Union Station is latest venue contributing to downtown Wichita’s economy


Developing downtown has been a big push by the city of Wichita in recent years.

Now after more than a decade, the historic Union Station will be open for business.

It’s been a long time since any of us have been able to step foot inside the iconic building.

“This is where you bought your ticket, waited here for your train to be called,” said Chad Stafford, as he gave KSN a tour of Union Station. He’s the president of Occidental Management, the group that owns the building. 

By the end of the month, 600 new jobs will be added downtown when the Faneuil call center moves in.

“From a transformational standpoint this is iconic and it’s on our most postcard street,” said Jason Gregory, executive vice president of Downtown Wichita.

The call center isn’t the only businesses coming to the Union Station. 

Jenny Dawn Cellars, an urban winery, will be opening up in the summer in the old express building. 

The revived Union Station on Douglas Avenue, sits next door to Cargill’s new downtown headquarters, and its 800 employees.

With Spaghetti Works just a few blocks away, and the new baseball stadium being built, downtown is becoming more and more vibrant.

“I’m glad that they’re seeing more condos, apartments being built downtown, and utilizing some of the old structures that they have here in town,” said Gary Cheever, who lives downtown with his wife.

Local businesses say they’re also feeling the impact. 

“We have seen an increase in business, increase in lunch, increase in to go orders, and a definite increase in our after hour crowd,” said Erica Lopez, owner of Emerson Biggins Old Town. 

Now, lifelong Wichita resident Cheever says, there’s just one thing missing.

“Living downtown our hopes would be that they would get a grocery store downtown,” he said.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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