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Monday, April 21, 2014

Developers renew mortgage on Wichita Executive Centre, plan renovations

By Dan Voorhis
The Wichita Eagle

Michael Elzufon, the Minnesota-based CEO of Real Development, said Friday that his firm had the mortgage for its marquee property renewed and is using some of the money to invest in the building.

He said he and his partners are spending $300,000 to renovate the heating and air conditioning system, and clean and remodel the entryway from the parking garage at the Wichita Executive Centre, formerly the SC Telcom building, at 125 N. Market.

During last year’s long, hot summer, the building’s air conditioning stopped working and the elevators occasionally stopped working as well.

“This summer won’t be anything but comfortable, thank goodness,” Elzufon said.

Security National of Salt Lake City, Utah, renewed the $5.6 million mortgage for Wichita Executive Centre. Elzufon described that as a vote of confidence in the project.

Elzufon and partner David Lundberg purchased more than a dozen older downtown buildings between 2004 and 2006, and they rehabilitated several of them, making a profit by selling space in the buildings to small investors.

When the credit crunch hit, they ran into cash flow problems that halted work, left some vendors unpaid and produced lawsuits. In addition, most of the initial investors who bought space went into foreclosure.

The city of Wichita had also extended loans to pay for exterior renovation at some of the buildings, but the city stopped funding exterior work at Wichita Executive Centre in 2010 when the pair didn’t pay vendors working on the renovation.

In a separate project, the council had agreed to give them $10.3 million in tax increment financing to convert Exchange Place at Market and Douglas and nearby buildings into 230 apartments, but the council halted that also, until the pair could repay the Wichita Executive Centre vendors. The Exchange Place apartment project also awaits final approval for a $30 million loan guarantee from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Reach Dan Voorhis at 316-268-6577 or dvoorhis@wichitaeagle.com.

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