Keycentrix president talks vision for downtown office, growth – Wichita Business Journal – The Business Journals


As Keycentrix searched for a new home in Wichita, it looked for the right square footage and good access to parking.
It also wanted to make a statement, Keycentrix president Luis Rodriguez said.
“We wanted to choose a building that says, ‘Hey, the city is behind us. The city believes in us’,” Rodriguez said. “That’s how we landed on it. Can you get any more prominent than Douglas and Emporia? Is there a better spot?”
In a sitdown with the WBJ, Rodriguez talked about the company’s planned move to the former Legacy Antique Mall building, its multi-million dollar renovation ahead and how it fits into the technology company’s growth strategy.
Keycentrix — which last week received the City Council’s approval on up to $11 million in industrial revenue bonds, among other incentives, for the effort — held an event inside the three-story, 27,000 square-foot building to provide a further look at the state of the property and where it’s headed.
“It is not ‘new walls, new carpet,’” Rodriguez said. “It needs some significant rehabilitation.”
Keycentrix, a provider of business-enhancing software and technology for pharmacies, is targeting summer 2023 for the move from its current space near 21st Street and Woodlawn in northeast Wichita.
Rodriguez detailed several features in the new headquarters’ design at 105 S. Emporia.
On the first floor, the lobby will aim for comfort “while still being nice,” he said.
Keycentrix will have five conference rooms — two in a flex-space, divided by folding glass walls, that can turn into a large meeting area. There will be a podcast room, as well.
Traditional offices will be limited in favor of “pod offices” on every floor. Those small spaces will be suited for 1-on-1s and soundproof. One room will double as a wellness room for nursing mothers and for on-site health initiatives, like flu shots.
Rodriguez’s favorite interior feature? The breakroom.
“In there we’re going to have a cereal wall,” he said, noting it’ll be free for employees and that it’s on the second floor to encourage gathering at a centralized spot. “I’m so excited about it, because I love cereal.”
Keycentrix’s building team includes Icon Structures, LK Architecture and Vantage Point Properties, which is selling the building to Keycentrix’s owner Cochener Garvey Capital Partners, Inc., a local family investment firm.
The exterior will also see significant upgrades, including plans for a blade Keycentrix sign with lighting.
While there will be big changes, Rodriguez said the company wants to honor the building constructed in 1916. That includes trying to keep the ceiling and restore the hardwood floors.
“We didn’t want to erase it and then ‘tech-ify’ it to death and not pay homage to what is endearing about the space,” he said.
The move positions Keycentrix for growth from its current 80 employees. While Rodriguez did not give an employee growth target number, he said the move is aligned with anticipated expansion.
Rodriguez said Keycentrix is looking at buying companies to boost its impact beyond work with pharmacies.
”We have an acquisition strategy we’re vetting,” he said, adding there will also likely be organic growth. “Nothing’s on the table for close yet. We’re eyeballing some acquisitions that will allow us to step broader into health care.”
Rodriguez did not disclose specific software solutions or companies being evaluated.
“We think there are a lot of community-based health organizations and humble private practices that need better operational software and are currently being overcharged, and it’s contributing to the cost of health care,” Rodriguez said.
Vantage Point will be leasing 2,700 square feet of ground floor space, not currently slated for Cochener businesses (Cochener’s Net-Ability is also on track to make a move to the building), to a to-be-determined tenant.
Rodriguez said Keycentrix is open to multiple types of businesses, like a coffee shop or an office tenant that “adds to the downtown landscape.”
“If it’s a tech company, likely, there are some synergies we can gain, and if it’s not a tech company, it’s something our employees can support,” he said. “Ultimately, they’ll be in our building, and we’ll want to champion them.”
Keycentrix’s move into a property vacant since 2018 is one of a series of recent downtown building revitalization plans — one involving the former Commerce Bank Building — while multiple technology companies, like Novacoast, have expanded their mark on Wichita.
“We’re thrilled to have Keycentrix join us in downtown Wichita, not only because they are bringing life back to this historic building, but their investment strengthens the synergy underway in creating a distinctive downtown that is so critical in retaining and recruiting talent,” said Jeff Fluhr, president of the Greater Wichita Partnership, in a statement.
Rodriguez said he’s received a flood of positive emails on the company’s planned move and remains appreciative of the city’s incentive approvals.
“The level of support has been humbling,” Rodriguez said.
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