Carrie Rengers

Bethel House plans 'home-plus' centers

Bethel House , a Wichita-based health care company, is preparing to break ground on the east and west sides for Bethel House Adult Care Homes .

"It offers such an unbelievable alternative to traditional nursing home placement," says Christine Bacci , director of operations. "A lot of people, they want to avoid (that) at all costs."

The new facilities are what's called "home plus," which offers full nursing-home-type care in more of a residential-care environment.

"It's just very much being in a nice, elegant house," Bacci says of the homes.

The sites are at 2121 N. Broadmoor, near 21st and Rock Road, and 553 S. Holland Lane, near Kellogg and Ridge Road.

Each site will have four 3,600-square-foot homes that have a living room, family room, dining room, kitchen, eight private bedrooms and eight private baths.

There's also a room with a whirlpool, roll-in shower and beauty facilities.

"It's like you get to let Mom and Dad stay at home," Bacci says. "The mind-set is nothing like a nursing home."

There's a clubhouse in the middle of the four homes where residents can have lunch and dinner if they choose and meet for activities.

Bacci says the idea is to provide as much social time as a resident might want.

The homes come with 24-hour staffing and a doctor.

"We can provide complete medical care," Bacci says.

Like other providers, Bethel House already has a couple of home-plus units in Wichita that are in actual former homes.

But Bacci says retrofitting a house to meet certain needs can't compare to building ideal units.

"That's what's going to make this different," she says. "This is so unique."

The rooms should be ready in early April.

Eastgate sells

Eastgate Plaza at Kellogg and Rock Road is now under local ownership.

Christian Ablah of Classic Real Estate and a group of local silent partners bought the property Tuesday.

"The timing of the acquisition coincides perfectly with the opening of the intersection," Ablah says.

Developers Diversified Realty of Cleveland, Ohio, previously owned the center.

The 260,000-square-foot center, at the southeast corner of the intersection, has an 87 percent occupancy rate and is home to businesses including T.J. Maxx , Barnes & Noble and David's Bridal .

The largest vacancy is the 26,000 square feet Best Buy left several years ago when it moved to 21st and Rock Road.

Ablah says he's talking to potential tenants for several spaces, including national tenants that might be interested in the former Best Buy space.

"We do have some things in the works," he says.

Ablah and Andy Boyd at Walter Morris & Son Real Estate will handle Eastgate's leasing, and Walter Morris also will manage the property.

"We intend to remodel the exterior as well as the interior," Ablah says.

He likes that Eastgate draws not only from the east side but also from Andover and Derby, "which are both very good markets."

Ablah also developed the Chipotle and Long John Silver's sites at that intersection across Rock Road.

"It's a pretty cool corner."

Getting Frank

The owners of Let's Be Frank have filed a lawsuit against their landlord at Douglas and Grove.

Brad Standing says he filed suit today in Sedgwick County District Court to regain possession of the space his restaurant occupied since May.

Problems started with a previous landlord and a dispute over a sewer line.

Cheryl Schwab bought the property in late October and changed the locks Nov. 15.

Standing says his equipment is still in the building, and he wants back in.

Schwab won't comment except to say she's moving her Second Story consignment shop into the former Let's Be Frank space.

Another dispute the restaurant was in has been resolved.

Two days after Let's Be Frank opened, a California hot dog seller contacted the restaurant to say his business has the same name. Standing says they've talked, and he's agreed to change his restaurant's name.

It will now be known as Get Franked . But where it will reopen is not yet clear.

You don't say

"Every time I call in and (she says) that, I get a chuckle, especially with all that's going on with the governor."

—Consultant Jim Gregory on calling the governor's office (which has been struggling with budget cuts) and hearing administrative assistant Hope Burns say, "Office of the governor. This is Hope."

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