The newly renovated CorTen building in the heart of downtown has another new tenant, which brings its occupancy to about 75 percent.
“Honestly, I fell in love with the exterior and then when I got inside, I was blown away,” says Lacy McDowell, U.S. manager of Global Partner Solutions LLC.
“The way the building has been updated is really exciting.”
Developers Robert Eyster and Michael Ramsey started transforming the former Merrill Lynch building at the southeast corner of Douglas and Market earlier this year.
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Since then, Cassandra Bryan moved her Cassandra Bryan Design to the space and Kacy Meinecke moved her Kacy Meinecke Photography there. Transportation and logistics provider Airgroup Express is finishing up its move into the building.
Leisa Lowry of J.P. Weigand & Sons handled all of the deals.
Global Partner Solutions also is in the midst of moving in. Like its decade-old sister company, Canadian-based Global Partner Solutions Inc., the LLC does supplier surveillance for manufacturers to help them get quality parts on time.
“It’s long-term, sustainable solutions internally within those suppliers,” McDowell says. “What sets us apart is … we actually recruit local people in that area to go in. … Typically, they wind up being a long-term employee of ours.”
She says that saves manufacturers money in travel expenses.
The LLC has been operating in the U.S. since 2012, and McDowell joined in 2013.
“The business in the U.S. was not really being developed.”
She says she focused on recruiting and staffing, and the business has “grown substantially from there.”
There are four employees in Wichita.
“We run a really lean organization,” McDowell says.
The business has been in Office Park Plaza near Douglas and Oliver, which McDowell says has been great but is too small and hasn’t given Global Partner Solutions the best branding opportunities.
CorTen and its more visible signage, she says, “allows us to develop and really hone our brand.”
“The signage on Douglas is absolutely fantastic,” McDowell says.
“It plays into our marketing strategy moving forward. … That’s something we’ve missed as a newer organization in the U.S. and in Wichita.”
Meinecke says she, too, sees opportunity with the CorTen building.
After doing weddings and commercial work out of her home and other studios for four years, Meinecke says her business now needs more space. She says she’s attracted to the other young entrepreneurs locating at CorTen and downtown in general.
She says Michael Ramsey’s innovations at CorTen give a boost to the businesses there.
“I feel like he has this really great vision of making Wichita even greater than it is,” Meinecke says.
“It’s everybody working together to make downtown Wichita just this beautiful, inspiring place to be.”