Category Archives: Federal government

Postal Service confirms call center move

WICHITA — The U.S. Postal Service confirms it will be putting what it calls a customer care center, which is a call center, at 4509 E. 47th St. South.

“The Postal Service is committed to providing exceptional customer service from purchase to delivery and all points in between,” said vice president of consumer and industry affairs James Nemec in a statement.

“Our goal is to ensure each and every customer contact is a pleasant and satisfying one.”

The call center began operating last month in the postal service’s former remote encoding center at 2601 S. Oliver St. It employs about 250 people.

The center will move to its new 49,000-square-foot space by late January.

U.S. Postal Service signs lease that should enable DCF to move more quickly

WICHITA — It was around this time last year that the state was considering leasing Wichita broker Jeff Greenberg’s 100,000-square-foot building near East 47th Street South and South Oliver.

The Department for Children and Families, which wants to leave the Finney State Office Building downtown where it currently is, seriously looked at Greenberg’s space. The deal didn’t happen, though.

Now, another deal related to that has been signed.

No one is commenting yet, but sources say the U.S. Postal Service has signed a deal for a good percentage of Greenberg’s building.

The postal serivce has a remote encoding center at 2601 S. Oliver, which is where DCF now wants to locate.

As Have You Heard? reported last month, the postal service is winding down those operations – its lease expires in September 2015 – but now it’s planning a call center for the space.

The call center, which will be one of four the postal service has nationally, will answer customers’ inquiries via phone and e-mail.

The remote encoding center has been at the South Oliver space for two decades. At one time there were more than 1,000 employees there. Now, there are 251 career employees left, meaning employees who are guaranteed jobs.

It looks like the call center is what the postal service has planned for Greenberg’s space. It also appears that the postal service could move within the next few months, which would enable DCF to finalize the lease it wants and move in more quickly.

Look for more information on the deal in the coming weeks.

U.S. Postal Service to open call center in space the state is negotiating for

UPDATED — There’s another twist on the possible Department for Children and Families lease at 2601 S. Oliver, which has been a remote encoding center for the U.S. Postal Service.

The postal service is winding down those operations – its lease expires in September 2015 – but now it’s planning a call center for the space.

“The U.S. Postal Service has completed its posting process and is now training the first group of hires for the new Customer Care Center that will go on line in Wichita, KS in July 2014,” postal spokesman Brian Sperry said in an e-mail statement.

The postal service is still in this building at 2601 S. Oliver, and the state is still negotiating to move in, but it’s unclear what will happen with the space.

The postal service is still in this building at 2601 S. Oliver, and the state is still negotiating to move in, but it’s unclear what will happen with the space.

The center, which will be one of four the postal service has nationally, will answer customers’ inquiries via phone and e-mail.

The remote encoding center has been at the space for two decades. At one time there were more than 1,000 employees there. Now, there are 251 career employees left, meaning employees who are guaranteed jobs.

“Through a memorandum of understanding with union representatives, 251 jobs were posted through a senior bidding process with all Remote Encoding Center employees eligible to submit for the available positions and no external recruitment was conducted,” Sperry wrote. “The newest Customer Care Center will operate out of the former Remote Encoding Center site.”

Sperry wouldn’t say if the postal service is trying to renegotiate for a longer lease or if it’s looking for a possible new site for the call center.

“The statement is all we have to report.”

Jan Manlove, the secretary and treasurer of the American Postal Workers Union Area Local 735, says the union’s “business agent had been working long and hard to get a call center.”

She says on the same day the postal service signed the call center agreement, it measured space at Hutchinson and Ponca City post offices to see if the call center could locate at either one.

“Our union, No. 1, wants to keep the jobs here in Wichita,” Manlove says.

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You don’t say

“Is that why Bartelli’s closed, too?”

– A fifth grade boy at Peterson Elementary School who was wondering about the government shutdown and how it may have affected the west-side pizza place

You don’t say

“With all the crying and whining in Washington, I’m feeling ready to be a new father come November.”

– Expectant father U.S. Rep. Kevin Yoder speaking Friday at the 2013 Congressional Summit at the Hotel at Old Town

IRS opens in new space today

UPDATED — The IRS, which has been closed for the past two business days in order to move, is reopening in its new office today.

The IRS and the Immigration and Customs Enforcement office will be sharing space at 555 N. Woodlawn. The ICE move is scheduled for Oct. 1.

The agencies are taking about 40,000 square feet there, and there’s another 23,000 square feet available to lease.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement office to have holding cells

WICHITA — Some people have expressed concerns about the Immigration and Customs Enforcement office moving to 555 N. Woodlawn from its current space at the 271 Building downtown at 271 W. Third St.

Concerns are related to what has erroneously been labeled a detention center there.

According to ICE spokesman Shawn Neudauer, there will be four temporary holding cells that will be designed to hold illegal immigrants as they are processed for deportation. There will be no beds for overnight stays. Most often, the stays are a couple of hours, Neudauer said through an e-mail.

After getting processed, the detainees will then be transferred to county jails.

Most of the ICE office will be used for office space, Neudauer said.

Landlord Jeff Greenberg says he was talking to some ICE representatives about the move earlier this week.

“They said that the best way to describe what they do is that they’re a travel agency,” Greenberg says with a laugh. “They investigate, find the customer and send them on their way.”

All federal agencies at the 271 Building downtown will by gone by September

WICHITA — By the end of August, all of the federal agencies in the 271 Building at 271 W. Third St. downtown will be gone.

Have You Heard? has written about several of the departures already. What follows is a complete list.

“This was originally an IRS lease at this building, but they returned some of the space, and then we backfilled it with other agencies … which is kind of why everyone is leaving at once,” says Angela Brees, a spokeswoman for the General Services Administration.

The IRS has about 33,000 square feet of the 95,000-square-foot building.

Typically, whenever a federal agency’s lease is up, there has to be a bidding process for new space.

The IRS office and the Immigration and Customs Enforcement office are moving to 555 N. Woodlawn. They’re taking about 40,000 square feet there, and there’s another 23,000 square feet available to lease.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration office and the Health and Human Services Inspector General are moving to Phil Ruffin’s Bank of America Center at Broadway and Douglas.

The Small Business Administration is moving to the Page Court Building at the Garvey Center at 220 E. Douglas.

The Defense Contract Audit Agency and the Defense Contract Management Agency are moving to the Lux building at First and Market.

The Railroad Retirement Board has already moved to the Cambridge Office Park south of 21st and Webb Road, and the Citizenship and Immigration Services office has already moved to Ruffin’s building at 550 W. Douglas in Delano.

The status of the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Defense Inspector General offices is still unclear.

All of the agencies need to be out of the 271 Building by the end of August when the lease is up.

“We’re still dealing with them on that,” says Trey Ayers, executive vice president of Guthrie, Okla.-based Dominion Properties, which owns the building.

Dominion is seeking new tenants outside of federal agencies.

“We like Wichita, and we like what it’s about,” Ayers says. “Hopefully we can help some other local folks move into the property.”

U.S. Attorney’s Office seeking new lease

WICHITA — The General Services Administration has been busy signing two new leases at the Lux for the Defense Contract Audit Agency and the Defense Contract Management Agency, and it has one more to go. Where the lease will be is still a question, though.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office currently is in the Epic Center. Its lease will expire this summer, and the GSA will have a competitive bidding process for a new lease.

“They are looking in downtown,” says GSA public affairs officer Angela Brees.

She says the office needs approximately 21,000 square feet, which is about what it has now.

Even with a new lease, there’s a chance the office won’t have to move.

“There’s a possibility that they may still stay at their current location,” Brees says. “The current landlord can participate in the process.”

Defense Contract Audit Agency is second commercial tenant for Lux

WICHITA — Developers Robert Eyster and Michael Ramsey have landed their second commercial tenant for the Lux, and this one is awfully similar to the first.

The Defense Contract Audit Agency is taking 4,600 square feet in the building, which is the former Protection One office at the northwest corner of First and Market.

The agency will open there this July at the same time its sister organization, the Defense Contract Management Agency, and its 45 employees move into almost 10,000 square feet at the building.

“It’s an incredible opportunity to get two anchor tenants,” Ramsey says. “Those are two significant anchor tenants.”

Ramsey and Eyster are remodeling the 7-story, 171,000-square-foot building into luxury apartments and possible condos and will have commercial space on the first two floors.

There’s only about 30 percent of the second floor left to lease now that the government deals are done.

Ramsey says the building’s first three floors will be finished this summer so the agencies shouldn’t be bothered by construction noise.

Along with commercial space on the first floor, there will be meeting and venue spaces in former theater and hospitality areas that the Kansas Gas and Electric Co. used when the building was built in 1953.

“It still has the original screen and the original …projection room,” Ramsey says.

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