When a business person buys a new house, it's generally not news for the business pages. Then again, when someone buys a major amount of land in a growing commercial area, it tends to pique the interest of businesspeople — especially if that someone is a fellow business person with the last name "Koch ."
Chase Koch, who works at his family's Koch Industries , has purchased almost 70 acres near 21st and Greenwich from Bruce and Sharon Brown .
Bruce Brown confirms the purchase, though he won't discuss the details.
The Browns moved elsewhere in Wichita.
Koch bought their property for just over $3 million.
The land is just south of Don Slawson's approximately 65-acre Cross Pointe commercial development, which is at the southeast corner of 21st and Greenwich. It's across Greenwich from Slawson's approximately 160-acre Oak Creek residential development.
Part of what makes this deal interesting is that the almost 70 acres Koch bought will remain residential.
The newly married Koch didn't return calls for comment, but it looks like he plans to live in the house on the property.
Not so sweet
Sugar Sisters Bakery & Cafe has defaulted on a $165,000 SBA loan, and the future of the restaurant is in question.
Citizens Bank of Kansas, which administered the loan, has filed a lawsuit against the restaurant to collect the money.
Sisters Kristine , Katie and Kelli Sykes opened the business near Central and Oliver with their mother, Patty Sykes , in spring 2008.
Court documents show they still owe more than $125,000 on their note.
"We got behind on the loan," Katie Sykes says. "We got, like, two weeks behind pretty much."
She adds, "There was a little bit of... lack of communication."
Sykes won't elaborate.
She says everything has been taken care of.
"Since it's been undone, there's really nothing to talk about," Sykes says.
That's not what court documents show.
Citizens Bank is foreclosing on a piece of property that Patty Sykes and her husband, Scott , own at 1012 S. Lynnrae. It appears to be their home.
Also, the bank has received a temporary restraining order so the business owners cannot remove any equipment from the restaurant.
In May of last year, Have You Heard? reported that Sugar Sisters owed about $10,000 in taxes to the state and another several thousand to the federal government.
At the time, Patty Sykes said she and her daughters were "just trying to get caught up."
"We've got a good, steady, loyal clientele," she said. "We just need to build on it."
It's not clear if the restaurant's tax troubles are ongoing, but the lawsuit, foreclosure and petition are all active.
Katie Sykes says that's not the case.
"It's basically all undone," she says. "So we're not going anywhere."
Easy come, easy go
You've got to give Tom White Jr. credit. The general manager of Suzuki of Wichita knows a good idea when he hears it.
There's one he's not allowed to use anymore, though.
White "borrowed" a catch phrase from CarMax , and — through its attorney — the company has asked him to stop using it.
"We steal ideas from everybody," White says.
"We're just not that smart," he says, laughing.
White says he didn't purposely steal CarMax's slogan: "We'll buy your car even if you don't buy ours."
He admits to checking out what competitors are doing, though, and perhaps letting their copy seep into his own.
CarMax, though, has that phrase trademarked.
"Now, we say, 'Don't want to buy one of our cars? We'll still buy yours!" White says.
He's not sure whether that's trademarked.
"I should be in the clear."
White didn't mind the letter.
"It's fun to stir up the pot," he says.
White admits he would mind if someone locally "borrowed" his "Ride home happy" slogan.
Again, though, he admits, "I'm sure we stole it from somebody. We just got the website before they did."
Kitchen is closed
After not quite five months in business, DK Kitchen has closed.
Owner Douglas "D.J. " Pitts says he "just couldn't sustain a business as far as customer traffic goes."
He says he needed 30 or 40 diners a day, and with thousands of downtown workers he didn't think that would be a problem.
Pitts doesn't blame the location at 217 E. Douglas even though several other restaurants also have failed there.
"If I had more money to open a restaurant... obviously there probably are better locations," he says.
Pitts had 626 Douglas at 626 E. Douglas downtown in 2004 for about a year.
He also was the chef for a while at the now-closed Bella Donna .
Pitts isn't sure what he'll do next.
"I'm just kind of taking a step back," he says.
He's still committed to food, though.
"It is what I do."
You don't say
"It was unbearable to keep it open."
—Melad Stephan , who had to temporarily shut his Egg Cetera restaurant in Old Town after breakfast Sunday because of air-conditioning issues but hopes to reopen today