Carrie Rengers

Phil Ruffin isn’t worried about being Trumped in size

Phil Ruffin says he’s not competing with his good buddy Donald Trump with the large new letters that spell his name on the former Bank of America Center.
Phil Ruffin says he’s not competing with his good buddy Donald Trump with the large new letters that spell his name on the former Bank of America Center. The Wichita Eagle

Phil Ruffin says he’s not competing with his good buddy Donald Trump with a new sign on the building he owns at Douglas and Broadway.

The building has been known as the Bank of America Center in recent years, but the bank slashed its space from 50,000 square feet to 12,000 square feet and lost naming rights.

Ruffin says there was no other tenant large enough to name it after, so he’s calling it the Ruffin Building.

There are now huge white letters proclaiming his name at the top of the building, and they’re quite similar to the ones bearing Trump’s name on his hotel and condo tower in downtown Chicago.

That’s the one that caused a controversy for the size of the letters and prompted Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel to propose an ordinance to prevent others from doing the same.

Trump and Ruffin both already used large letters to spell “Trump” on the hotel and condo tower they own together in Las Vegas.

“It was very effective here in Las Vegas, and so we just did the same thing,” Ruffin says. “But we weren’t trying to compete with him.”

To avoid confusion with the Ruffin Building he already owns at 9111 E. Douglas, Ruffin says he’s now going to call that space the Ruffin Building East.

Incoming Wichita Mayor Jeff Longwell has no problem with the size of Ruffin’s letters.

“I am thrilled that we have people like Ruffin that want to consider Wichita home and are willing to invest in Wichita,” Longwell says. “If I had my way, I’d have made it a couple of times bigger.”

And no, Longwell says, Ruffin wasn’t a campaign donor.

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

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