City approves 'catalyst' development project next to Delano District

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) - There is life along the Arkansas River, and you've probably seen the construction around the Delano District.

On Tuesday, the city approved a $50 million project in addition to what's already planned.

"I think we saw that initial part with River Vista coming on board with their apartment projects," says Assistant City Manager Scot Rigby.

Just over seven acres of land will soon be developed into 180 apartments, 90 hotel rooms and green space for recreation.

The site is right next to the new Advanced Learning Library off Sycamore and McLean, which is not far from the River Vista Apartment project along the Arkansas River.

Many call it a kick to the river corridor.

"This is an additional project to saying that we believe in the concept of what the city is doing to re-engage the river, and eventually, they are also expressing confidence in the city's goal to bring affiliated baseball and to build a new stadium," says Rigby.

Leslie Kinder, owner of Melange Jewlrey, has been working in the Delano District for more than 30 years. To her, all of the construction is a sign of progress.

The new project will include $12 million in city incentives coming from future property taxes and an increase in sales tax revenue that will go back to the cost of the project.

"It is good for our business to have a lot of activity down here," Kinder says.

While Mayor Jeff Longwell did not agree with the amount of incentives offered to developer, Vice Mayor Janet Miller did and felt approving the project could spur more growth around the Delano District.

Kinder says, it's about time.

"We have kind of felt a little neglected while the downtown got a lot of attention," says Kinder.

Rigby says the city is also considering putting a transit hub in the central part of the developed area because of how dense the population is in that area.

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