By Joshua Witt
This article was originally published by The Wichita Business Journal.
A little over a year after laying out a vision to transform one of downtown Wichita’s historic — but long-vacant — buildings, Keycentrix is now settled into its new headquarters.
The locally-based company, a provider of business-enhancing software and technology for pharmacies, recently moved into the former Legacy Antique Mall on the southwest corner of Douglas and Emporia.
It’s a significant moment not just for the company but the city’s core, which has seen multiple reimagined buildings come online this year and is poised for further rapid growth thanks in large part to a planned $300-million biomedical campus.
“For Keycentrix, having the opportunity to move into a purpose-built space was excellent,” said Jeff Lucas, Keycentrix’s vice president of operations.
Step inside the three-story building, originally constructed in 1916, and a person will see a dramatically different space compared to just a year ago — but also one that preserves elements of the property’s history.
As for the new: there are open work spaces on each floor to go along with a variety of collaboration areas and modern lighting fixtures throughout.
The second floor includes a large breakroom, an additional activity space with cornhole and a wellness room for nursing mothers.
Traditional offices are limited in favor of “pod offices,” and there are five conference rooms.
Keycentrix’s previous offices near 21st and Woodlawn were spread across two buildings, and the company has said it believes the move will enhance teamwork.
With the company eyeing continued growth, Lucas said the fresh headquarters can be a big piece of recruiting and keeping employees.
“For the younger generation, where they work and what it looks like makes a big difference to them,” he said. “So being located where we’re at, and having this attractive building with the nostalgia of being this old building but with the newer technology, helps attract talent.”
There are also upgrades that aren’t as easy to see but have been impactful, Keycentrix officials said.
In an effort spearheaded for months by Cameron Shove, senior director of IT and security, the building now has integrated access control security. That allows cameras, motion detectors and access readers to “talk to each other,” Lucas said.
It also means Keycentrix employees can enter the offices with their cellphones instead of needing a more traditional keycard.
While many high-end touches were added, the building’s original ceilings and floors were preserved and restored.
“The floors, to me, just add an element,” Lucas said. “They pop.”
The renovation project team included general contractor Icon Structures, property manager Vantage Point Properties and LK Architecture.
Keycentrix owner Cochener Garvey Capital Partners, Inc. (CGCPI), a local family investment firm, bought the property in 2022 from Vantage Point.
CGCPI and Net-Ability — another Cochener Garvey Capital Partners business — have also moved into the building.
While declining to disclose the total cost of the project, CGCPI president and CEO David Redfern shared, via a Keycentrix spokesperson, that the effort was completed below budget.
Construction work launched last year following the Wichita City Council’s approval of up to $11 million in industrial revenue bonds, among other incentives, to revitalize the 27,000 square-foot property that had been vacant since 2018.
The HQ move, which had originally been targeted for summer 2023, is one of two big changes for the company this year, as it also named Binny John as its new president in August following the resignation of Luis Rodriguez in May.
While the Keycentrix team has been working from the new HQ since Nov. 28, there are still some finishing touches to come.
Ashley Brunhoeber, marketing manager at Keycentrix, said exterior windows still need to be replaced and that will happen by late February or March.
In addition, a planned podcast room has yet to go live but is set to be added in mid-2024.
There’s also 2,700 square feet of ground-floor commercial space available to be leased. InSite Real Estate Group has the listing.
Of note: while the Keycentrix headquarters originally had an anticipated address of 105 S. Emporia, that address is designated for that ground-floor commercial space.
423 E. Douglas is officially the new Keycentrix address.
“From a location standpoint, I don’t really think you can pick a better location on Douglas for us,” Lucas said. “The location, location, location is awesome.”
Lucas, who is active in the Wichita Independent Business Association, said as construction progressed he would field questions from those outside the company on when the new HQ would open its doors.
“A lot of people have had eyes on this,” he said.
Brunhoeber said Keycentrix bringing in new workers to the core has also brought enthusiasm.
“When we say that we’re bringing approximately 80 employees downtown, people just light up and get excited to support you,” she said.