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March 26, 2013

City Council OKs clarification of Exchange Place agreement

A revised ordinance clarifying the development agreement for a major downtown project won approval from the Wichita City Council on Tuesday.

A revised ordinance clarifying the development agreement for a major downtown project won approval from the Wichita City Council on Tuesday.

The ordinance for Exchange Place, the $65 million downtown apartment project developed by John McWilliams of Taos Holdings, cleans up what Mayor Carl Brewer called some “paperwork problems” with $9.03 million in tax-increment bond financing to be issued by the city for the project.

The change was passed without comment by the council as part of its consent agenda, a listing of multiple items to be approved under one vote without public debate.

Two mistakes were made, according to city documents: In December 2012, a revised bonding ordinance for Exchange Place was not properly published. And the original ordinance authorized the issuance of bonds in the project but did not include language authorizing the execution of the project’s development agreement.

The Exchange Place project includes 230 apartments and a 271-stall automated parking garage. It was originally the signature downtown residential project of Michael Elzufon and David Lundberg, also known as the Minnesota Guys.

Those developers, beset by financial problems and a state securities fraud investigation, sold the project to McWilliams in December 2012.

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