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Last visible sign of Coleman Co. activity in downtown Wichita is disappearing

Wednesday, November 28 2018 8:51 AM

The last visible sign of Coleman Co. activity in downtown Wichita is disappearing.

The Coleman Factory Outlet and Museum at 235 N. St. Francis has closed, and the store is now empty.

Its products will now be for sale at what was supposed to be a temporary outlet store in west Wichita at the former OfficeMax building at 2414 N. Maize Road. That space will now be permanent, according to a Coleman employee who preferred not to be named.

Newell Brands, which owns Coleman, didn’t have information immediately available on Tuesday, but a spokeswoman says she’s checking into it. 

The Coleman employee says the building was built for Coleman in 1929 and was a longtime tool and die shop before becoming a store in the 1990s.

The site is also where customers could drop off Coleman products to be fixed. It was the last Coleman service center until its closing in late 2016.

After that, customers could still drop off their Coleman products at the outlet store to be fixed at the Coleman factory at 37th and Hydraulic.

It’s not clear if that’s still the case with the new store. Nor is it clear what’s happening with the museum.

The Coleman employee says the red brick building, which has two-story ceilings, won’t be torn down. It will be remodeled for another business. 

He says he doesn’t know who the buyer is.

A quick check with some usual downtown suspects didn’t turn up a buyer.

Public records still show Coleman in Lexington, Ky., as the owner.

The Coleman building is across the street from what once was known as Factory A, a four-story Coleman building that also opened in 1929.

Workers assembled millions of the world-famous Coleman lanterns and stoves in the building. 

The 96,000-square-foot building was retired in 1990, and Coleman moved most operations north of downtown.

It was razed in 2011 and now is a parking lot that features an outline of the red brick entrance to the former building.

Look for more information on the other former Coleman site as soon as it’s available. 

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