The Board of Trade building at 120 S. Market is the latest acquisition for nascent downtown developer Robert Eyster .
"He's planning on doing a complete remodel with it," says Michael Ramsey , who is working with Eyster on several downtown projects.
They're renovating and repurposing the Zelman building and the Victoria Park Apartments . They've also recently acquired property along Douglas between Main and Market where developer Kelly Donham previously had plans.
The Board of Trade renovation will be in conjunction with plans Eyster and Ramsey have for the Douglas property.
Ramsey won't share all the details yet, but he says, "It's following the Goody Clancy plan of changes they feel should be happening downtown."
Part of Ramsey's hesitation to talk just yet is due to potential city involvement.
"We're really trying to work with the city through the project."
The 62,910-square-foot, Board of Trade building, which was built in 1920, has been vacant for a couple of years.
Eyster acquired it for $750,000.
"He's always invested, but he's always invested outside of Wichita," Ramsey says.
That changed when he started searching for a new site for his Linkhaus restaurant concept.
Eyster and Ramsey met Jeff Fluhr , president of the Wichita Downtown Development Corp. , and began discussing downtown opportunities.
The seven-story Board of Trade building features a former trading room that has three rooftop skylights that were designed to allow natural light for grading grain products during trading.
There are also numerous windows on the seventh floor overlooking downtown.
Ramsey says they'll share plans, including renderings of the Market Street and Douglas Avenue projects, within a month.
"The completion date of the entire project ... should be in about two years."
Tad's, not Ted's
Some alert passers-by have noticed activity at the former west-side Ted's Montana Grill space.
Tad Fugate, in collaboration with Fugate Enterprises , is opening a restaurant at building, which is at 21st and Tyler Road.
"It's a brand-new restaurant concept," he says. "It's going to be a combo of American chop house and Brazilian churrascaria."
Fugate has picked out a name but doesn't want to announce it until he's finalized a logo. Bill Gardner of Gardner Design is creating the logo.
The building will undergo extensive remodeling.
"We haven't crystallized everything," Fugate says.
He says to expect more details closer to the restaurant's mid- to late September opening.
"We're working hard on it."
Kwan Wah owner Andy Diec has signed a lease for a second restaurant.
He's opening Wok Hey in late September in 1,300 square feet at 1444 N. Maize road.
That's the center at 13th and Maize where All Paws Pet Center , Little Caesars and the Starting Block also are.
"I'm pleased to announce that we are 100 percent," says Dan Unruh of InSite Real Estate Group on leasing the 9,100-square-foot center.
"I'm really pleased that we were able to complete the leasing of this particular building in this particular market, especially when there were a lot of doubters out there about the viability of 13th and Maize as a retail trade area," he says.
"With the right landlord and the right economics, deals can get done."
Diec's Kwan Wah has been at Towne West Square for four years. It was on West Street before that.
Kwan Wah has cooked dishes on display that customers can choose from.
Wok Hey dishes will be cooked to order. The restaurant, which will have seating and carryout, will have counter service instead of a wait staff.
Diec chose a different name for his new restaurant because "I don't want it confusing customers."
Look for Wok Hey to open in late September.
You don't say
"We decided to change to Celsius readings here because 40 degrees sounds a lot better than 104."
—John Pilla of Spirit AeroSystems at a Tuesday press conference