Carrie Rengers

Stephan evicted from Eaton Place, which he says has maintenance issues

FILE. Eaton Hotel.
FILE. Eaton Hotel. The Wichita Eagle

Melad Stephan has been evicted from Eaton Place, he says, “if that’s what you want to call it.”

Leo Goseland says it doesn’t matter what you call it.

“He was given notice to pay the rent or move,” says Goseland, a real estate broker.

“You can call it what you want to call it, but the locks were being changed at the time he took his belongings out.”

Goseland isn’t a manager at Eaton Place, but he’s been hired to try to lease the 10,000-square-foot space at the southwest corner of Douglas and St. Francis.

“I was out of there anyway,” Stephan says.

He began using the space, where the Eaton Steakhouse once was, about three years ago for events for his Empire Catering.

Stephan says there were issues at Eaton Place, such as an air conditioning unit that malfunctioned during an event.

“I gave them enough sufficient time to fix it,” he says of Eaton Place.

He says he lost money over the issue when guests complained during an April wedding.

“People were mad,” Stephan says. “I had to refund their money.”

He says another time, an Eaton Place tenant came into an event to complain about noise, which he says was unacceptable.

Stephan says he’s now going to have events in private rooms at his Oeno wine bar in Old Town, where he can hold up to 200 people.

Goseland says the Eaton Place space is incredibly nice and that Stephan “wasn’t very aggressive booking it.”

He says when Stephan first began using the space, there wasn’t much demand for large retail or restaurant space downtown.

That’s changed, Goseland says.

“There’s a market for it now,” he says. “We’re aggressively looking for restaurants and, surprisingly, now retail.”

Goseland says it would be hard to divide the space because of its square shape.

He thinks there’s a 10,000-square-foot tenant out there who will want it all, though, “with the economics and with everything going on downtown.”

“There’s just an awful lot more going on downtown.”

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