Work on Wichita’s Union Station Begins

Feb 19, 2015

Wichita’s Union StationThe first tangible signs of a transformation to Union Station came into view Thursday, when construction workers erected a chain link fence around a portion of the 9.5-acre property at 701 E. Douglas.

Chad Stafford, president of Occidental Management, Union Station’s owner, said the installation of fence is an outward sign that work at the four-building property has begun.

“It’s nice to actually get something rocking out there,” Stafford said of the $54 million project.

He said the work that is beginning will include renovations at the Grand and Patrick Hotel building on the northeast corner of the property as well as the two smaller Rock Island buildings in the center of the property. Workers also will begin work on the plaza area in front of the Union Station terminal.

“You will start to see demolition, the shell work of the buildings will begin, fixing roofs, new mechanical,” Stafford said. “All that work will be starting.”

Law Co. is the general contractor, and Spangenberg Phillips Tice is the architect.

Stafford said he hopes the first phase of work will be finished by midsummer. That will allow tenants of the hotel to move in. Those tenants include Wells Fargo’s commercial banking unit, State Farm agent David Kemp, Encompas, Regus and Scooter’s coffeehouse. Depending on how the work goes and other factors, Stafford said, he would expect moves to begin “midsummer through probably September of this year, depending on how extensive the tenant finishes will be.”

Tenants for the Rock Island Depot building will include Mumbai Rail Indian Bistro and Smoothie King. Directly south of the depot is the second Rock Island building, which is already occupied by a Cox Solutions store.

The second phase of the project will include renovation of the 57,000-square-foot Union Station terminal and the 25,000-square-foot freight building connected to it. It also will include construction of two 35,000-square-foot buildings and a 471-space parking garage.

The overall project is expected to last up to 2 1/2 years.

Original Article

By Jerry Siebenmark
The Wichita Eagle