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Coalition Expected to Give Direction to Design Team at Meeting Today

Final design to be presented after the first of the year

Today, members of the Riverfront Legacy Master Plan Coalition are listening to final presentations about community engagement and estimated economic impact of various design scenarios before giving final direction to the design team working on the master plan.

The meeting is hosted by Downtown Wichita and starts at 4 p.m. at the Wichita Regional Chamber of Commerce. Amber Luther from global architectural firm Populous will join the meeting via Zoom. The public is invited to attend. A Q&A will be provided after the meeting ends.

Highlights from today’s discussion include:

- Community engagement:

  • More than 5,000 public comments from a variety of sources, from the website to social media, open house feedback and the “Make Wichita Win” community engagement campaign
  • Themes most often heard: Green space/parks/open spaces, river activation, amenities such as restaurants, shops, bars, etc.
  • See December 13, 2019 press release for additional details

- Economic impact

  • Previous studies have shown that the performing arts and convention industry need new facilities to maximize return on investments.
  • Economic impacts are estimated to double over a 10-year period with new facilities, from $360 million with minimal renovations of Century II, compared with a yield $915 to $921 million in economic impact over a 10-year period with new facilities.
  • Market-based analysis shows the 55+ acres that make up the Riverfront Legacy Master Plan area can support retail establishments like restaurants, a grocery store, shopping, as well as office buildings, a non-conference hotel and residential spaces – all which connect to other plans in downtown and Delano.
  • It would be difficult to successfully market those facilities in a renovated Century II.

A final recommended vision and master plan design for the area, along the Arkansas River from Douglas Avenue to Kellogg and east to Main Street, will be presented to the public from 5:30 to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, January 14, 2020, at Newman University Dugan-Gorges Conference Center, 3100 McCormick St., Wichita.

Organizations in the Riverfront Legacy Master Plan coalition are the City of Wichita, Downtown Wichita, Greater Wichita Partnership, Sedgwick County, Visit Wichita, Wichita Community Foundation and Wichita Regional Chamber of Commerce/W – a community of young professionals/Wichita Educational Foundation, working together through the regional vision and action plan Project Wichita.

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