Sedgwick County is trying to renegotiate its deal to buy the former IRS building downtown because of problems with mold caused by leaking windows.
Commissioners voted 3-2 in August to buy the building at 271 W. Third St. for $5 million to house the main tag office, the Metropolitan Area Building and Construction Department, Metropolitan Area Planning Department, the appraiser’s office, environmental resources and the Sheriff’s Office’s professional standards unit.
County Manager William Buchanan said it would cost $3,100 to deal with the mold itself and $85,000 to make repairs to windows to stop the leaking that has led to mold.
The county has flagged some Americans with Disabilities Act compliance issues with the sidewalk to the building as well, Buchanan said this week. Fixing the width and slope of the sidewalk will cost about $28,000.
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The county has proposed reducing the price of the building by the total cost of repairs.
The owner wants to close on the building by the end of the year, Buchanan said. There’s a Dec. 12 deadline to accept the offer or extend the offer, Buchanan said.
Asked whether he thought the county might bow out, Buchanan said, “We’ll see.” He told commissioners Tuesday that the “ball is in the owner’s court.”
The owner of the building is DL Wichita I LLC, according to county property records. That company, identified as a foreign limited liability company, has an Oklahoma address, records from the Kansas Secretary of State show.
The cost for construction for renovations was estimated in August at $6,316,896. Furnishings were expected to come in at almost $1.3 million. The county would finance the project with a general obligation to be sold next year, county officials said when commissioners voted on the purchase.
With transaction costs and interest, the total debt service would be about $18.4 million, according to figures presented in August. The building, appraised by the county at $4,269,800 according to public records, offers 92,372 square feet.