Wichita council approves parking garage repair plan, bonds for apartment project

03/25/2014 6:06 AM

03/25/2014 6:06 AM

A $6.85 million plan to repair a downtown garage was approved by the Wichita City Council on Tuesday, after officials heard from business owners and others about the need to move forward with the project.

The plan calls for stabilization and improvement at the parking structure at Market and William. The garage originally accommodated 550 vehicles, but the project will allow parking for about 240 vehicles, officials said.

In May 2012 the Metropolitan Area Building & Construction Department closed the garage because it had fallen into disrepair, according to city documents.

Main and Market LLC, a Chicago-based property investment company, owned the garage, and the city owned the land it was on. Main and Market had stopped making lease payments and also was not up to date on taxes on the garage, according to city officials. The city acted to foreclose on the building last year, and in September the city won a judgment against the company for $239,000 for back lease payments and taxes, and $4.85 million for devaluing the property.

City documents show the plan is to use fund the project using money from three sources: the Adopted Capital Improvement Program, a Garage Reserve Fund and $3.4 million from general obligation bonds.

The council also heard a request from Lux Building LLC, which is seeking up to $14.45 million in industrial revenue bonds. The bonds are for a nearly $20 million project converting the former KG&E headquarters at First and Market into 60 apartments and two floors of commercial office and retail space.

The council approved the IRB request.

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