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DALLAS-Presidio Investments Ltd. of Dallas has closed the largest office building sale in Wichita, KS this year. The $1-million transaction is, the broker says, a major happening for the city’s depressed CBD market. It also represents the largest building sold in the past three years in the four million-sf CBD office inventory.

The sale puts the vacant 184,937-sf Exchange Place into the hands of Datamation Corp., which has offices in California and Nevada. Patrick Ahern of Grubb & Ellis Martens Commercial Group handled both sides of the negotiations for Presidio’s 110 N. Market building, once home to Fourth National Bank and then Nations Bank. The seven-story structure has been dark since 1974, according to a press release.

Presidio acquired the property about 3 1/2 years ago in a 35-building portfolio buy from Nations Bank, which now operates under the Bank of America moniker.

Datamation, via talks with the city for an incentive package, will open a call center in the building and create an initial 200 jobs. The game plan is to occupy the entire structure, a move that is sure to bring additional jobs–possibly as many as 600–to Wichita’s depressed market, Ahern tells GlobeSt.com. Datamation is planning a March 2002 move-in.

Ahern, a sales associate, says Datamation beat out three other bidders for the property. “We thought Datamation would be our best shot at closing,” Ahern says of the final bidders’ review.

Presidio brought the class B building to market just six months ago. He says the decision was made to strip the building from the portfolio because it didn’t fit the balance of Presidio’s other Wichita holdings, all class A space.

Wichita has been feeling the pain of its CBD tenants moving to the suburbs. “Wichita is pretty typical of other markets of this size,” Ahern says. “We’ve had sprawl to the suburbs and it hurts.”

Exchange Place, built in 1922, was renovated in 1957 and 1985. It boasts floor plates of about 17,000 sf, a feature not commonly found in older buildings and making it ideal for a call center.

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