“Basically, was I out of my mind?”
Utter, who owns Utter Commercial Real Estate, acknowledges financial and other issues the Minnesota Guys and the building at 125 N. Market have faced in recent years.
“It’s been a topic of conversation quite a bit lately,” he says.
Calvin Klaassen, who works with Utter, will be helping him with the leasing.
“We did a lot of research before we agreed to it,” Utter says. “It was only after we were satisfied and reached … a high comfort level that we agreed to do this.”
Maintenance and other issues at the building aren’t all that had Utter concerned.
“We wanted to be very careful, very cautious before we agreed to take on a building of this size,” he says.
The 19-story, more than 300,000-square-foot building has about 80,000 vacant square feet of office space and about 100,000 vacant square feet of former hotel space. Utter says it’s the second-tallest office building in the state next to the neighboring Epic Center.
“This is the most complicated office building that I’ve ever been involved with,” Utter says. “It has a long history in Wichita.”
He’s had some history there already himself.
Utter was the leasing agent for the building for eight months before Real Development purchased it in 2007.
“So I’m back,” he says.
There are a few reasons Utter agreed to get involved.
No. 1, he is confident that his firm and any vendors will get paid.
“The good thing is that the lender is heavily involved,” Utter says of Security National Capital of Salt Lake City.
“We’re expecting a lot of assistance from other real estate brokers, and they want assurances that they’re going to be paid,” Utter says. “We depend heavily on working with other brokers. We consider them as part of our team.”