Carrie Rengers

Historic building to house GLMV Architecture

The almost year-old GLMV Architecture is getting a new home that will accommodate all of its Wichita employees.

Since Gossen Livingston Associates and McCluggage Van Sickle & Perry merged early this year, employees have remained at their original offices while there was a search for a space big enough to hold 100 people. (There are another 30 employees in Kansas City and Houston offices.)

The new space is a 30,000-square-foot building at 1525 E. Douglas. McCormick Armstrong sold GLMV the building that it's been using for storage and a tenant, Sign Pro , which will have to move.

The 1930 two-story building originally was home to J. Arch Butts 'Packard dealership.

"It's a significant building in Wichita and in the Douglas Design District , which is ... kind of fun to be part of now," says GLMV chairman Bill Livingston .

"The building has a lot of rich history."

GLMV is working to put the building on the National Register of Historic Places , which will allow some tax credits.

So who out of a huge firm of architects handles the design of company headquarters?

"Well, we establish a team and handle it just like any project in the office," Livingston says.

"I don't know what it's going to look like."

GLMV's offices at 420 S. Emporia (Gossen Livingston's 20,000-square-foot former headquarters) and 125 S. Washington (McCluggage Van Sickle & Perry's former 14,000-square-foot headquarters) are now for sale or lease.

Even though Livingston would prefer to be done like, "oh, yesterday," remodeling will take a while.

"Realistically, it's going to be this time next year before we can get in."

Why so long?

"Well, because we're buying just a shell, and it'll take time to put it all together."

In the meantime, Livingston is having fun learning about the building and Butts' history in Wichita.

"You can find several of his buildings around town. ... He must have been quite a character. He was involved in a lot.

"It's just kind of interesting to ... research some of this stuff."

Supply and demand

Almost 35 years after working as a 14-year-old at McLeod's , a stationery store that was at Kellogg and Edgemoor, Brian Stuart is now going to open his own business there.

Stuart and his brother, Mike , are opening Midwest Chef Supply in 11,000 square feet on the southeast corner of the intersection on Monday.

"It was really weird that we even came across it," Brian Stuart says of the location.

The Stuarts were having lunch at Scotch & Sirloin and discussing the business, which has been in the works for more than a year.

"We drove out of the Scotch and drove by there, and I was like, 'Hey, that's open.' "

Stuart used to own Discount Restaurant Equipment , which was in a more industrial area at 3665 W. McCormick before it closed in August.

Stuart closed the business in preparation for the new store.

"To be honest, the Internet was hurting us so bad on the restaurant equipment, we decided to focus on small wares," he says.

Customers found they could skirt sales tax by ordering big equipment through the Internet, he says, whereas customers bought small items they needed immediately from him.

While his last business catered more to restaurants, his new one also will focus on retail sales for the public.

"You'll be able to get a grocery cart when you walk in and go shopping," he says.

The store will have commercial-grade pots and pans, china, flatware, glassware, bar supplies, paper goods, janitorial supplies and chef clothing.

Stuart says restaurants and other customers can still order a complete kitchen package through the store.

His wife, Janie , will manage the store, and his sister, former Park City Mayor Dee Stuart , will work there as well. Dee Stuart also used to work at McLeod's along with the Stuarts' mother, Dodie .

Stuart says as restaurants have struggled in recent years, so have restaurant supply stores, but that's not stopping him.

Several stores, such as ABCO Restaurant Equipment , have gone out of business, but Stuart says that's left an opening for him.

"That's why this was so important to open it right now."

You don't say

"It's a shock to us more so, I think, than some of our customers."

Kansas Blue Print general manager Dick Tidwell on the company changing its almost 90-year-old name on Jan. 1 to American Reprographics Co. , which is the national company that bought it in 2007

  Comments