Carrie Rengers

Epic Center on the market again

The Epic Center, which is the tallest building in Kansas at 23 stories, is once again up for sale.
The Epic Center, which is the tallest building in Kansas at 23 stories, is once again up for sale. File photo

The Epic Center, which is the tallest building in Kansas at 23 stories, is once again for sale.

The last time the 289,154-square-foot building at 301 N. Main St. sold was in 2013. IPC Wichita Properties sold it to current owner BACM 2005-3 Main Woodlawn LLC for almost $16 million. BACM has made more than $2 million in improvements, such as a new roof and HVAC upgrades.

The current county appraisal has the building, which Willard Garvey and his Builders Inc. built in 1986, listed at just over $16 million.

The Epic Center has about an 80 percent occupancy rate and is home to a number of lawyers, accountants and federal workers, including the FBI, Secret Service and U.S. Attorney’s office.

The sellers have gone to the market without an asking price and plan to make a call for offers later this month. There will be guided tours of the building on the afternoon of Aug. 18.

Mike Garvey, who now runs his late grandfather’s company, says Builders takes a look each time the Epic Center comes up for sale. It’s not in an attempt to get it back in the family, though.

“I don’t have any personal attachment to anything.”

Willard Garvey built the Epic Center for $32 million, so wouldn’t a purchase at half that be a bargain?

“He always liked a bargain,” Mike Garvey says, laughing.

However, he says there’s already a lot of office space available.

Though Garvey could be interested in the Epic Center, he says, “They want a lot of money for it.”

Billionaire businessman Phil Ruffin says he found the same thing.

“We made a $10 million offer, and they rejected it,” Ruffin says.

“That’s what it’s worth. I have to get a good return on my money.”

Ruffin says he thinks the Epic Center brings about $1 million a year, and he says he’d need to make at least 10 or 12 percent.

“Lots of costs. Tenants move out. … Office buildings are hard, so you have to buy them at a decent price.”

Ruffin owns a lot of office space, including the former Bank of America Center at Douglas and Broadway, which he recently renamed after himself, and the 750,000-square-foot Kensington Center in Tulsa.

“We have a lot of ’em,” Ruffin says of offices. “We know how to operate (them).”

He’d still like the chance to own the Epic Center, too.

“My offer stands.”

Reach Carrie Rengers at 316-268-6340 or crengers@wichitaeagle.com. Follow her on Twitter: @CarrieRengers.

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