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'Unjust, impossible': Tenants asked to leave KCK’s Brotherhood Building

Moreno Family Dentistry
Posted at 5:14 PM, Mar 27, 2024

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Brotherhood Building tenants are left wondering where they stand after learning the owners of their historic Kansas City, Kansas, building are now in foreclosure.

“One week, it’s, 'You’re fine, you’re great. We are maintaining the building,'” said Dr. Miralda Moreno. “The following week is like, 'Oh my goodness, we are going to have to shut you down.'”

Moreno has operated her third-floor dentist office in the Brotherhood Building, located near 8th and State, for 20 years.

She built her client base after paying to outfit the entire office with supplies and hookups, amounting to half a million of work.

The lending company is suing the borrowers, KDG LLC. They also listed tenants like Moreno as plaintiffs in the civil court case.

Moreno said if she is forced to leave, she would have to shut down her practice for up to five months or consider closing completely.

“First of all, unjust. Second of all, crazy. Number three, impossible. Impossible," she said. "I thought COVID was bad, shutting down for three months. This would be detrimental to my practice, to my business and to this community.”

KSHB 41's Abby Dodge spoke with a representative for the lender over the phone Wednesday morning.

They say they’ve done things like secure the elevator shafts, drain water and fix broken windows. Their own team has deemed it not safe for tenants to continue operating their businesses.

The United Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kansas, has also deemed the building unfit for human use.

Earlier this week, the UG posted a bright pink unfit notice on the door because there’s no hot water. There is also a structural notice of violation case for the nonoperational elevators.

“I climbed the stairs today because I’m meeting with you, but since I found out these issues, I haven’t been at my office because I don’t want to climb six flights of stairs every day," said DeWitt Consultancy Partners CEO Kimberly DeWitt.

DeWitt said she targeted an office in the building because of its historical significance.

The Brotherhood Block is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Dodge also spoke over the phone with a historic preservationist with the UG.

He said the distinction allows for tax credits to rehab the building. However, there are currently no active permits for rehab in the building, which would trigger an evaluation by the department.

Once, there were grand plans for the Brotherhood Building after KGD LLC’s purchase.

In a message to Dodge, the president of the Wyandotte Economic Development Council said, “Redevelopment is never easy in a downtown area, but this is not the direction we’d hoped for.”

Moreno plans to explore her options. She said her investment in the KCK community would best benefit by staying put, continuing her work for the same patients.