WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – The Wichita City Council voted 7-0 on Tuesday to approve street designs for Commerce and St. Francis from Waterman to Kellogg south of Intrust Bank Arena.

The two streets would be reconstructed with the existing brick. The proposed on-street parking areas will be concrete.

Commerce Street would still be a two-way roadway with a sidewalk. Parallel and perpendicular parking would be added on the east side of the street.

St. Francis would be reconstructed into a two-way street with angled parking on the west side and parallel parking on the east side. Sidewalks will be constructed on each side of St. Francis Street. New pedestrian and vehicle connections will be added between Commerce and St. Francis.

City approves designs for streets south of Intrust Bank Arena (Courtesy: City of Wichita)

The project will also include aesthetic elements such as trees, benches, trash receptacles, and bike racks.

Construction is anticipated to begin in early 2024 and be completed in early 2025 in time for the NCAA Tournament, which will be held at the arena.

Several developers and those that work in the area spoke in favor of the design. However, one business in the area was worried about how construction could impact his business.

The Council still has to approve construction funding and the final art plan for the area. The funding for the design concept was approved by the Council on Jan. 18, 2022.