If you’ve visited the Gorges & Co. Volvo dealership near K-96 and Webb Road in the past few days and thought it looked a little more full than normal, it’s not your imagination.
“We just decided that the time had come to make the transition (and) close our South Oliver store,” he says.
“It just made sense. The neighborhood’s been changing down there a long time.”
Gorges says there are fewer and fewer retail outlets in what had once been a bustling area.
“We felt like we just wanted to focus on our Volvo store and focus on growing out here,” he says. “It just became so much better out here.”
His grandfather Fred Gorges founded the Volvo franchise in 1957 at 1958 N. Broadway. He opened a used-car lot on South Oliver three years later.
“We’ve always been a big used-car dealer,” Scott Gorges says. “We’re going to continue to sell all makes and models.”
Gorges says his father, Mark, always knew he wanted to be in a growing part of Wichita.
“My dad bought this property out here,” Gorges says of the North Webb dealership, which opened in 1997.
The location has been successful, he says.
“Up here, it’s really good.”
The dealership has a 15,000-square-foot building on 2 1/2 acres.
For now, the Gorges administrative offices are going to remain on South Oliver, but they’ll move in a couple of months.
There are two buildings with a total of 22,000 square feet on that almost-3-acre property, and Gorges says he’s open to selling or leasing the space.
After that, it will be the end of one era for the Gorges family, Scott Gorges says.
“We’ll wind down and eventually retire the Gorges Motor Co.”
Vacating the premises
After more than two decades near Central and Hillside, Clark’s Uniforms is going to have to move.
Owner Patrick Maloney says that, earlier this month, he received a letter from the new owners of his building at 2906 E. Central “saying I had 30 days to vacate the premises.”
“I didn’t know what to think,” Maloney says.
The new store, which will continue to sell uniforms to medical personnel, will be at 6100 E. Central. That’s between Edgemoor and Woodlawn near Asia Town Buffet.
Maloney says his new 1,900 square feet will be smaller than his store’s existing space, but that it doesn’t feel that way.
“I actually think the sales floor space is getting larger,” he says. “That old building’s cut up so poorly.”
Maloney says his new building will be “bigger, better, nicer, newer,” though he’s not sure when he’ll be in it.
“I really don’t have a clue,” he says, adding that he’s dependent on his phone company getting everything ready.
“It’s going to be as soon as I can make it happen.”
You don’t say
“It’s not because it’s bad and nobody else wanted it.”
– Music Theatre of Wichita’s Wayne Bryan joking about Wichita landing the U.S. debut of “ Betty Blue Eyes” this week
Carrie Rengers first reported these items on her blog. Be among the first to get her business scoops at blogs.kansas.com/haveyouheard.