The historic Coleman Co. building at Second and St. Francis in downtown Wichita will be torn down.
Wichita City Council members on Tuesday overturned the city's historic preservation board's decision to block the demolition of the building based on its historic stature.
City officials recommended the council overturn the board because the building has been abandoned for years, has a history of code violations and is a nuisance.
Council members agreed, giving Sedgwick County the go-ahead to tear it down and build a surface parking lot in its place. Council member Janet Miller added a caveat, asking that the county incorporate some elements of the Coleman building into the aesthetics of the parking lot.
For years, developers have sought to redevelop the site, which is near Old Town. But soil and groundwater contamination made the site too expensive to transform into anything but a parking lot.
Coleman officials and state environmental officials agreed that nothing but a parking lot would be built on the site.
Sedgwick County commissioners voted in August to buy the building, tear it down and build a 500-space parking lot with 14 additional spaces for people with disabilities. The county estimated it will cost $300,000 to demolish the building and $600,000 to build the parking lot.
Under the deal, Coleman remains responsible for dealing with the ongoing cleanup of the site.