Lux developers begin residential leasing

UPDATED — Almost two years to the day that Robert Eyster and Michael Ramsey announced their Lux development, the first residential users will begin moving into the building at the northwest corner of First and Market.

“This building is going to be amazing, and this is just the beginning of something special downtown,” says Jeremy Luginbill of Lifeboat Creative.

Leasing starts today for apartments on the third floor – the first residential available at the building – which will be ready Oct. 1.

“We’re going to have pretty much a smattering of all the different units,” Luginbill says.

That includes units with one and two bedrooms, which start at about $1,000 and $1,150. respectively. The Lux’s only three-bedroom unit will be on that floor as well. It will be almost 1,900 square feet and go for more than $2,000.

Options also include the Essential units, which are streamlined units of about 500 square feet. Those units start at about $650.

All of the initial available units are apartments.

“We will not be doing condos at this point,” Luginbill says.

He says the developers have been “meeting some challenges through the process” because of their commitment to meeting LEED standards.

“We’re just trying to make sure they’re done right rather than just quickly,” Luginbill says.

He says Eyster and Ramsey could settle for silver or bronze LEED levels, but he says that’s not good enough.

“Making sure that we meet gold … is what our goal is.”

The third floor will have a green roof. Luginbill says from his research, this will be the first green roof in downtown Wichita.

“It’s going to be a self-sustaining roof,” he says.

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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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