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2021 Quality of Place Year-End Update

In 2021, the Partnership team worked purposefully to produce results through established strategies, deliberate marketing and collaborative engagement with community partners and business leadership. The following information is a high-level overview of the accomplishments made in 2021 within our strategic priority of Quality of Place to fast-forward economic growth in the Greater Wichita region.

Downtown Wichita Initiatives

Develop a Vibrant Downtown

12 development projects completed in 2021

Fidelity Bank Car Park Phase 1 completed, including the construction of a 135,000 SF, five-story park with 405 stalls and 24 electric car charging stations and 17,000 SF of retail space on the ground floor available for lease

430 Redevelopment project opened with IMA Financial Group as anchor tenant at Douglas & Emporia

Wichita Wind Surge brings affiliated baseball back to Wichita in their first season at Riverfront Stadium

WSU Tech announced the new National Institute for Culinary and Hospitality Education (NICHE) in the former Henry’s Department Store building, completing Block One, an entire city block of development initiated in 2012

Process for the redesign of Chester I. Lewis Park is underway engaging community partners, leaders and local and national artists to honor the legacy of Chester I. Lewis and create an inviting entryway for the proposed Kansas Health Science Center

Raised $250,000 for the development of Chester I. Lewis Park with partners including Emprise Bank, Fidelity Bank, INTRUST Bank, the Kansas Health Science Center - Kansas College of Osteopathic Medicine (KHSC-KCOM), Meritrust Credit Union and the Wichita Parks Foundation

Renovations for Arena Pointe at 400 S. Emporia located directly south of INTRUST Bank Arena are nearing completion

Bokeh Development renovated the ground-floor retail space at the historic Renfro Building to create the Shops at Galley Alley by adding windows, exterior signage and storefront visibility and accessibility via the alley, a unique walkway featuring café seating and public art

City of Wichita converted Emporia Avenue from one-way to two-way traffic

225 Sycamore in Delano completed with 204 new residential units and over 10,000 SF of ground floor retail space along Sycamore

Downtown Wichita contracted three national firms to produce market forecasts for downtown providing updated analyses and forecasts on the key downtown markets

Modig Machine Tool completed new North American headquarters in downtown, renovating the building at 208 S. Commerce

Initiate Placemaking and Programming to Enhance Vibrancy

Awarded a $75,000 grant in partnership with the City of Wichita from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), the first NEA Our Town grant for the City of Wichita, to support a new initiative called the Front Porch project

Launched the Front Porch project, which pairs local creatives with downtown business owners to create extensions of their businesses in the public right-of-way and announced the artists and businesses working together following a Call for Entry for the project

Partnered with Envision to reimagine and relaunch Gallery Alley as a destination for intersensory art experiences featuring five sculptures created by local artists

Launched the Development Toolkit on, highlighting investment, demographic and real estate information for the district

Planned a surprise pop-up egg hunt with 26 brightly colored eggs filled with toys, games and gift cards to downtown businesses and planted them along Douglas Avenue for the community to find

Hosted Downtown Clean Up in July for community volunteers to pick up trash throughout downtown

Worked with over 100 students in local elementary schools to create unique holiday-themed artwork that are displayed on 23 banners along Douglas Avenue

Partnered with Hutton, Star Lumber and local artist Heather Byers to create “Santa’s House” – a small holiday-decorated structure at Naftzger Park perfect for holiday photos

Partnered with the Kansas Humane Society to host Holiday Family Pet Photos at Naftzger Park encouraging the community to bring their pets to pose for family photos in front of Santa’s House

Market Downtown to Enhance Perceptions

Maintained a robust digital marketing presence via and @DowntownWichita on social media channels Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Vimeo to promote the district

Released Possibility People – Celebrating 10 Years of Project Downtown video, designed to increase awareness that 2020 marked 10 years since the adoption of Project Downtown

Launched a robust social media campaign to encourage the community to support local downtown businesses in response to the COVID-19 pandemic

Partnered with the Old Town Association to launch a new website for Old Town through Howerton+White and employ an intern to help manage the Old Town social media channels – Facebook, Twitter and Instagram – and website

Launched a new text subscription service that provides weekly updates on events in the urban core

Launched the 2021 Downtown Wichita Annual Report showcasing organizational initiatives from 2020

Developed a holiday webpage on the Downtown Wichita website to serve as a one-stop resource for all holiday events in the district

Distinctive Region Initiatives

Project Wichita Collective Impact and Sustainability

Wichita Literacy Coalition launched Phase 2 of its initiative, including a focus on kindergarten readiness and distribution of materials in addition to a revised mission and KPIs and new marketing efforts

Riverfront Legacy Master Plan

With updated Downtown Market Studies and Visit Wichita’s recent convention update, next steps are underway with public and private partners

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