Downtown Wichita takes off
Master plan gives the city clear vision; Helps spur redevelopment at a torrid pace.
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Downtown Wichita has had $372 million in development in since 2010, with another $112 million underway or about to break ground in 2013. As of December 2010, when the new plan was adopted, the city had 1,350 housing units in its 800-acre downtown — that number is expected to more than double by the middle of this decade.
Compared to larger metro, Wichita is a relatively small real estate market and not known as a “creative class” mecca. Yet the city is seeing many of the same trends that downtowns are experiencing nationally with a rise in demand and revitalization.
Prior to the recent activity, Wichita’s downtown had “epicenters of vitality, but they weren’t connected,” says Jeff Fluhr, president of the Wichita Downtown Development Corporation. The city, under mayor Carl Brewer, hired Goody Clancy to create a downtown plan and brought in market experts to get a precise picture of the development potential.
Illustrative plan for downtown Wichita includes mixed-use residential, office, hotel, and civic. Plan courtesy of Downtown Wichita Plan, Goody Clancy
“The plan clarifies the design concepts we are striving for, such as connectivity, infill development, creating a walkable, pedestrian-friendly city, how we shape the public