Carrie Rengers

Grand Chapel for sale; new wedding business folds

After a second wedding business closed at the Grand Chapel, the building is once again on the market.
After a second wedding business closed at the Grand Chapel, the building is once again on the market. File photo

The Grand Chapel downtown is, once again, for sale.

Actually, it never stopped being for sale after Dennis Wilkie and his wedding business left the building last year.

In November, bed-and-breakfast operator Ken Elliott said he was buying the building and doing his own business there for weddings and receptions.

“Obviously, it’s closed,” says Elliott, who ran the business for a few months. “Beyond that, I really don’t have anything to comment on.”

Building owner Ron Smith says that “Mr. Elliott wanted to buy it but couldn’t raise the finances.”

“We never entered into a contract, although we wanted to,” Smith says.

“I think he did a couple little Christmas shows, and that was about the extent of it.”

Previously, Smith says he financed the building for Wilkie, who leased it from him.

The former First Church of Christ, Scientist building at 828 N. Broadway turned 100 last year.

Smith says it’s a “beautiful facility” and could return to being a church. He says he’s talking to some churches about buying it.

He says he’d give them or a nonprofit a break on the price.

“We’re going to find somebody and make them a good deal,” he says. “That’s really the truth.”

Smith, who is in real estate, says he’s not “interested in running a wedding chapel … or starting a church.”

Reach Carrie Rengers at 316-268-6340 or crengers@wichitaeagle.com. Follow her on Twitter: @CarrieRengers.

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