Imagine stepping outside your home, and in less than a minute you’re at the office or a music concert. That’s exactly what you’ll get at the new Spaghetti Works District by Naftzger Park in downtown Wichita.
It’s all part of a concept called “Live, work and play.” Forty-one apartments plus retail shops are now under construction. The development is what city officials say is a much-needed facelift.
“I’m excited to move down here with all the exciting things happening.” ~ Hope Stein
You can live inside the renovated Spaghetti Works building, where historic meets modern.
Combining the old with the new, blending modern with sentimental — there’s something special about a place that looks as though it evolved over the years.
“It really adds to something that is really the theme of the Design District and also the theme of Old Town,” explained Brett Harris, with Landmark Commercial Real Estate.
The original wood columns and brick walls remain inside the new Spaghetti Works apartments. Do you remember the lighted marquee sign? It welcomes you right as you enter the building.
“Everything is re-purposed,” said Harris.
“We’re trying to find variety and no redundancy so we can try to provide something for everybody.”
Every apartment features new appliances and huge windows — with views of Intrust Bank Arena, Union Station and the Spaghetti Works District.
But what is it about this swanky new spot that had people paying leasing deposits before it was built?
“When I lived downtown in Kansas City, I realized I have to be in the city,” said Hope Stein, resident. “I just loved it.”
Spaghetti Works is in a centralized location — bridging east and west of the train tracks. It was that very reason why local developers Brad Saville and Nick Esterline bought the building years ago.
“We just saw this as a really special property that had been abandoned for over 10 years,” said Brad Saville.
Right across the apartment building, you can work in a new retail and office space.
Saville said the building has three tenants already: HomeGrown, Martin Pringle Law Firm and Eric Fisher Salon.
Developers are looking for more tenants, but stressed they want to find the perfect fit for the area.
“We’re trying to find variety and no redundancy so we can try to provide something for everybody,” Saville said.
The final component is play — with entertainment options a few feet away in the redesigned Naftzger Park.
“There’s gonna be a lot of people sitting out here eating, having fun, having a nice lunch break,” Saville said.
The amount of activities outside her door was a huge selling point for Stein.
“When I lived downtown Kansas City, that’s when it grew. The street car became a thing,” she recalled. “It was really fun living down there with the development happening.”
Living in Wichita won’t be different.
“I’m excited to move down here with all the exciting things happening,” said Stein.
Saville said it isn’t the first time he’s heard that kind of feedback, especially from millenials.
“They always want to go to a different city, but now they’re starting to say ‘Wichita is pretty cool now,'” Saville said.
It could be a benefit to the downtown area.
“Corporations want to be downtown, and they’re wanting to be where they can hire younger people and attract younger people,” Saville said.
It could possibly create a future for abandoned buildings along Douglas.
“Maybe these other store fronts can get filled now,” Saville said.
Looking across Douglas Avenue the Spaghetti Works District doesn’t look like much now; but you know what they say — if you build it, they will come.
The construction of the Spaghetti Works District is on schedule, and should open by summer of next year.
KSN News is told a studio starts around $740 and a 2-bedroom would be around $1,400. It will also depend on where the apartment is located.