A well-known wedding venue in the Wichita area is up for sale.
The owners of Stone Hill Barn in Augusta — a 40-acre property that includes the event venue, an open-air chapel and a three-bedroom home — plan to sell both the real estate and the business itself through an online auction put on by McCurdy Auction. Bidding is open until 2 p.m. Thursday.
Husband and wife Wade and Jennifer Taylor opened Stone Hill in 2016, building the event venue to look like an aging country barn — what has became a popular destination for rustic-inspired weddings. But outside of managing the property, Wade Taylor runs Wade Taylor Homes, a custom home builder, and Jennifer Taylor is an eye doctor at Grene Vision Group.
They're ready to step away and have a new owner to take over, said McCurdy's Rick Brock, the auction manager, who spoke on the owners' behalf.
"They're both very busy in their careers and they've done over 300 events in the years that they've had it, they've built everything up," Brock said. "They've really enjoyed it, I mean, it is a very, very successful ongoing business but, you know, I think sometimes we all get really pretty stretched."
In an effort to slow down, Brock said Stone Hill started hosting only one event each weekend instead of three or four.
"I think they immediately realized that there was business there that they were basically turning away," Brock said, adding that there's also the potential for business during the week, too. "That's kind of what brought them to the conclusion that, 'You know what, we need to just go ahead and sell this and let the next person continue.... and kind of ramp it back up.'"
Located at 9333 SW Haverhill Road in Augusta, the sale will include everything on the 40-acre property, including a three-bedroom, craftsman cottage custom home that wedding parties
The 7,000 square-foot barn is climate-controlled with two HVAC systems, two restrooms, a prep kitchen, storage areas and a hay loft room. Folding tables and chairs will be included.
The open-air chapel, with reclaimed antique stained-glass windows, can fit 300 people.
Other features on the property include a covered pergola, a 24-by-16 cedar studio or "man cave," a cottage-like garden shed, a two-story metal silo and two additional storage sheds.
Besides the real estate assets, the auction also involves the event venue business and its existing contracts already booked for 2022. The buyer will have the option to either maintain or cancel events scheduled for 2023.
"We've specified all that in our materials, but whoever the new owner is will of course fulfill the agreements that they have through 2022," Brock said.
The online bidding began Oct. 5 and will end at 2 p.m. Thursday. So far, the highest bid is for $750,000, but Brock says bidding activity usually picks up toward the end. The highest bid will be subject to seller confirmation.
Brock said he suspects such an expansive property is likely to attract out-of-state interest.
"It is a very, very unique property, to say the least," he said. "I don't know of anything else really in our market that is like this and that has the features that this particular property has, and certainly even the potential to be more than what it is today."
Article by Shelby Kellerman from the Wichita Business Journal.