Vliet family sells Old Town property
12/13/2013 3:49 PM
12/13/2013 3:49 PM
UPDATED — Rich and Marni Vliet were a young couple in 1975 when they first started buying Old Town property.
"Rich began having this Old Town dream when we met," Marni Vliet says of her late husband, who died of ALS two years ago.
First, they purchased the Looking Glass restaurant in the 400 block of East Douglas.
Then, in the mid 1980s, they began eyeing a dilapidated area of Old Town in the 900 block along East Douglas.
"We were beginning to get a feel for the frontage of Douglas," Vliet says. "We used to sit at the Beacon and look at the block over our omelettes."
The Vliets shared a dream and a dedication to the redevelopment of Old Town, and that included what Rich Vliet thought of as the entry point of Old Town.
"Rich was right," Vliet says. "He said, 'Old Town needs a face. ... It needs a front door.'"
The Vliets purchased the property from 910 through 926 E. Douglas, which has 29,531 square feet over nine units. Friday, they sold it to a group called Old Town Ventures.
"I wouldn't even characterize it as bittersweet," Marni Vliet says. "It's the end of a chapter for our family."
About Carrie Rengers
Carrie Rengers joined The Eagle's Business team in 2002 despite her inability to even balance a checkbook. Fortunately for her, and readers, her Have You Heard? blog is about business scoops and contains lots of news but almost no math.
A Michigan native, Carrie’s father was quite tragically transferred to Little Rock, Ark., in the middle of her sophomore year of high school. To make matters worse, her parents put her in a girls school. She recovered, though, and went on to enjoy being an English major at Hendrix College (the Harvard of the Ozarks, don’t you know). She worked for the weekly Arkansas Business and the statewide daily Arkansas Democrat-Gazette before moving to Wichita to be with her favorite writer and cook, husband Joe Stumpe.
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