Weigand reshuffling, facade work progresses

Work on the new face of J.P. Weigand's downtown corporate office continues, with the company's corporate reshuffling almost complete.

Architects are beginning work on plans for the new facade of the three-building complex at 150 N. Market, taking up a half-block downtown.

Weigand has completed the relocation of its residential management downtown, including general manager Gary Walker, the new-homes, foreclosure and bank-owned divisions, and its marketing operation.

Those groups, once housed at 13th and Woodlawn, have been relocated into 1,300 square feet in an old lock and key shop just south of the current headquarters.

And work is winding down on the consolidation of Weigand's south Wichita office at 10811 E. Harry into the current residential office at 13th and Woodlawn.

Plans call for a new facade downtown to tie the buildings together, said Roger Weast, Weigand's president.

Architects from Law Kingdon are working on the design, Weast said, with a final drawing expected this month. However, Weigand officials have scrapped plans to seek a facade grant and loan from the city's facade improvements program to pay for about half of the renovations.

Rupert Investments, the Weigand holding group that owns the Market buildings, filed a request in April for a $10,000 grant and a $199,000 loan, part of the $400,000 renovation and expansion of the corporate office.

The request was withdrawn April 8, Weast said.

"As we got to looking at the facade and the construction with the tax incentives, we felt it was a better move to go with conventional funding," Weast said.

"We won't be involved in the city's facade program, but the improvements are moving full steam ahead."