Archive for Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Two businesses filling up commercial space on 24-40

Dry cleaners, sandwich shop to open next month

July 21, 2004

In recent weeks, Tonganoxie's business activity has been changing.

A dry cleaners and a new restaurant are in the works.

For developer Ken Hayes, who last year constructed a 16,500-square-foot commercial building at the corner of U.S. Highway 24-40 and Main Street, Tonganoxie has been a good investment.

He knew early on that Dollar General, which opened last fall, would anchor the shopping area. Soon after that, Couch Potato and a coin-operated laundry signed on.

"I didn't feel like we were taking too large a risk because we had all of the building leased except for this 2,500-square-foot on the end," Hayes said. "We already had the Dollar General, the Laundromat and the video store."

Ken Downing, who lives near Tonganoxie, and Phil Robertson, Lawrence, plan in mid-August to open a dry cleaning shop, "Value Cleaners," in Hayes' building.

Customers who drop off the dry cleaning and laundry by 9 a.m. will be able to pick it up after 5 p.m. the same day.

Downing thinks his customers will appreciate his one-price concept.

"What we hope to do is provide a better product at a reasonable rate," Downing said. "It will be more reasonable than the other dry cleaners by probably 25 to 30 percent."

The clothes will be cleaned at a laundry in Lawrence, Downing said.

The clothes will be cleaned at a laundry in Lawrence, Downing said.

It made sense to the business partners to open their shop in Tonganoxie, said Downing, who with his partner has a total of 24 years' experience in the dry cleaning business.

"We think that there's a market here and it will continue to grow," Downing said. "We hope to open another shop in five or six months in Baldwin, too."

Next door to the dry cleaners is the future home of a Subway restaurant.

Cory Skinner, director of real estate for Rottinghaus Co., said Tonganoxie appears to be a good market for Subway. The restaurant will likely open by mid-August, Skinner said.

Rottinghaus owns 150 Subways, most in the Midwest, Skinner said.

"We locate restaurants where we feel like we're going to do a good business," Skinner said. "And Tonganoxie looked like an area where we felt we could be successful."

When making site selections, Skinner said, Rottinghaus looks for proximity to other fast-food restaurants, to high schools and ball fields.

At Subway, known for its sandwiches served on bread baked fresh each day and for its vegetables, even Skinner has his favorite.

"It's the chicken teriyaki sandwich," Skinner said.

The nearest Subway in the area opened last week in Bonner Springs in a free-standing building near the turnpike just off Kansas Highway 7.

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