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.”

You don’t say

“You don’t live up to those GSA obligations, they throw you in Leavenworth.”

NAI Martens broker Patrick Ahern joking about how developers Robert Eyster and Michael Ramsey have to be committed to finishing the Lux since the General Services Administration signed on as a tenant

Lux lands first commercial tenant: Defense Contract Management Agency

UPDATED — The Lux has landed its first commercial tenant.

The federal government’s Defense Contract Management Agency and its 45 employees will be moving into almost 10,000 square feet at the building, which is the former Protection One office at the northwest corner of First and Market.

Developers Robert Eyster and Michael Ramsey 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.

Angela Brees, public affairs officer with the General Services Administration, says the government has a 10-year lease on the space, five years of which are firm. She says the total contract value is almost $2.3 million.

The agency currently is at 271 W. Third. Its lease expired, and a bid process was held for a new lease.

“This was the most cost-effective option,” Brees says.

She says the agency will move into the Lux in late August.

 

SBA office to move to the Garvey Center using new streamlined design process

Wayne Bell, district director of the Small Business Administration.

WICHITA — The government is better known for red tape than streamlined processes, but the General Services Administration is working on that, and a change in offices for the Small Business Administration is going to offer something of a test case.

The SBA’s Wichita district office is moving from 271 W. Third St., where the IRS is, to the Page Court Building at the Garvey Center at 220 E. Douglas.

Before the move can happen, there has to be a design phase, which could determine everything from the tint of the windows to security systems in the new office.

“Normally, the process would take … 60 days or more,” says Wayne Bell, the SBA’s district director.

The GSA has a new design intent drawing process that will convene everyone involved in the move — contractors, designers, the SBA, the GSA, a representative for the landlord and anyone else connected with the project.

“You’re going to have all of the players in the room,” Bell says. “With this approach, everything should be complete within a three-day timeframe. It’s a really, really good idea.”

The old way of doing things involved sending drawings to the GSA, then the SBA, which would make changes before sending it back to the GSA. Then the contractor would get the drawings after a protracted period.

“So it could take months,” Bell says.

The design intent drawing creates a condensed timeframe where there’s an on-the-spot rough draft of the SBA’s needs that gets refined immediately with everyone present.

“This is very new,” Bell says. “So it’s going to be kind of an on-the-job learning process.”

The meetings will take place over a three-day period in late October at the Wichita Downtown Development Corp.’s design innovation center.

“What we try to do in that space is make resources available,” says WDDC president Jeff Fluhr.

That includes conference calling and video conferencing.

“We’re thrilled they’re willing to take the opportunity,” Fluhr says of the SBA and GSA. He says the attitude is “let’s walk through it and see what we learn from it.”

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