Downtown Wichita

Naftzger Park event management agreement still ambiguous

Naftzger Park event management agreement still ambiguous

This week the Wichita City Council will update an agreement from last year, but it appears important issues were not addressed. Last February the City of Wichita approved an agreement with a local business to manage events at Naftzger Park. With the pandemic upending public events, the business -- Wave Old Town, LLC -- was unable to program any events. Therefore, the city wants to add additional time to the agreement. During the delay, the city could have addressed problems with the original agreement. Some problems concern the bidding process. My concern was the uncertainty in the profit-sharing agreement, which…
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Downtown Wichita population is up

Downtown Wichita population is up

New Census Bureau data shows the downtown Wichita population growing in 2019. Data released today by the United States Census Bureau shows the estimated population for zip code 67202 in 2019 was 1,751, an increase of 80 from the prior year. Zip code 67202 is greater downtown Wichita, from the Arkansas River east to Washington, and Kellogg north to Central, roughly. The source of this data is U.S. Census Bureau, 2015-2019 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates. This is not the Bureau's estimate of the population in 2019. This is because for areas of population less than 65,000, the Bureau does…
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Downtown Wichita attraction attendance

Downtown Wichita attraction attendance

Attendance at downtown Wichita attractions presented in an interactive visualization. The Source of data is Visit Wichita Convention & Visitors Bureau as presented in State of Downtown Reports published by DowntownWichita.org. Click here to access the visualization.
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Naftzger Park on the web: Do we care?

Naftzger Park on the web: Do we care?

A badly outdated portion of Wichita's website makes me wonder: Does anyone care? In the Naftzger Park Facebook group that I co-administer, someone recently posted this: Hi! I'm [not] new to Wichita and a friend told me about a quaint and lovely Victorian style park set in the downtown area. I love little parks like these as they're such an endearing surprise in the midst of old industrial buildings and warehouses. After seeing the pictures on your website, I can tell my friend understated the beauty of the park. I can't wait to visit! One problem though, I can't find…
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At Naftzger Park: ‘Sunflower Exclusive’

At Naftzger Park: ‘Sunflower Exclusive’

Dr. Chinyere Grace Okafor, poet, playwright and fiction writer, "is a Professor of English and Women's Studies, Director of the Center for Women’s Studies and Chair of the Department of Women’s Studies and Religion, Wichita State University." She has contributed a poem that is featured in the redesigned Naftzger Park in downtown Wichita. Chase Billingham visited the park and transcribed the poem. He reports: "This is the poem that has been carved into stone pavers in the new Naftzger Park. The poem appears twice in the park. It appears in its entirety in one large slab near Douglas Avenue. And…
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Wichita taxing district to expand

Wichita taxing district to expand

The City of Wichita plans to expand a special tax district. Next week the Wichita City Council will consider expanding an existing CID, or Community Improvement District, in the Delano neighborhood near downtown Wichita. A map provided by the city is nearby. Community Improvement Districts are a mechanism whereby extra sales tax is collected within a district. For this CID, the city asks to collect an extra two cents per dollar, which is the maximum allowed in Kansas. CIDs are distinguished from STAR bonds, in which incremental sales tax revenue in a district is captured and handled differently from the…
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Naftzger Park event management agreement ambiguous

Naftzger Park event management agreement ambiguous

The profit-sharing agreement for Naftzger Park event management contains ambiguity that could lead to disputes. Today the Wichita City Council approved an agreement with Wave Old Town LLC for event management in Naftzger Park in downtown Wichita. The agreement was approved unanimously. While there was controversy over the awarding of the contract (Wichita Eagle reporting is here), others have noticed that the contract is imprecise in a way that could lead to problems. The city and Wave will share profits and losses based on a schedule in the management agreement contained in the agenda packet for today's meeting, Item V-2.…
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Business improvement district on tap in Wichita

Business improvement district on tap in Wichita

The Douglas Design District seeks to transform from a voluntary business organization to a tax-funded branch of government. Tomorrow the Wichita City Council will consider forming a business improvement district (BID) in east-central Wichita. Previously, city documents offered some explanation regarding the district: [1. City of Wichita. Agenda for August 21, 2018, Item IV-1. Available at http://www.wichita.gov/Council/Agendas/08-21-2018%20City%20Council%20Agenda%20Packet.pdf.] First, there already exists a voluntary organization: "The Douglas Design District (DDD) is a voluntary organization of over 300 local businesses located near Douglas Avenue between Washington Avenue and Oliver Avenue. In 2017, the DDD established a five-year strategic plan to become a…
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