KBOR tables discussion on university buy-back of The Flats and Suites

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Selena Favela

The Flats private apartment complex is located on Innovation Campus.

Discussion for Wichita State to bond and buy back The Flats and The Suites will have to wait until March.

At Wednesday’s Kansas Board of Regents meeting, discussion for the move was tabled to give the university more time to gather information for the regents.

“Regent [Jon] Rolph recommended that we defer this discussion item to the next meeting, and I concurred,” Regent Mark Hutton said.

The Flats and The Suites are owned by MWCB, LLC, which is partially owned by former regent David Murfin. Hutton also founded the construction company that is currently building the new Student-Athlete Success Center by Charles Koch Arena. The company is now run by his son.

Buying back the privately owned student apartments from MWCB is expected to save the university half a million dollars a year over the course of a 25-year-long bond, according to the university. 

“Everything we know now is this is a good investment for the university and that’s why . . . We’re at least asking permission to go ahead with it,” Vice President of Strategic Communications Lou Heldman told The Sunflower in January.

Buying back the apartments will also give WSU control over student housing prices.

“It gives long-term say so over occupancy pricing, renovations, additions and just general flexibility,” Heldman said.

Multiple private apartment complexes are being built just off WSU’s main campus on 17th and 21st Streets. Heldman said back in January that he’s not particularly worried that increased competition will decrease demand for on-campus living.