WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Mayor Jeff Longwell clarified Thursday any confusion about the city’s involvement with the property west of the new baseball stadium.
“The city has not been purchasing those homes. It was a private developer that’s been purchasing those homes,” said Mayor Longwell.
The area in question is two blocks west of the new stadium from Sycamore to Oak Street, between Maple and Texas.
It’s the area marked in the latest draft of the Ballpark Village Master Plan as an option for a surface parking lot.
Mayor Longwell confirmed there are talks between developers and homeowners in the area.
“And they’re offering them my understanding some pretty good prices. So they have the choice to sell their home or not sell their home,” said Mayor Longwell.
Robert Baughmann’s family made the choice to sell the three homes they own on Oak Street to developers. But it’s still something Baughmann doesn’t like to see – his neighborhood for 10 years possibly pushed aside for new stadium parking.
“I don’t like it, but if it comes to it, I have to do it, I will. It’s a tough situation very tough for me,” said Baughmann.
Right now, officials aren’t saying if it will be used for parking or for something else. They contend it’s still too early to know for sure.
“Those are place holders in that plan in terms of where they could be, but we’re not involved in any purchase of land,” said Cindy Claycomb, a city council member.
Claycomb said the ballpark plan is still being finalized. It will be presented to the Delano Advisory Committee next week and then to city council in August.