Airbus is considering a Wichita expansion. Part of that expansion includes locating in the former Kansas Sports Hall of Fame building at 238 north Mead.
Tuesday the Wichita city council voted to sell the building to Marketplace Properties for $1.4 million. The city decided to sell the building because the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame is moving into the Boathouse.
Marketplace Properties says it plans to lease the building to Airbus. David Burk with Marketplace Properties currently leases Airbus its Old Town facility. He says the company is interested in expanding its design facility. The city says Airbus would add 100 engineers who would make an average of $150,000 a year.
Airbus is considering both Wichita and Mobile Alabama for the expansion. Burk says he's confident the company will choose Wichita because there are plenty of engineers in town.
Airbus says nothing is set in stone. Spokeswoman Mary Anne Greczyn says the company is exploring the possibility of expansion and hopes to have more news in coming weeks.
The city received three proposals to purchase the Sports Hall of Fame building. Shark Equity Investors offered $1.5 million. It wanted to use the second floor of the building for a law firm. The lower floor would be made available to other tenants. Occidential Reality offered $1.6 million for the building. Occidential says it has some potential vendors and would be willing to work with Airbus.
The city says although the offer price with Shark Equity and Occidential Reality is higher than Marketplace Properties, the price would be about the same after paying real estate commission. Marketplace Properties will pay the real estate commission on its own.
The sale agreement with Marketplace Properties is contingent on Airbus. The city says this agreement seems the most solid right now because of Airbus. But if Airbus decides not to utilize the entire building, the city could pursue other options.