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Douglas Design District

The Douglas Design District is the area of Wichita located along a 3-mile stretch of Douglas Avenue between Washington Avenue and Oliver Avenue. The district houses a diverse community of businesses, restaurants, retail, and residences.

Below is a listing of some of the initiative taking place in the District.

Business Improvement District Formation

On January 21, 2020, in response to a recommendation from the Business Improvement District Planning Committee, the Wichita City Council passed an ordinance that established a BID for the Douglas Design District and appointed the 14 initial members of the Business Improvement Advisory Board. A Business Improvement District (BID) is a defined area in which businesses are required to pay an annual assessment in order to fund projects within the district's boundaries. In Kansas, BIDs are funded by the local government levying a mandatory fee on the businesses within the district. While the local government levies the fee, it can contract with a third-party organization to operate the BID. The structure, guidelines, and process for the creation of a BID within the state of Kansas can be found under Kansas Statute 12-1782 through 12-17, 106. Examples of other BIDs in Kansas include: the Salina Downtown Business Improvement District, the Topeka Tourism Business Improvement District, and the Downtown Topeka Business Improvement District.

Timeline of Douglas Design District BID

  • In August 2018, the Wichita City Council appointed a Planning Committee to explore the creation of a BID for the DDD. After numerous meetings and significant research of other BIDs in the region, the Planning Committee recommended the creation of a BID for the DDD.
  • On December 10, 2019, the City Council received the Douglas Design District BID Planning Committee Proposal, which recommended creating a BID for the DDD. Also at this meeting, the City Council adopted a resolution of intent (Resolution No. 19-461) stating the intent of the City Council to consider creating a BID for the DDD at a public hearing on January 14, 2020.
  • The resolution of intent along with a notice of public hearing was mailed to all businesses within the boundaries of the proposed BID on December 13, 2019.
  • The notice of public hearing was published in the official newspaper on December 13, 2019.
  • On January 21, 2020 the Wichita City Council passed an ordinance that established a Business Improvement District (BID) for the Douglas Design District.
  • Ordinance 51-176 establishing the BID was published in the official newspaper on January 24, 2020.
  • On March 9, 2020, within the 45-day protest period, the City of Wichita received a protest petition.

Douglas Design District BID – Frequently Asked Questions

Douglas Avenue Street Plan

In December 2009 the Wichita City Council endorsed the design and street improvements recommended in the Douglas Design District Streetscape Plan. The City will use these recommendations as a guide for future planning and decision-making regarding public infrastructure investment for that part of Douglas Avenue from Washington east to Glendale Avenue.

The Plan was developed by a 17-member Plan Steering Committee comprised of key East Douglas business and neighborhood stakeholders appointed by the City Manager in the fall of 2008. The Plan contains a vision statement and goal that describe what a transformed, revitalized, vibrant and attractive East Douglas Avenue should look like in the year 2020. Guiding principles are also incorporated that serve as benchmarks for the recommended design concepts and streetscape improvements. A total of 12 design concepts and streetscape improvements are recommended in this Plan. Cost estimates have been calculated, and a possible plan implementation and funding approach is suggested.

It is important to recognize that the recommended design concepts and streetscape improvements are subject to further changes and refinements that will come during the final construction/design development process (including additional rounds of community engagement), ongoing traffic analysis, the realities of fiscal constraints, and ongoing lessons learned from other similar initiatives in Wichita.


Based on community feedback, the City has retained Nelson\Nygaard to review the previous plan described above, contemplate other best practices, and work with the community and City staff to recommend revisions to the previous plan. Below are highlights from the community conversations. Additional conversations and input has also been collected as part of the Wichita Downtown Streets Conceptual Plan.

  • On Wednesday, April 3, 2019, two community open house events were held from 11:30am to 1:30pm and from 5:00 to 7:00pm at the Downtown Wichita Innovation Center at 507 East Douglas Avenue. Open house attendees were able to learn more about the project, ask questions, and to provide input to the project team. Given this input and feedback, a three-lane cross-section (two through lanes with a center turn lane) is being further contemplated for Douglas Avenue that would also allow for bicycle and parking lanes as well.

    Wichita Douglas Ave ApproachDouglas Ave Cross SectionsOpen House SlidesFAQ
  • In June 2019, the City hosted a multi-day charrette and Riverfest booth to invite additional public input. The Riverfest event took place Saturday June 1st through Wednesday, June 5th. The charrette Planning Sessions occurred Tuesday, June 4th through Thursday June 6th. Both events included a diagram of the draft Douglas Avenue plans for comments. More information about the events and summaries are available on the Wichita Downtown Streets Conceptual Plan webpage

  • On August 20, 2019, the Wichita City Council approved submission of an application to the Kansas Health Foundation for a $25,000 Impact Grant in order to fund a possible short-term pilot project along Douglas Avenue.

  • On September 19, 2019, members from Team Better Block visited Wichita in order to meet with stakeholders, and to conduct a site visit to determine the feasibility of a possible pilot project on Douglas Avenue.

  • On September 22, 2019, the City of Wichita hosted a booth at Open Streets to collect input on downtown streets and Douglas Avenue. The event lasted from noon to 5pm; and included displays about traffic, crashes, transit, bikeways, and the draft Douglas Avenue designs. Summary-Open Streets 2019

  • In late September/early October, the Wichita Community Foundation provided notification that the City was awarded a $25,000 from the Knight Fund at the Wichita Community Foundation to fund a possible short-term pilot project along Douglas Avenue.

  • On November 2, 2019, City staff provided an update on the Douglas Avenue conversations and designs to the District Advisory Board Breakfast attendees.

  • On November 12, 2019, the Wichita City Council approved accepting the grant. City staff indicated that no expenditures of the grant funding or changes to Douglas would occur withour City Council approval. The funding is 1/3 of the estimated costs to undertake the temporary pilot project, additional discussion and details are in the City Council meeting notes and staff report.

​Documents

  
  
  
Spring 2019 Douglas Concept Workshop Board.pdfSpring 2019 Douglas Concept Workshop Board10/22/2020 2:36 PM
09.22.19 Open Streets Summary.pdf09.22.19 Open Streets Summary10/31/2019 2:28 PM
04.3.19 Open House Slides.pdf04.3.19 Open House Slides10/31/2019 2:20 PM
04.03.19 Douglas Avenue Open House Summary.pdf04.03.19 Douglas Avenue Open House Summary10/31/2019 2:20 PM
FAQ-3-Lane Douglas.pdfFAQ-3-Lane Douglas10/24/2019 9:35 AM
Wichita Douglas Ave Decisions.pdfWichita Douglas Ave Decisions4/5/2019 4:50 PM
Streetmix Cross Sections.pdfStreetmix Cross Sections4/5/2019 4:49 PM
Douglas Design District Streetscape Design and Implementation Plan.pdfDouglas Design District Streetscape Design and Implementation Plan6/10/2013 11:53 AM
View West toward Washinton.pdfView West toward Washinton6/10/2013 10:58 AM
View West toward Spice Merchant.pdfView West toward Spice Merchant6/10/2013 10:58 AM
View East toward Volutsia.pdfView East toward Volutsia6/10/2013 10:58 AM
View East toward Rutan.pdfView East toward Rutan6/10/2013 10:57 AM
View East toward Ohio.pdfView East toward Ohio6/10/2013 10:57 AM

FAQ-Douglas 3-Lane Project