Car dealer Joe Self could repay $2.7 million to the city as part of a settlement for land to expand East Kellogg.
The settlement is one of two the Wichita City Council will consider Tuesday.
Initially, court-appointed appraisers valued Self’s land at $3.5 million. The city paid that amount to the court and then appealed.
Self owns Joe Self Chevrolet-Cadillac at 8801 E. Kellogg and is moving his preowned car center into the space BMW previously occupied at 8701 E. Kellogg.
The negotiated settlement requires Self to pay back $2.713 million and keep a total of $787,000 for part of the property’s frontage on Kellogg, which Self said he bought in 1986.
“It’s been slow, and things have evolved and changed, and it looks like it’s going to be an amicable situation, in our opinion,” Self said. “We’re glad about having it go forward.”
In November 2012, the City Council authorized using eminent domain to acquire several tracts of land needed for the Kellogg expansion after negotiations were unsuccessful.
Self’s land was included in that move.
“The City’s outside counsel and its current appraisers believe that a jury could award (Joe Self) a sum between $500,000 to $3,500,000, based upon the lowest to highest appraisal valuation of the parties,” according to city documents. “The landowner’s appraisers included a number of items which caused its valuations, in the City’s opinion, to be very inflated.”
In the other settlement, between the city and 5 Star Hotel Management Wichita, which owns Hawthorn Suites at 411 S. Webb, the city would pay the company an additional $158,000 on top of the $142,000 already paid, bringing the total settlement to $300,000.
“The City’s outside counsel and its current appraisers believe that a jury could award the property owner between $175,000 to $3,216,000, given the lowest to highest valuation of the parties’ appraisers,” according to city documents. “The reason for such a large spread in valuations is due to the landowner’s appraisers giving considerable value to issues such as impact to access, parking, and traffic flow which the City would argue in court as not compensable.”
In all, about 40 retail and commercial parcels were acquired by the city for the expansion of Kellogg to a six-lane highway, which includes interchanges at Webb Road and the I-35 turnpike.
Eight tracts of land were acquired through eminent domain, said John Philbrick, real estate administrator for the city.
“It just happened that because of the magnitude and differences of opinion, all eight were appealed by one party or the other,” he said.
The two settlements leave six other cases pending, he said.
The ongoing negotiations do not affect the city’s ability to work on the project, Philbrick said.
Kellogg and Webb is the busiest intersection in Wichita, with an average of 69,000 cars a day, said City Council member Pete Meitzner, who represents District 2, where the Kellogg improvements are being made.
“My personal hope is the property owners are paid a fair amount because it is the taxpayers’ money that ends up funding the purchases,” Meitzner said.
“That portion of Kellogg is long overdue and I’m glad we are fast-tracking it. … Basically everyone agrees East Kellogg has to get done.”
Meitzner said he was thankful for federal transportation funds and state funds that have been provided to help speed up the improvements to East Kellogg.
Now, the final touches are being agreed upon between the city and turnpike, he said. The goal is to let the construction out for bid in early 2015 and have it begin in mid-2015. There has already been some demolition and utility movement.
“With major projects like this, we have access roads on the side done so people can still move and businesses can still have access. Once access roads are put in, somewhat temporary, they then tear out the middle,” Meitzner said.
The project could take three or four years to complete, he said.