Ornate house in Wichita’s Midtown will be site of Texans’ new B&B

10/08/2013 6:42 AM

10/08/2013 12:10 PM

It’s no coincidence that when a visitor enters the home at 1847 N. Wellington Place in Midtown, one of the first noticeable things is an enticing aroma of freshly baked cookies wafting from the kitchen.

Wayne Chambliss and Gary Ivy planned it that way, as they intend to do for each of their guests when they open Wellington Place Inn in December.

The two have been wanting to open a bed and breakfast for some time. From their home base in Austin, Texas, they flew all over the country to look at possible cities and inns.

“Either the town was beautiful and the house was a wreck, or the house was beautiful and the town didn’t seem to have anything going on,” Chambliss says.

They were close on a deal in Ohio, but they took it as a sign when it didn’t work out.

The 6,500-square-foot Wellington Place house “was just gorgeous and was in very good shape,” Chambliss says, and he says Wichitans immediately welcomed him and Ivy.

“The business climate is phenomenal,” he says. “Everybody just seemed very positive, and so we thought this was the place to be. … Wichita just seemed to have everything.”

They’re still doing research on the house, but Chambliss says it was built in 1887 by former Wichita Mayor L.W. Clapp and is on local and national historic registries.

“It’s a beautiful old home,” he says.

The city used to own the house and used it as an event center.

There are five bedrooms that will be used for guests. Chambliss and Ivy are keeping the third floor private for their own use.

“There are so many cool features about this house,” Chambliss says. “The thing I’m most proud of is one of the front doors he (Clapp) actually hand carved, and it’s still here.”

Ivy says small details, such as unique knobs on doors, caught his eye when he saw the house.

“I was like, this is fantastic,” he says.

Most of the floors are original.

“It had everything already,” Ivy says.

The house has a pool and a game room with a pool table, and it will have an exercise room.

Chambliss is a pre-sales engineer for a software company. He’s keeping his job and working from home.

Ivy retired from Sam’s Club after 25 years, most recently in human relations.

“He is going to be primarily responsible for running the bed and breakfast,” Chambliss says.

Ivy says he’s always wanted to own his own business.

“I just always wanted to be my own boss,” he says.

“I just know how you’re supposed to treat people. I love meeting new people.”

As much as they’re looking forward to having guests in their home, Ivy says it’s been fun getting out and meeting Wichitans at businesses they’ve frequented so far.

“Everybody in Wichita seems to be so nice,” he says. “It’s just amazing. I eat that up.”

Inking a deal for space

Squid Ink Creative is expanding at the Garvey Center at 200 W. Douglas.

“We’re growing,” says Brad Painchaud, director of business development. “We’re looking at room for growth in the next couple of years.”

The company, which is a full-service advertising agency, has 4,000 square feet and is expanding to almost 6,000 square feet.

“We’ve been making a bigger push to go after some new clients,” Painchaud says. “We’ve been successful with a few.”

Squid Ink owners Mark Karlin and Frank Lichtlin also own CTS, or Computer Training Systems, and have it in the same space. Painchaud says there may be some growth with CTS as well, but the main growth is with Squid Ink.

Currently, the agency has an open-concept office, but Painchaud says there’s a need for more private areas.

“We’re just trying to create some better meeting spaces.”

The agency is looking to make some new hires as well.

Painchaud says there was no question about staying in the Garvey Center, where the agency has been for more than a decade.

“It’s centrally located for pretty much everyone.”

He says manager Larry Weber is helpful.

“Larry’s been great,” Painchaud says. “You know, the Garvey Center’s been good to us.”

You don’t say

“They passed it. They own it. They ought to pay for it.”

– Harvey County commissioner Chip Westfall on the effect of state tax cuts on local governments, which have to make up the shortfalls through their budgets

Carrie Rengers first reported these items on her blog. Be among the first to get her business scoops at blogs.kansas.com/haveyouheard.

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