Property owner Jeff Greenberg confirms state is considering leasing his building

WICHITA — Property owner and Wichita broker Jeff Greenberg confirms the state is considering leasing his 100,000-square-foot building near East 47th Street South and South Oliver, but he says the potential deal has nothing to do with a payback for supporting the governor or anyone else.

“It’s not political,” he says.

Since Have You Heard? reported that the state of Kansas has notified the city of Wichita that it’s leaving the Finney State Office Building downtown, Rep. Jim Ward (D-Wichita) has raised concerns that the search for new space might be politically motivated. He says he’s also worried that clients – particularly at the Department for Children and Families – won’t have easy access to services if the state moves.

Greenberg wants to address both of those points.

“The biggest thing … is allegations of political payback,” he says.

Greenberg says he’s registered as a Republican but only so he can vote in primaries.

“I’ve never been able to pigeonhole myself,” he says. “I’m not political. I’m not an activist.”

Greenberg says he hasn’t made a political contribution to Gov. Sam Brownback or anyone else in at least a decade or more.

He says a broker with J.P. Weigand & Sons brought him the possible deal.

“This was a natural,” Greenberg says of his space.

Read More »

Mayor and governor meet about Finney State Office Building; state may be zeroing in on new DCF space

WICHITA — The state appears to be zeroing in on new space for the Department for Children and Families near East 47th Street South and South Oliver, even as Mayor Carl Brewer is working to try to keep the office where it is.

“I have been digging into this, and I have heard from reliable folks that the state is looking at (that building),” said Rep. Jim Ward (D-Wichita), who has been critical of a possible move.

Brewer went to Topeka on Wednesday to visit with Gov. Sam Brownback about keeping DCF and other state agencies in the Finney State Office Building at 230 E. William.

Last month, Have You Heard? reported that the state of Kansas has notified the city of Wichita that its nine agencies that occupy the downtown building won’t be renewing their leases after 20 years in the city-owned space. That means more than 700 people will be moving, more than 550 of whom are with DCF.

According to Loopnet, an online commercial real estate site, there’s a two-story, 100,000-square-foot former Bank of America call center that’s available near the southwest corner of the intersection, and it looks like that’s what the state could be interested in.

“I hope that that’s not true,” Ward said. “I don’t think that’s a good spot. … I don’t think that’s a good location for those kinds of services.”

One of his concerns is that Jezebel’s, an adult club, is across the street.

“It’s not unusual for kids to be part of their parents’ dealing with the state,” Ward said.

He also wonders how accessible the site would be compared to the more centralized Finney building.

Brewer didn’t return calls for comment. A representative of the governor’s office confirmed the meeting but wouldn’t say anything more.

“I know that the governor and Mayor Brewer did in fact meet this morning,” said spokeswoman Sara Belfry. “I believe they talked about a couple of things, including the Wichita office building.”

Read More »