Project Wichita unveils final recommendations for Riverfront Legacy Master Plan

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WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Final recommendations for the Riverfront Legacy Master Plan have been released.

Details regarding the potential developments were presented to a panel in a public meeting at Newman University on Tuesday.

The plan includes 17 major capital projects, including:
• New performing arts
• New convention center to meet the changing needs of the convention industry and to generate income
• 12 acres of green space, including a new park along the riverfront
• Funding for programming and maintenance of parks
• New mixed-use components to drive economic growth
• New pedestrian bridge to connect the site to the new ballpark

Courtesy: Riverfront Legacy coalition

“This plan allows us to create a new vision along the Arkansas River – one that is catalytic, attractive to talent and ultimately will be accessible to people throughout the midwest,” said Jon Rolph, co-chair of the Greater
Wichita Partnership

Courtesy: Riverfront Legacy coalition

According to a press release, the group says funding for this project will come from a mix of private investments, including philanthropic dollars and sponsorships, as well as bonds, grants, tax-increment financing, and a sales tax, etc.

In the first three to five years, the projects would include:

  • Sustainable Infrastructure Planning
  • Mixed-use on Waterman and Main St.
  • Demo Library
  • New Performing Arts Center
  • Mixed-use on Douglas and Main St.
  • New Hyatt Garage
  • Start Design of Convention Center
  • Complete Streets Phase 1
  • Public Open Space Programming Planning

Phase one is expected to cost somewhere between $265 to $300 million dollars.

A 5-10 year plan includes tearing down Century II, tearing down the Hyatt parking lot, and adding a new convention center & public plaza.

  • Demo Old Hyatt Garage
  • New Convention Center & Public Plaza
  • Demo Century II and Support Buildings
  • Complete Streets Phase 2
  • New Century Park and Parking
  • Mixed-use on Douglas
  • Hyatt Expansion
  • Enhanced Riverfront Phase 2

This phase is expected to cost $690 to $750 million dollars.

Even though these are the Riverfront Legacy Master Plan Coalition’s final recommendations, nothing is set in stone until city council members vote on the proposal and decide how to fund it.

“These recommendations are based on guiding principles provided by the Riverfront Legacy coalition, input from the community and market research and studies that have been conducted since 2013,” said Shelly Prichard, president and CEO of the Wichita Community Foundation, another member of the Coalition. “The recommended plans and how we get there are well-researched and provide a road map that can get us to a new place in Wichita – one that takes advantage of one of the most valuable assets we have, the Arkansas River.”

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