Greater Wichita Partnership > About > Priorities > Quality of Place
Enhancing Quality Of Place
The Greater Wichita Partnership is committed to building economic development and growth with a focus on quality of place as a key competitive advantage. The Wichita region offers a proactive, vibrant culture characterized by significant large-scale redevelopment and palpable community pride. We are proud to help continue to drive economic growth and development in Downtown Wichita and the Greater Wichita region.
Learn about how our team plans to enhance our region’s quality of place in downtown Wichita and throughout the region in 2021 in a video featuring executive vice president of Downtown Wichita, Jason Gregory.
Downtown Wichita is an affiliate of the Greater Wichita Partnership. The mission of the Downtown team is to cultivate opportunities that revitalize and enhance development in Wichita’s urban core. We collaborate with stakeholders to stimulate investment and interest in downtown, connect resources and steward initiatives that allow commerce and culture to thrive. The primary priority for the Downtown Wichita organization is to realize the vision set forth in Project Downtown: The Master Plan for Wichita.
Development in Downtown
The Downtown team works to achieve the vision set forth in Project Downtown by working with key stakeholders on urban design implementations, keeping market and economic research up-to-date, and advocating for investment and development in the core.
Collaborating with the public and private sectors, we work to enhance perceptions of Wichita’s urban core, creating awareness for the district, and marketing development opportunities.
Enhancing Downtown Vibrancy
In order to strengthen the place-based identity of Wichita, our team creates and assists in a variety of placemaking initiatives and programming efforts.
Reporting and Tracking Outcomes
The last decade witnessed remarkable urban redevelopment and investment in downtown Wichita. Here are a few key highlights:
- In the last ten years 95 development projects were completed, five are under construction, and thirteen are in planning.
- Since 2010 over a billion dollars in investments have been secured in the urban core.
- In 2019, investments totaled $87.5 million from the private sector and $7.3 million from public funds, with a 11:1 ratio of private to public investment dollars.
- To spread positivity during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Downtown Wichita team engaged nine local artists to create posters called "love notes" featuring upliftnig messages. More than 70 posters with over 30 unique designs were distributed throughout downtown and neighboring districts.
- Downtown Wichita was awarded $56,000 from the Knight Foundation Fund at Wichita Community Foundation for two placemaking initiatives — the Alley Doors project and the Gallery Alley transformation.
- In May 2020, Downtown Wichita received a grant from the COVID-19 Connection Fund at the Wichita Community Foundation to help eligible small businesses within the Self Supported Municipal Improvement District (SSMID) partner with local professional organizations to provide assistance. These organizations include Allen, Gibbs & Houlik, Howerton+White and Martin Pringle Law Firm. By year-end Downtown Wichita awarded $1,500 grants to 21 participating businesses.
Want to learn more about Downtown Wichita's progress? View the 2020 State of Downtown Report, which contains market and economic data that documents the transformation occurring in Wichita’s urban center.
- Explore Project Downtown: The Master Plan for Wichita, adopted in 2010, providing a 15-year vision for development that continues to be realized through strategic public sector investment to spur private development and investments.
- Visit the Downtown Wichita site to discover the vibrant commerce and culture at the core of the state’s largest city.
A Distinctive Region
Developing a distinctive region is critical to attracting talent, visitors, and economic growth. The Greater Wichita Partnership, working in collaboration with public and private partners and through invitations to collaborate with the general public, provides leadership and staff support to define community visions and plans.
In 2018, the Partnership team assisted in the regional visioning and action planning process, Project Wichita. With most people in the region believing it is important to change and grow to keep the next generation in our region, the Project Wichita plan offers a clarifying call to propel the region forward and hold each other accountable for how we achieve this goal.
In response to the recommendations from Project Wichita and the Century II Citizens Advisory Committee, community organizations stepped forward in 2019 to take the next step and create a comprehensive master plan and vision that connects projects on both banks of the Arkansas River. The Riverfront Legacy Master Planning process was paused in 2020 and will be re-engaged in 2021. The Coalition will be taking deliberate steps to identify how markets are responding from COVID-19, in order to ensure the plan makes economic sense.
- Discover Project Wichita’s bold vision and progress to date. The 10-year regional vision and action plan identifies five focus areas: talent, lifelong learning, economic prosperity, strong communities and neighborhoods, and quality of place. Since the final report was released in late 2018, significant progress has been made in each of the focus areas.
Partnerships for Progress: The Riverfront Legacy Master Plan
The City of Wichita, Downtown Wichita, Greater Wichita Partnership, Sedgwick County, Visit Wichita, Wichita Community Foundation and the Wichita Regional Chamber of Commerce, working in collaboration with the Wichita Educational Foundation and W - A Community of Young Professionals, and together with many other organizations and neighborhoods, initiated a master plan of development for the east bank of the Arkansas River. The Riverfront Legacy Master Plan includes the area from Kellogg to Douglas, and Main Street to the east bank of the river, including the adjacent downtown area and neighborhoods.
The plan brings all key elements of the location together: the riverfront, Century II, a performing arts center, convention center, the former library, WaterWalk, a pedestrian bridge, and projects on the west bank of the river. The plan builds on previous studies for the east side of the Arkansas River as well as new developments such as Riverfront Stadium to the west.
The process included vast community engagement including five public open houses, 40+ community presentations, and five public Coalition meetings — for an estimated total of 5,000 comments collected.
Executive Vice President of Downtown Wichita
Downtown Wichita is the heart of our region. For any questions regarding the development or marketing of the core, please contact our team at Downtown Wichita.