UPDATED – Mayflower Clinic founder Abdul Arif wants the free medical clinic to survive long after he’s gone, and he says his purchase of the Primeline building at First and Topeka will help ensure that.
“We have the most unique idea you can think of,” the Wichita lawyer says.
He and some friends started the clinic, which serves uninsured and underinsured patients, to give back to the community.
Now, he and three physicians, including clinic volunteer Muthu Kumar, have purchased the vacant 16,800-square-foot building to move the clinic to part of the space on the first floor and have a dozen revenue-generating one-bedroom apartments on the second floor.
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“It’s a source of revenue for the clinic because my whole goal is for the clinic to be self-sustaining,” Arif says.
Ownership eventually will pass on to the clinic.
“It’s kind of like a legacy building thing,” Arif says.
Currently, the Mayflower Clinic is in Arif’s Sutton Place at 209 E. William.
The new space, which is at 154 N. Topeka at the southeast corner of the intersection, has what Arif describes as a massive granite facade. Inside, Arif says he has about $1 million in remodeling to do, but he expects the space to be ready for the clinic in January.
Initially, the clinic will take about 3,000 square feet, but there’s room for it to grow.
Arif says there’s also a full basement, though it needs some work because there are some “awful-looking boilers” among other things.
“It’s just like a medieval torture chamber right now.”
The 7-year-old Mayflower Clinic sees 1,000 patients a year at Sutton Place.
“We just simply outgrew it,” Arif says.
Another medical office, which will be announced soon, is going to open next to the clinic.
“There’s some synergies,” Arif says of the proximity.
For instance, there will be common X-ray equipment.
Mayflower Clinic executive director Chelsea French says the new space will allow extra room for an EKG machine and X-ray machines.
Currently, the clinic has to send patients elsewhere for X-rays.
At the new space, she says, “We can have our own X-ray and do it here at the clinic.”
French says parking also has been problematic at Sutton Place and difficult for wheelchairs.
“Now you can pull up, park and come right in,” she says.
French says there will be more space in each exam room and one extra exam room for five total.
“And then it also just means upgrades,” she says of the new space.
At the apartments, there will be large windows overlooking the Wichita Scottish Rite Center, which is catty-corner to the Primeline building, and other buildings in downtown.
Arif says it’s a new kind of apartment vantage point and a unique structure for a deal.
“Private investment can help support charity,” he says, “… so we’re not forever dependent on some other people for services.”