WICHITA -- With two late-arriving offers in hand, the Wichita City Council today put off a decision for a week on the fate of the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame building at 238 N. Mead.
City Manager Robert Layton said offers from Wichita commercial developer Gary Oborny's OMIA LLC and Shark Equity Investments LLC led him to seek a week's delay. The council will consider the three offers during the Oct. 20 meeting.
The council had been expected to rule today on a $1.43 million bid from Old Town developer David Burk, who said last week he was working on a deal to house 100 Airbus aircraft engineers there.
Bill Greer, head of Airbus' North American Engineering, told The Eagle last week he asked Burk to buy the building and lease it to his firm for additional engineering work that might be assigned here.
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"In fairness, I owe it to the council to present all three proposals," Layton said this afternoon. "They need the benefit of knowing they have three proposals before accepting one."
Layton said one offer arrived late Friday afternoon and the other on Monday. Each has similar financial terms to the Burk offer.
"I don't think they're going to make much difference to the city in terms of what we receive," Layton said. "They're all in the same ballpark financially."
Oborny said he's interested in developing the building for office tenants, including Airbus if necessary.
"We have some potential tenants on line and we're willing to work with Airbus, too," he said.
Oborny said the building probably is unsuitable for retail uses, given its location.
"I don't personally feel like retail could go there," he said. "If you were on the other side, though, where you've got more of a mix of uses, then you'd have some potential there."
Shark Equity is housed at 300 W. Douglas, according to the Kansas Secretary of State's database. Its registered agent is Vincent Burnett.
The city bought the 26,000-square-foot building in 2003 for $600,000 and renovated it for the hall of fame. But the museum ran into financial problems and couldn't pay its rent. It's moving to the Wichita Boathouse.
Wichita Mayor Carl Brewer said any sale would benefit city taxpayers.
"Any opportunity you can get to unload city property, get it back on the tax rolls and get people in it is great for the city."