City Sinks Sumner Deal

By: 13 News
By: 13 News

(Topeka, KS,) -- The city of Topeka says a contract with Community First to take over the former Sumner Cchool building will expire at midnight Saturday.

Sandra Lassiter, who heads up the group, submitted her plan for turning the building into a private school and community hub earlier Friday. City spokesperson Dave Bevens says it was reviewed, and does not meet requirements outlined in the contract.

Bevens says that while Lassiter did provide substantial details of a 10-year plan for the building, she failed to secure $3.6 million in legally enforceable commitments and did not obtain or apply for zoning change permits.

Lassiter said she felt the plan did do what the city asked. She says her group has $100,000 in cash and pledges, plus she said she detailed $1 million in potential grants.

More importantly, she says she has a potential partner in Ephren Taylor and his City Capital Corporation. She says the company would take over the development process and bring in new resources. Her proposal asked for a 60-day extension to solidify details of the partnership.

Lassiter says the building has been empty for 12 years, so she didn't think 60 days was too much to ask. She says this is about a development to improve the entire Ward Meade area. She says the building is a legacy, but her plan would upgrade the entire neighborhood and compliment the visioning process currently underway for the city.

Bevens had previously said the city would not grant an extention. Lassiter say she'll take her case for an extension to the City Council.

631 SW Commerce Pl. Topeka, Kansas 66615 phone: 785-272-6397 fax: 785-272-1363 email:
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