Archive for Thursday, March 6, 2008

Lawmakers skeptical about proposed sale of KU property

March 6, 2008


— Kansas University officials came to the Legislature on Wednesday seeking permission to sell a piece of property on Indiana Street.

What they got was some sniping from lawmakers and concerns from Oread Neighborhood Association.

After the give-and-take before the Senate Ways and Means Committee, Sen. Mark Taddiken, R-Clifton, said the issue "makes me appreciate where I live."

Senate Bill 638 would allow the Kansas Board of Regents, on behalf of KU, to sell Varsity House, 1043 Ind.

The structure was built in 1900 and converted from a residence to offices in 1950.

Now it is in such disrepair that it would cost $600,000 to fix, said Theresa Gordzica, KU's chief business and financial planning officer.

That set off state Sen. Chris Steineger, D-Kansas City, who said the repair estimate was way too high.

"They are not good at this," he said of the regents' ability to assess properties.

State Sen. Marci Francisco, D-Lawrence, appeared before the committee as a board member of the Oread Neighborhood Association.

While the association doesn't oppose the sale, she said, it was concerned about whether the structure could be rehabilitated without additional parking.

That prompted a discussion about parking concerns in Lawrence, which prompted the remark from Taddiken.

Toward the end of the discussion, Gordzica agreed with a suggestion from Francisco to include in the property sale several nearby lots, which include a small KU parking lot.

The committee took the bill under advisement.


BigPrune 10 years, 3 months ago

So, who's going to buy it? Will the general population get to bid on it, and how will the bidding be handled to insure the bids are above reproach? Since it is owned by the taxpayers, surely a follow up article will answer these questions.

Uhlrick_Hetfield_III 10 years, 3 months ago

I smell Hemenway and his Republican political pals. You can bet they'll make a buck off this. Steinegger is one of the intellectual visionaries of the Democratic Party, and his critique of this project should make everyone sit up and start sniffing around to see what stinks.

dirkleisure 10 years, 3 months ago

Chris Steineger informed the committee that in his opinion the house was worth $100,000.

Yes, truly an intellectual visionary. Raise your hand if you would pay $100,000 for that property. Better yet, raise your hand if you would sell that property for $100,000.

Apparently Uhlrick would.

Uhlrick_Hetfield_III 10 years, 3 months ago

I suspect land in that area is valued by the square foot, not by the building that's on it. I'll drive by and take a look. Certainly I could be wrong, you Republicans are more into the dollar value of things than I am, but if I had to trust someone and the choice was between Chris Steinegger and Bob Hemenway, there would be no choice, Steinegger would win every time - and I do mean every time.

flyin_squirrel 10 years, 3 months ago

There was a group of investor's that were remodeling old houses in the Oread (the ones with the wrought iron fences) but I heard they quit because the Oread Association was against them. Guess the Oread doesn't know what they want....

Godot 10 years, 3 months ago

$100,000?????? The land, alone, is worth that.

When .gov buys land, they pay top dollar; when they sell it, they base the price on the influence of the buyer. The more influence, the lower the price.

Godot 10 years, 3 months ago

Actually, if KU would sell everything at $.50 on the dollar to one of the Forbes 100 billionaires and take this behemoth off the back of Kansas taxapyers, we would all be better off.

How 'bout it Warren? Want to help us out?

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