KPA ponders sale of building

May 18, 2018
Kansas Press Association -- Image

By Andy Taylor, KPA president

The Kansas Press Association headquarters in Topeka may be in a state of change.

The KPA executive board recently agreed with a recommendation from KPA executive director Doug Anstaett and incoming executive director Emily Bradbury to put the office building at 5423 S.W. 7th St. on the local real estate block.

Why?

The KPA office simply has too much room for the current services and programs. Built in the late 1980s for a staff of more than 10 people, the building contains 7,000 square feet of space.

However, the five-person KPA staff of 2018 uses only about 2,000 square feet, which leaves the office largely cavernous and unused. That translates to high operational costs, including a hefty property tax bill that requires almost $16,000 per year.

Anstaett and Bradbury said that in their discussions with a Topeka real estate firm, the KPA office has potential for being a prime location for another association or business. The agents, like all real estate agents, say the building should sell quickly. We shall see. Stay tuned.

The building is listed at $439,500, and we believe the sale will provide the association with at least $400,000 to reinvest after costs of the sale are deducted. Earnings from that investment could be used to underwrite the programs offered by KPA.

Anstaett has calculated that moving would result in savings per year of approximately $36,000, including the elimination of property taxes, maintenance and repairs, most utilities, expenses for lawn care and snow removal and some insurance costs. Those savings would be used to cover a lease, should KPA decide to move.

Last week, the KPA board viewed a prospective office site in downtown Topeka. It is much smaller (about 1,800 square feet total) but is in a good location near the state capitol. No deals have been signed ... and the KPA staff and board are studying several other options in the downtown area.

Should these other options not work out, the KPA can stay where it is. But it makes sense to be taking a close look at how we utilize our assets for the benefit of our members.

Now, for a little history. The present building was completed and opened in September of 1987.

The association previously had a presence in the downtown area in the basement of a building at 7th Street and Jackson, just a block north of the Capitol building.

Before that, KPA had shared space with the Chamber of Commerce in the Hotel Jayhawk nearby.

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Your Kansas Publisher will keep the KPA membership aware of changes to the association’s future office plans.