Occidental Management chairman Gary Oborny has sold his company’s namesake building.
Baltimore LLC, a group of local investors, has purchased Occidental Plaza at 300 N. Main St. downtown for an undisclosed sum.
“It’s the patriarch of historical buildings for all of Wichita,” Oborny says.
The 1873 building started as the Occidental Hotel and is the oldest brick commercial building in the city.
It was the first commercial property Oborny purchased when starting his company in 1997 in a 200-square-foot office in the building.
So why sell it?
“Our company’s been transitioning,” he says. “The property values that we need to be developing are much larger.”
Oborny purchased the building from longtime Pizza Hut franchisee Ken Wagnon, who bought it in 1980.
“For the most part, it was shut down, and he took it and totally redid it from top to bottom,” Oborny says. “He put so much love into that building, I always told him every time I saw him . . . I was just managing it for him. I always still considered it his building. . . . He would just laugh.”
Oborny now has an 8,000-square-foot office in Northrock 6 Offices at 8111 E. 32nd St. North.
He says the Occidental name, which he considers to mean “pinnacle” or “top level,” still fits his business. He’s not going to change it.
Nathan Farha and Jeff Englert of NAI Martens represented Baltimore in the deal.
The 32,500-square-foot building is 35 percent occupied. The new owners plan to keep it for offices while considering what the best long-term use of the space is.
There will be some updates for current tenants.
Oborny isn’t exactly nostalgic for the building, but he has been remembering some of the moments he’s had there through the years.
When he did his first big deal — $4.5 million for Northwest Centre — Oborny had David Harris and some other bankers to Occidental Plaza, but he didn’t have office furniture yet.
“A couple of the guys were sitting in the windowsills,” Oborny says. “It was hilarious.”
He says a lot has happened at the iconic property.
“I mean, that building has seen everything.”