854 stores.

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Former Wichitans Dennis Thompson and Doug Glendenning to bring Firebirds Wood Fired Grill to the Waterfront

The Waterfront’s Stephen Clark II stands in front of the future home of Firebirds Wood Fired Grill.

WICHITA — A visit home to his native Wichita is what’s leading Lone Star Steakhouse founder Dennis Thompson to bring his latest restaurant concept to the Waterfront.

Thompson and former Wichitan Doug Glendenning and a private New York equity firm own 23 Firebirds Wood Fired Grills and have six more under construction.

Thompson, who founded the company in 2000 in Charlotte, N.C., planned to go to Oklahoma City and Tulsa next but changed his mind.

“I happened to be in Wichita for a class reunion,” he says.

While here, Thompson toured the former Brooks Brothers store at the Waterfront development at 13th and Webb Road.

The 7,650-square-foot space is on the corner of the retail section of the Waterfront and is known for its decorative domed roof.

“It’s the most prominent spot in the retail center,” says the Waterfront’s Stephen Clark II.

Glendenning, the former president of Lone Star, calls the Waterfront “one of the best areas in the greater Wichita area for sure.”

“I used to live just a couple of blocks from there, so I know that area very well,” he says.

Glendenning is a founder of Firebirds, too, but he says Thompson really created it.

Thompson’s Aspen home inspired what initially was a Colorado lodge theme.

“Over time … it’s evolved,” Glendenning says. “It’s a lot less Colorado feel and more just kind of upscale casual.”

Thompson says he wanted to start a concept that was more upscale than an Outback or similar restaurants but not quite as high end as a Morton’s or a Ruth’s Chris.

“The theme is based around steaks, but we’re not perceived necessarily as a steakhouse,” Thompson says.

There are lots of wood-fired dishes, many of which have a southwestern flair.

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Metro Grill IV a possibility for downtown

WICHITA — At long last, Michael Gonzalez is looking to bring his Metro Grill downtown.

“Since Day 1 at the mall, they’ve been asking me to come downtown,” he says of customers from his Metro Grill stand at Towne East Square. “They’re dying for us to go downtown.”

In addition to the mall location, Gonzalez has a sit-down Metro Grill at the Waterfront at 13th and Webb Road, and another restaurateur has Gonzalez’s former Metro Grill in Andover.

The downtown location, which would be close to Cafe Bel Ami near South Broadway and East William, isn’t official yet.

“This is not 100 percent,” Gonzalez says.

He says he’s only in talks with a developer, who approached him.

“If it’s a sweet deal, I’ll take it.”

Ciao Italian Kitchen to open in former Tommy’s Restaurant space Nov. 12

WICHITA — It took longer than expected, as most restaurant deals do, but Guillermo Perez-Munoz has finalized plans to open his second Ciao Italian Kitchen on the west side in the former Tommy’s Restaurant and Lounge space at 2121 N. Tyler.

“We are looking at opening November 12,” says COO Matt Tompkins.

In June, Have You Heard? reported that Perez-Munoz was working on the west-side deal less than a year after opening his first Ciao at the Waterfront on the east side where Piztros, Sabor and Press once were.

Tompkins says the former Tommy’s space makes sense for a number of reasons.

First, there’s the amount of traffic in the area, though Tompkins says it’s not as busy as the 21st and Maize Road area, which he says is a good thing.

“We’re not in the congestion of all the other restaurants.”

Also, Tompkins says there’s not another mom-and-pop Italian restaurant nearby.

“We think we have a really good opportunity to be successful there,” he says.

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Professional Home Buyers buys Pixius Communications space on East Central

WICHITA — For the first time in the 11 years since Tony Javier started Professional Home Buyers, he’s going to own the building where his business is.

Javier has purchased the 3,840-square-foot building at 1634 E. Central near Hydraulic where Pixius Communications has been.

“We wanted the space to be able to grow,” he says. “We’re able to create our own identity rather than being in another office building.”

Pixius is moving to Second and St. Francis downtown but will remain in its current space until December.

Javier has been at the Waterfront development at 13th and Webb Road for several years in the Keller Williams Signature Partners office. Professional Home Buyers is licensed with Keller Williams.

Javier’s company buys undervalued properties, renovates them and sells to buyers who generally use conventional financing. The company also has a rent-to-own program that Javier says helps people with poor credit be able to finance a home within six to 12 months.

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BNC National Bank to move west-side office

UPDATED — BNC National Bank is moving its west-side branch from 7200 W. 13th St. to the campus near 29th and Ridge where J.P. Weigand & Sons has its west-side residential office.

“I outgrew the space,” branch manager J.R. Rohr says of the 3,800 square feet he has at 13th Street.

The new space, which is in the east building on the campus, has 5,200 square feet.

“We’re hoping to be moved in by the beginning of the year,” Rohr says.

Remodeling the new space will take about eight weeks once the lease is done.

“We’re still working out some details on the lease,” Rohr says.

Weigand’s Patrick Ritchie and Leisa Lowry are handling the deal.

The Bismarck, N.D.-based BNC, which handles only residential mortgages in Wichita, has three branches here.

In addition to the west-side branch, one is inside Andover State Bank at the Waterfront, and another is within the Andover State Bank in Andover.

Rohr says finding good west-side office space can be a challenge since much of the available space is for retail.

“Having real, true office space in west Wichita is a big plus for me,” he says.

Rohr likes the access to K-96.

“I feel that part of Wichita … is growing right now,” he says. “There’s all kinds of businesses up there. It’s close to NewMarket Square.”

Rohr says he’s looking to add three or four loan officers. He doesn’t have any other changes planned.

“There’s been talk about … maybe expanding in the Derby market,” Rohr says. “That thought has just been brought up. I haven’t really got too far into that yet.

“This is it for right now.”

Waterfront to be home to new Class A luxury apartment village

WICHITA — There’s another new phase of development coming to the Waterfront at the northeast corner of 13th and Webb Road.

Steve Clark and Johnny Stevens are planning a Class A apartment complex with up to 300 units.

“It will be unlike anything Wichita has,” says Stephen Clark II, who is handling the development. “It’ll be a big deal.”

The complex will be across the lake from Homewood Suites by Hilton at the Waterfront.

Stephen Clark describes the complex as a gated village with some conventional attached units and some detached units, such as luxury duplexes.

There also will be some furnished corporate units.

“Wichita doesn’t have any Class A apartments,” Clark says.

There will be granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, covered parking and private garages, a pool, a wine cellar, a putting green and a clubhouse with a chef’s kitchen.

“It will match the Waterfront’s design criteria on the exterior,” Clark says.

That includes brick, stone and stucco.

Clark also recently announced the new Waterfront Plaza on the northwest corner, which Whole Foods Market will anchor, and a new 4.3 acre mixed-use development within the Waterfront on the northeast corner.

He says the apartments will be a good addition to the mix.

“They’re just going to be on a whole other level.”