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The Wichita City Council has given unanimous support to a project that will renovate an historic downtown building into a residential, office and retail center. The council approved a letter of intent to issue up to $21.5 million in industrial revenue bonds to create The Lux Building from a renovation of the former KG&E building at 1st and Market.
The project will have 60 residential units and an amenities penthouse that will include a pool, workout facility, theater and other features. Two floors of the 175,000 square-foot building will be used for office and retail space. Developers will invest $24 million into the project.
Jeff Fluhr with the Wichita Downtown Development Corporation said the project will compliment other projects and attractions along 1st Street, including the Orpheum Theater and new development for the Garvey Center.
Vice Mayor Janet Miller said it's an exciting project for downtown Wichita. She said it adds to the $64 million in downtown projects completed in the past two years, along with $97 million in projects that are underway or in development, mostly with private investment.
The council will have to take action later to issue the IRBs. Miller pointed out that the bonds will not obligate the city financially on the project cost. The package does not include a property tax exemption, but there will be a sales tax exemption on bond-financed purchases for the project.
The developers also plan to ask the city at a later time for special assessment financing for facade improvements and efforts to deal with asbestos and lead paint in the building.