Carrie Rengers

Siemens plans Wichita distribution center

Siemens, a diversified international company with a focus on energy, is planning to announce today that it has signed a lease for 74,000 square feet of warehouse space at 1090 E. 37th St. North.

"They have been a fabulous company to do business with," says NAI John T. Arnold Associates president and supervising broker Marlin Penner , who handled the deal with NAI's Tymber Lee .

"We're just thrilled to death to see them have a presence in Wichita," Penner says. "We hope this is a harbinger of more to come."

Siemens is opening a wind power distribution center, which will provide storage, procurement, kitting, refurbishment and distribution of tooling that's needed to install wind turbines nationally.

It also will store, repair and distribute new unit transport framing and hardware that's used to move nacelles, towers and blades around the region.

"With more and more wind projects coming online in the U.S., we see this new facility in Wichita as a testament to our continued commitment to providing the highest level of service to our customers and to the overall maturation of the U.S. wind industry," Mark Albenze , CEO of Siemens Energy's Wind Power Americas business, said in a statement.

"Much like Siemens' recently announced new wind service facility in Woodward, Oklahoma, the geographic location of the new Wichita distribution center will allow us to address our customers' installation and distribution needs in a cost-effective and timely manner."

In addition to providing support and distribution services for wind projects nationally, the new Siemens facility will provide Duke Energy with 73 turbines for its Ironwood wind project in Spearville. The company expects that will provide clean power to more than 50,000 Kansas homes.

It also will supply 57 turbines for Duke's Cimarron II project in Gray County.

According to Siemens, the company is second nationally in terms of installed capacity.

The new Wichita center is the company's 11th facility related to the wind power business nationally. Siemens also recently opened a nacelle assembly plant in Hutchinson.

The Wichita center, which is west of 37th and Hydraulic, once was home to the Hayes Co. Up until about eight months ago, Coleman Co. had been leasing space there.

In addition to the building's 74,000 square feet, there is seven acres of storage outside.

Siemens says wind power is part of its environmental portfolio, which had $38.5 billion in revenues in fiscal 2010. The company says that makes Siemens the world's leading supplier of eco-friendly technologies.

Hospitable move

The Martens Cos. has added a new division.

The company already has Grubb & Ellis/Martens Commercial Group , Martens Appraisal and Huffman Corridor Consulting . It also added Receivership Services Corp. earlier this year.

Now, the company has formed Hospitality Management .

"It was an opportunity that we wanted to take advantage of," says CEO Steve Martens .

Due to the company's role as a bankruptcy court trustee and through state court receiverships, Martens says his company has managed a half dozen properties over the years.

With the new division, the company is now actively pursuing those opportunities.

Its first deal is managing 122 rooms in Blackwell, Okla., at the Comfort Inn and the Best Western .

Martens also now has a small ownership in those properties.

"We are having discussions with other motel (and) hotel owners and pursuing other business," he says.

It sounds like Martens is open to other new divisions as well, though he isn't talking specifics.

"We're just looking for opportunities and new business and ... ways to grow and expand."

With the new divisions and with other employees he's added in the last 20 months or so, Martens says his company now employs more than 100 people.

"That's kind of a big deal for a little company."

Lifting the Learjet lid

The National Geographic Channel is in Wichita shooting at Bombardier Learjet for its "Megafactories "show.

"Megafactories lifts the lid on how millions of your everyday products and iconic designs begin life on the assembly line," according to the show's website.

When the show contacted Bombardier Learjet, it wasn't a difficult decision, says manager of communications Peggy Gross .

"It will be a story of basically how does a Learjet get built," she says.

Gross calls it "great exposure" for the company, so there was "absolutely no hesitation about doing this."

A crew has been here two weeks and will wrap shooting on Friday.

The show will follow the making of one customer's plane. Because it normally takes months to build a Learjet, some of the steps in the process will feature similar planes instead of that customer's plane.

Gross says one of the most thrilling moments of shooting came when she accompanied the crew in a plane that flew in formation with the customer's plane on a test flight.

"That was fabulous."

She says National Geographic crew members have remarked how nice and helpful everyone at the plant has been.

"Everybody has done their best to support them," she says.

The show will air in early 2012. We'll let you know the show time as soon as it's scheduled.

You don't say

"I am here because I have found that I have much more to offer than just preparing meals, but to rather relive their past memories and help make new ones."

—Chef Roni Attari's e-mailed explanation of why he's now working for Derby's new Glen Carr House memory care residence instead of at a restaurant as he has for years