It’s been surprising to note the consistent level of anguish in Wichita’s commercial real estate community over the proposed First and Waco YMCA deal.
The rumor mill continues to spin out reports that the city and the Y will trade property: First and Waco for the Y’s Market location. Accounts differ as to the fate of the current Y building, but any form of that proposed deal appears as lucrative, if not more so, than the $700,000 offered by InSite Real Estate Group last year.
There’s the sticky wicket of taxes, though – so sticky that Realtors who gathered at Wichita State last month for a housing update were grousing about the estimated annual $280,000 loss in tax revenue to the non-profit Y. Fair point.
So permit me to wonder aloud here: That Market property would seem to have some value, perhaps in total or perhaps to the federal government for parking. I know the city’s not in the business of flipping real estate, but if they don’t want to keep the Market property, I can’t see them struggling to move it.
And I wonder how you put a price tag on the presence of a state-of-the-art Y and its corporate office downtown – especially as developers try to figure out how to lure families downtown to live.
This is one of those deals that’s tough to Monday Morning Quarterback. Dan Unruh of InSite develops quality projects, yet even he thinks the Y proposal is a good project. The best answer might be an open mind until a deal is struck. Your thoughts?