Carrie Rengers

August 2, 2014

East 21st Street to get new gas station, expanded store

A blighted area of East 21st Street is about to experience a revival.

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A blighted area of East 21st Street is about to experience a revival.

“We’re going in there and building a new gas station,” Amir Etezazi says.

His company, Etezazi Industries, a division of Etezazi Corp., is building a new Cenex gas station and an expanded convenience store in the former Amoco station and market just east of the Canal Route.

“It’s definitely going to enhance the area,” says City Council member Lavonta Williams. “It is going to create another opportunity for people to create pride.”

The station has been abandoned for about a decade.

“Anytime you have at least one … blighted building where something is not kept up, you’re going to invite illegal dumping,” Williams says. “You’re going to invite illegal activity.”

Etezazi, who bought the building in December, says there have been “a lot of challenges” so far.

“It was vandalized pretty badly,” he says. “Constantly, there is some sort of vandalism.”

People dumping trash on the property is a big issue, he and Williams say.

Williams says Etezazi finally put a dumpster on the property to give people an option for their trash. “Don’t just drop it on the lot.”

Etezazi says the dumpster actually is there for his use – and he wants people to stop seeing the area as a place for trash.

So far, most of the work Etezazi has done has been on the inside of the 7,500-square-foot building, which he’s divided for various uses.

Etezazi plans a full kitchen with fresh and prepared foods.

Williams says it’s “just another opportunity for people to have something accessible to purchase items,” especially for those who may be walking to the store.

She says Etezazi’s store will have fresh produce and other items the Dollar General across the street might not have.

“I’m really looking forward to that,” Williams says.

Etezazi plans to lease space on the east end of the building for a liquor store.

“We had to go back and forth a little bit with the city,” he says.

Etezazi has three other convenience stores: a Phillips 66 at Kellogg and Hillside, one in Newton and a Valero at Central and Ridge.

He’s hoping the Cenex will open in early October, but he says it more likely will be the middle of the month.

Etezazi is hoping there will be a payoff for his hard work and frustrations.

“We’re investing a lot of money in here.”

On their way

Most people don’t complain too much if bills come late – or perhaps not at all – but some Via Christi Health patients have been wondering about their lack of bills this summer.

On June 1, Via Christi converted financial and medical records for 22 clinics and all its hospitals to a new system.

Part of this process included the laborious task of making sure all the statements that followed would be accurate before they went out.

“We pretty much planned to have a delay in our statements going out,” says Lisa Carruthers, senior administrator for revenue cycle.

“We thought that it might be … eight to 12 weeks.”

Turns out, that’s about what it will be. The first statements should be mailed in about two weeks.

“None of this delay is being counted against any of our patients,” Carruthers says. “Most of them, it gives them that much more time to pay their portion.”

She says there have been a few questions, mostly out of curiosity. Also, a few patients wanted to make sure they hadn’t somehow missed the bills, Carruthers says.

“I can’t say I’ve heard of anybody who was overly concerned about it.”

You don’t say

“As long as it’s socially acceptable.”

Torrey Lattin, who is opening the Hopping Gnome brewery at 1710 E. Douglas with a little help from Kickstarter and who will let two $3,000 donors name and brew a beer

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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