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Ex-Automobilia space getting new tenants

Tuesday, July 16 2013 12:00 AM

Ex-Automobilia space getting new tenants 

Published By: The Wichita Eagle

 The former Automobilia space at the northeast corner of First and Emporia is getting a new life along with some new tenants.

“It’s kind of something we’ve been looking at for a long time because we’ve got a vested interest in our property across the street,” says Brad Saville, president and CEO of Landmark Commercial Real Estate.

The Landmark office is across the street on the southeast corner. Saville, Landmark broker  Scott Harper and another partner formed 2point LLC to redevelop the space that used to be home to Automobilia, which moved next to Bondie’s Old Town Antique Mall at Central and Mosley a couple of years ago.

Saville and his partners are calling their property Firestone Place.

He thinks the original occupant of the building was a Firestone tire dealership. He’s still trying to learn more about it.

“I’m really interested in the history of it.”

SBA Construction and Innovative Construction Service are remodeling the 8,271-square-foot space. Features include exposed brick, open ceilings and easy-access parking.

There’s room for three tenants in the building. Harper and Landmark’s Craig Simon are handling the deals.

One, Susie and Jim Smith’s  Twotrees Technologies, is signed.

The 30-year-old company, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Tulsa-based Woodard Technology & Investments, provides Internet management for school systems. Currently, it’s in the  Equity Bank building at Kellogg and Rock Road.

“We just wanted to move down where there’s more entertainment options,” Susie Smith says. She says downtown will be better for entertaining clients.

The company is taking 3,800 square feet, which is about the size it’s in now. The move probably will happen in October.

“We’re an old company,” Smith says. “Been around a long time. We’re looking to refresh our image and our look.”

She says she and her husband want a “more vibrant community” and a “more hip area.”

“We’re looking forward to being part of the downtown community.”

‘Scary’ excitement

Four years after opening Roo Grayson just north of Central and Woodlawn, Karla and Julian Binns plan to reopen their store just west of the intersection. They’re moving to a former medical building they purchased at 6200 E. Central next to Williams Ace Hardware.

“It’s three times the size,” Karla Binns says. “It’s scary. It’s very scary, but it’s extremely exciting.”

The existing space at 515 N. Woodlawn is more than 6,000 square feet. The new space is almost 18,000 square feet.

Elyssa Seymour and Steve Martens of NAI Martens handled the deal.

Binns says the move, which she hopes will happen in September, will allow her to sell more bedding and furniture and have a bigger design center and a new rug line. The store also will add a silk floral department with the move.

Since former neighbor Twigs closed, Binns says, “We have so much traffic for that kind of thing.”

She says she’s been listening to customers and what they say they want to buy. Binns says she knows sometimes people go outside of Wichita to find what they want.

“I know it’s fun to go out of town and shop,” she says. “I’m trying to do my best to bring what everyone is asking for to Wichita.”

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