06 Dec Wichita Area Growing With New Entertainment & Shopping Construction Projects Underway
Original Post By KWCH of Wichita
Wichita city leaders will vote today on two big projects that could change your entertainment and shopping options for the next decade.
The projects are in the area of K-96 and Greenwich and along the Arkansas River corridor.
Mayor Jeff Longwell sat down with Eyewitness News to talk about several issues, including those projects.
“We’re just seeing a lot of investment coming to Wichita and a lot of excitement,” said Longwell.
That investment and excitement Mayor Longwell is talking about is on several fronts, but it’s mainly surrounding the two improvement projects.
The first is the river corridor. There’s already construction in this area with the new Advanced Learning Library.
The second is the area around K96 and Greenwich.
Both projects use special financing called star bonds.
Tuesday, the city council will vote on whether to makes the projects bigger.
“We know that we don’t have mountains or oceans, but we’re investing in people. We’re investing in our community. We’re investing in innovation,” said Longwell.
The mayor says the goal of both projects is to invest more money into the areas and attract people to Wichita.
Along the river, that would be the Lawrence Dumont Stadium expansion and adding more amenities in the area.
At 96 and Greenwich, several improvements including 10 turf fields with lighting at the Stryker Soccer Complex and a large indoor facility.
If approved, both projects would be done by summer 2018.
“We’re talking about building opportunities that will encourage my grand kids to say, ‘man, isn’t Wichita the best city ever?’ And those are the decisions that we’re making today,” said Longwell.
Next week they’ll vote to approve two companies to begin work on two other projects near Douglas and Hillside and Delano.
“I couldn’t imagine having this much momentum at this point in our history that are going to allow us to do some things that will put Wichita on the map for 25 years to come,” said Longwell.
STAR bonds do not increase taxes.
The $22 million project at 96 and Greenwich is expected to bring in more than 100,000 people to Wichita from outside the region and state.
If the city council, and the Kansas Department of Commerce approve the project, then the city will get to keep the extra sales tax and use that money to pay off the bond.