“I started on YouTube looking around the world at libraries and seeing what the difference is between the time I used to go to them and today, and I got really excited about it,” he says.
“I’m proposing to do a 60,000-square-foot super deal,” Cole says.
“I’m offering them the world. It’s a paradigm shift, believe me. I know I shocked them with the offer, but it’s the right thing to do.
“I want that southeast part of town to succeed. I invested 10 years and a lot of money.”
He got the attention of Clendenin and others.
“Tell you what, I’m very intrigued by Max’s presentation,” says Clendenin, who has visited the property several times, including with library board members.
“I think everybody sees the extreme potential that the Office This space gives District 3,” he says. “That location is smack dab between two of the most underserved neighborhoods in Wichita.”
He’s referring to Planeview and Hilltop, but Clendenin says Office This is ideally situated for most of the district.
Director of libraries Cynthia Berner-Harris says the library board has invited Cole to make a formal presentation at its Oct. 18 meeting.
Cole’s offer was discussed at the board’s meeting Tuesday.
“They also were very intrigued by the possibilities, but they do have concerns that 60,000 square feet is beyond our capacity at this time,” Berner-Harris says.
She says southeast Wichita is an area scheduled to be addressed with the library’s master plan. The plan calls for a neighborhood facility of 7,500 square feet.