Supplement Giant and Home Fitness Exercise Equipment Co. are taking a short jaunt across the parking lot at Tallgrass Plaza at 21st and Rock Road to larger space in the former Blockbuster store there.
"Front-row visibility" was the draw, says Wayne Ragsdale , who owns the business with his wife, Lisa .
The Ragsdales opened their first Supplement Giant at the intersection 21 years ago. They also have one on the west side at 2556 N. Maize Road and one in the Denver area.
The 5,200-square-foot former Blockbuster space is 1,000 square feet more than the Ragsdales currently have.
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Wayne Ragsdale says this will allow them to have better displays and expanded product lines.
That wasn't their main reason to move, though.
Vitamin Shoppe is opening in a new retail center under construction on the northeast corner of 21st and Rock Road.
Ragsdale says he was concerned that his advertising would drive customers to the intersection and then they'd stop in the more visible Vitamin Shoppe instead of his store, which currently sits back from the road.
With the move in a couple of months, he says, the playing field will be leveled.
"That's going to be a strategic move for us."
GNC and GreenAcres Market & Deli also are in the 21st and Rock Road area.
"This is going to be the healthiest corner in Wichita, I think," says Dan Unruh of InSite Real Estate Group , who handled the deal for the Ragsdales.
The Ragsdales plan to continue to expand. They're close to a second deal in Denver and are eyeing the greater Wichita area for another store in the next year or two.
Unruh says the east-side move is a big deal, too.
"They're definitely stepping up," he says. "It's just a really, really cool small business success story."
Atwell in Andover
Atwell, an international consulting firm, is taking 1,050 square feet at Jack Newman's almost 10,000-square-foot center at 1145 N. Andover Road.
This brings the development to 100 percent occupancy.
"In this economy, it's nice to have a building completely full because, boy, there sure (are) a lot of them that are sitting empty right now," Newman says.
He credits Scott Harper of Landmark Commercial Real Estate for making the deal, but Harper says it's thanks to Newman.
"He's a landlord that does meticulously maintain his property and really cares about his tenants," Harper says. He says that makes the difference.
Atwell's Andover office, which team leader of natural resources Kim Austin has been running from her house, specializes in natural resources and ecological services.
"Our core message (is) local real estate solutions worldwide," Austin says.
She started working for Atwell here in December.
"Atwell wanted to expand out west."
In the immediate future, the office will have five employees, but Austin expects that number to grow.
"We intend to maybe look into hiring some civil engineers and a survey crew. We'll just have to see how things go."
Wild west only
The east-side Wild At Heart is closing after business Saturday so owner Marissa Marklewitz can concentrate on expanding her west-side Wild At Heart.
"We're expanding into gifts and gourmet goodies," she says.
Her west-side shop, which sells clothing, accessories and handbags, moved to the southeast corner of 21st and Maize Road in October. She has 2,700 square feet she's using now and another 1,300 square feet on the second floor where she plans a new gift boutique.
It's how much space she's wanted in one building all along.
"If we could have found something three years ago, we probably would not have opened an east location."
The east-side Wild At Heart opened three years ago at the Collective at 21st Street and K-96.
The expanded space on the west side will include more denim items and a new handbag line called Spartina 449 , which has leather-and-canvas bags.
"They're so cute," Marklewitz says.
The new boutique will open in October.
You don't say
"I'm tired of everybody being my boss."
—Cherri Tyler on why she bought the Tropics Lounge , the bar and restaurant at 2705 N. Broadway that she plans to reopen within the next month