Sedgwick County will buy the Coleman building at Second and St. Francis in downtown Wichita.
Under the agreement, the county will pay $600,000 for the property, listed in 2008 for $1.7 million and for $1.25 million last year.
The county would build 500 parking spaces on the property and 14 parking spaces for people with disabilities.
The county also will have to pay $300,000 for the demolition of the building and about $600,000 for paving.
“This fulfills a promise to the people about parking,” commissioner Kelly Parks said.
Commissioners voted unanimously to move forward on the purchase. Parks said he would like to see the lot be free for events at Intrust Bank Arena. The purchase of the lot will be paid for by money collected during the arena sales tax, not by property taxes.
Jeff Fluhr, executive director of the Wichita Downtown Development Corporation, said the parking would enhance the overall development plan for downtown.
An effort by chairman Karl Peterjohn to delay the vote for a week failed. He had wanted to wait because commissioner Gwen Welshimer is absent due to a recent surgery.
Danielle McCoy told commissioners she would like to see the area used as a green space and if that is not possible, to be sure to add trees, shrubs and other plants to prevent runoff.
Uses for the property are limited because of groundwater contamination at the site.
“I can’t find anything negative in the logic of this purchase except spending money,” commissioner Dave Unruh said.