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.”