KCK Officials Worry EPA Could be Moving Out
March 31, 2011

What a difference a day makes.

One day after scoring a potentially huge economic development project, Google’s first ‘Fiber City’, Kansas City, Kansas officials are worried the federal government may pull the region 7 Environmental Protection Agency headquarters out of downtown KCK.

“We have expressed to the GSA and our congressional delegation our concern about the EPA being a long-term tenant in our downtown,” said Mayor Joe Reardon in an interview with KMBC TV today.

The General Services Administration supervises federal buildings. Local spokesman Charlie Cook will only say that the GSA is in the “procurement phase”, and that GSA won’t say anything else until a lease is completed.

The current lease between the GSA and the buildings’ owner, Urban America, has expired. Reardon says they’ve extended the lease during the negotiations. The possibility of the move may be due to the difficulty in getting a new lease for the building.

Once source says the GSA headquarters could be moved to the Sprint campus in southern Overland Park.

Reardon says he doesn’t know what will happen.

But he also points out the federal government likes to place its offices in central  business districts or downtowns.

“There is an executive order that Jimmy Carter signed”, says Reardon, “that says GSA institutions ought to be located in central business districts because of the positive economic dynamic that they can bring”.

A reliable source says that the Kansas Congressional delegation may get a notice shortly that the move is being made. 

The EPA headquarters is located at  901 North 5th Street in downtown. The building was built for the EPA in the late 1990’s  Most of the 650 Region 7 employees work there.  But some work in an EPA laboratory not far from the headquarters. That building has a different lease.

Another Washington source say the decision could be coming within a few days.

A third said “the decision is coming fast.”