The county asked and developers answered.
Sixteen real estate agencies and developers, including many prominent names in local real estate, submitted bids to house the city and county’s planning and construction departments under one roof.
Sedgwick County owns a six-story former IRS building at 271 W. Third St., also known as the 271 building. It bought the building for $4.9 million last year.
But a majority of county commissioners now think remodeling it will cost too much. The county issued a request for proposal in August to give the Metropolitan Area Builders and Construction Department and Metropolitan Area Planning Department a new home.
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Under the proposal, the county will consider options that include providing a new building for the departments or remodeling the 271 building at a cheaper cost. It’s also open to trading away the 271 building.
Only the names of respondents were announced at the board meeting. Their plans and estimates were not.
The request says the departments need a building with about 32,941 square feet of space.
The county also is considering building options that are farther from downtown Wichita, where several of the core government buildings are located.
The county is hoping to recommend a proposal to the board of bids and contracts on Oct. 15. County commissioners would then vote on the plan Oct. 21.
But Facilities Director Steve Claassen says that’s the best case scenario.
“We want to be more thorough rather than prompt,” Claassen said.
Plans for the 271 building, which is about 92,000 square feet, have been in flux for months. The county originally wanted to put its motor vehicle tag office in the building but looked elsewhere because of concerns about the amount of parking. County staff proposed putting several county departments in the building.
It would cost the county about $4.6 million to remodel the six-floor building, at $59 per square foot on the inside, according to architectural estimates in June. With interest, the total cost to the county for the building could be in the neighborhood of $15 million.
When commissioners disagreed about going forward with the 271 building, the remodel plan stalled and the request for proposal was issued.
The request was sent directly to 80 potential vendors in August.
▪ J.P Weigand & Sons, Inc.
▪ John T. Arnold Associates, Inc.
▪ Landmark Commercial Real Estate
▪ NAI Martens
▪ Coates Field Service, Inc.
▪ AG Holdings Group, LLC
▪ Collins Land Service
▪ Steiner Realty, LLC
▪ Crotts Commercial Real Estate
▪ United Country Theurer Auction/Realty, LLC
▪ Paramount Management Corporation
▪ Anderson Management Company, Inc.
▪ Vantage Point Properties, Inc.
▪ Freedom Marketing, Inc.
▪ Coldwell Banker Plaza Real Estate
▪ Universal Field Services
Source: Sedgwick County