Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Alliance heads south

Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Alliance is moving south to where Hutton used to be. The real estate company’s east and west offices will consolidate there.

Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Alliance is moving south to where Hutton used to be. The real estate company’s east and west offices will consolidate there.

Courtesy photo

Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Alliance is consolidating its east and west Wichita offices into one larger space, and it’s going to be someplace perhaps unexpected: south Wichita.

“A lot of real estate companies have gone to where you don’t have an office at all,” said owner and broker Greg Fox.

He said he sees value in still having a place for employees to gather and visit, and he thinks the 16,000-square-foot former Hutton building at 2229 S. West St. makes sense for a number of reasons.

“What I found is they have an extremely high-tech, newer building ready to move in that is rock solid,” Fox said.

“They’ve even got a generator out back in case the power goes out. . . . I mean, they did this building right.”

He said every other cubicle or office has its own heating and cooling unit.

“This is high-end stuff.”

A Security 1st Title branch is moving with Better Homes.

“They’re taking a fair portion of the building,” Fox said.

“They’ve been getting requests over the years of, ‘How come there’s no title company south of Kellogg?’ And there’s very few real estate companies south of Kellogg.”

He said lots of people live and work in south Wichita and need both services.

Fox said the office is near K-42 so it has easy access to a lot of places.

“We’re not talking hard access to anyplace in the city. It’s great access.”

He said he had only one agent complain.

“I can’t move that far south,” the agent said before quitting.

Fox said even an employee who lives in Bel Aire doesn’t have a problem with the drive.

The firm opened a 6,500-square-foot office at 6617 W. Central about a decade ago and a 4,200-square-foot east-side office at 1720 N. Webb Road six years ago.

Both of the spaces were leased. So is the new south-side space.

“We could get it a little more affordable,” Fox said of the location.

Affordability is at the heart of the move, he said.

“Running two offices is getting kind of expensive in overhead. Running one office saves you money.”

Fox said he hopes this is his final move.

“I’m 66 now. I don’t want to do this again.”

Carrie Rengers has been a reporter for more than three decades, including almost 20 years at The Wichita Eagle. Her Have You Heard? column of business scoops runs five days a week in The Eagle. If you have a tip, please e-mail or tweet her or call 316-268-6340.