In two public presentations and a Wichita City Council Workshop, the Downtown Planning Team today will outline the major components of Project Downtown: “The Master Plan for Wichita.” The Wichita City Council will discuss the plan at its Workshop during its regularly scheduled meeting Tuesday morning scheduled on the agenda for 9:30 a.m. at the City Council Board Room in City Hall.
Public presentations will be at 5:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. as part of an open house hosted by the Wichita Downtown Development Corporation (WDDC), Visioneering Wichita and The City of Wichita at the Bank of America Atrium. The open house will also feature food offerings from Downtown eateries, music by Nouveau Quintette, and an art exhibit of downtown past and present.
The Project Downtown consulting team, led by Goody Clancy, will provide feedback from the recent community meetings held this summer. Themes from the regional meetings included that Downtown Wichita has an important economic engine for the region and plays an important role in the regional’s identity.
The team also will present recommendations about how to implement the plan to focus on ensuring future economic growth. Recommendations will include possible partners, funding strategies, priorities, and market-based analysis of potential business opportunities in housing, retail and commercial development. Public investment is focused on infrastructure that supports private sector growth, such as development that focuses on making downtown more walkable and public parking.
“We continue to hear from the community that this is important to our community’s future,” said Mayor Carl Brewer. “We must be competitive as a city and region and that means making sure we have a vibrant downtown that attracts people and businesses, Project Downtown will give us the plan we need to do just that.”
Project Downtown will serve as a 20-year blueprint for development in downtown Wichita. In addition to recommendations for public and private sector investments, the plan provides ideas for how to improve the overall aesthetic appeal of downtown.
“As a business plan, Project Downtown will be a living, breathing document that helps guide where to make the most of our strengths and of our future investments,” said Jeff Fluhr, president of Wichita Downtown Development Corp. “Through the vision of businesses, individuals and elected leaders, we have a blueprint that will guide us in developing a city of national distinction.”
Information about the master plan process may be viewed at www.downtownwichita.org. and the city’s site at www.wichita.gov.