Downtown Changing to Stay Competitive

By: Jordan Shefte Email
By: Jordan Shefte Email

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A downtown is the central core of a community, and Wichita's is getting a makeover.
Just this year, about thirty million dollars of new projects in downtown have been announced.
They're changes that will help Wichita compete as a viable community.

"Obviously as you can see behind me we've got a little bit of a construction project going on here," said YMCA Communications Director Shelly Conrady.

Tall cranes and fenced in construction sites are becomming common sights in downtown Wichita.

"This is a very dynamic time for the city of Wichita," said President of the Downtown Development Corporation, Jeff Fluhr.

To get an idea of just how much change is occurring in downtown Wichita, a map in the design innovation center at the Downtown Development office offers a visual.
Completed projects are marked in green, current projects are designated by orange, and blue represents future projects.

"Well you know it's really exciting. Last year we saw about sixty million dollars in projects completed," Fluhr said. "During that time frame last year, we had about ninety four million dollars initiated in projects, now a lot of those are coming to fruition this year."

One of those projects that is nearing completion is the central YMCA.

"There's a lot of energy downtown and we're excited to be a part of that," Conrady said.

Fluhr says that a lot of the progress can be contributed to Project Downtown that was adopted nearly two years ago.

"That's really a communities blueprint for what we wanted to see happen in this downtown area," Fluhr said.

It's not just additional businesses that the project targets, it also aims to increase the number of people living downtown.
With five hundred residential units currently underway, the YMCA is hoping to benefit from its new neighbors.

"This new building will be family friendly, and we know we've got a lot families moving down to the downtown area with a lot of new apartments going in," Conrady said. "We just want to be part of that and make sure we have an opportunity for people to develop healthy lifestyles down here,"

"The more people we get living downtown, then that will help us with the retail market, the restaurant market, and all those speciality type things that really are quite distinctive for a downtown," Fluhr said.

To see all of the latest development projects or downtown events, we have posted a link to the Downtown Development Corporation below.

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