downtown Wichita

Nadya Faulx / KMUW

A new hotel is coming to downtown Wichita. As KMUW’s Nadya Faulx reports, the project has some controversial backing from the city.

The Hilton Garden Inn will be built at Douglas Avenue and Topeka, where the current building, Commerce Plaza, has remained vacant for years.

Sean Sandefur / KMUW/File photo

A new report on progress in downtown Wichita shows private investment more than tripled between 2014 and 2015.

The Wichita Downtown Development Corporation says more than $95 million in private investment went toward the city’s downtown last year; in 2014, private investment reached about $22 million. Total private and public investment in 2015 was more than $120 million, the highest one-year total since the organization's master plan was adopted in 2010.

Sean Sandefur / KMUW/File photo

After celebrating its 100th anniversary two years ago by sitting vacant and in rough shape, Wichita’s historic Union Station, as well as the the train depot and two story building sitting next to it, have been brought back to life.

There are now several tenants, from restaurants to insurance offices. 

Chad Stafford, president of Occidental Management, the company developing the property, says the first phase concentrated on the two-story Grand and Patrick Building along Douglas, the adjacent brick train depot, and the exterior courtyard.

For the first time in years, a large hole in downtown Wichita has been filled. As KMUW’s Sean Sandefur reports, a small park, called a pop-up, will soon take its place.

Report Shows Downtown Investment Is Paying Off

Jun 2, 2015
Wichita Downtown Development Corporation

An annual report indicates that public spending for downtown projects is only a fraction of what it was 10 years ago. KMUW’s Sean Sandefur has more…

The Rebirth Of Wichita's Downtown

Apr 11, 2014
Sean Sandefur

Carla Eckels / KMUW

The changing role of libraries is evident across the country. With e-books and other emerging technologies, libraries continue to adapt to meet the needs of their patrons.

A master plan to build a new central library in downtown Wichita has been in the works for the last seven years. Funding for the $29 million facility is now up in the air with the Wichita City Council directing the library to seek out more private funds. 

Courtesy / City of Wichita

Starting Wednesday you can use your credit or debit card to pay to park in downtown Wichita.

In a release, city officials said the three-month test project will make it even easier to park in the downtown area.

People who park in the metered lot east of Century II Expo Hall or south of the Central Library will be directed to centralized parking pay stations near the north entrances. The meters in those areas will be out-of-service.

The price to park will remain the same, but drivers can pay with change, credit or debit card.

chris.locke / flickr

Nearly $100 million was invested in downtown projects last year including the Ambassador Hotel, St. Mary's Cathedral and the YMCA.

This figure comes from the 2012 Project Downtown annual report that was presented to the Wichita City Council Tuesday by Jeff Fluhr, president of the Wichita Downtown Development Corp., and Scott Knebel from the city.

David Dixon, principle for planning and urban design at Goody Clancy out of Boston, was also part of the presentation because he helped craft the master plan.

Press courtesy photo

A ground breaking event was held Wednesday to build new headquarters for the Kansas Leadership Center and Kansas Health Foundation Conference center in downtown Wichita. 

The 3-story building will feature a 200-seat town hall meeting space, offices and classrooms and an unfinished 3rd floor for future expansion. 

KLC’s Ed O’Malley says the building is designed as a flexible, functional space that contributes to developing more engaged leaders in healthier communities.