Downtown Wichita

WichitaLiberty.TV: Project Wichita

WichitaLiberty.TV: Project Wichita

In this episode of WichitaLiberty.TV: Project Wichita co-chairs join Bob Weeks to explain the goals and process of Project Wichita. View below, or click here to view at YouTube. Episode 198, broadcast June 2, 2018. Shownotes Project Wichita website Project Wichita on Facebook @ProjectWichita on Twitter For more WichitaLiberty.TV, click here.
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Wichita in ‘Best Cities for Jobs 2018’

Wichita in ‘Best Cities for Jobs 2018’

Wichita continues to decline in economic vitality, compared to other areas. NewGeography.com is a joint venture of Joel Kotkin and Praxis Strategy Group. Its annual "Best Cities for Jobs" project ranks metropolitan areas according to growth in employment. Of 422 metropolitan areas considered, Wichita ranked 383, dropping 28 spots since the previous year. Among 100 medium size metropolitan areas, Wichita ranked 93, dropping 5 spots from the previous year. NewGeography.com uses employment data from the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics from November 2006 to January 2018. [2. "The methodology for our 2018 ranking largely corresponds to that used in…
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Project Wichita right to look ahead at city’s future

Project Wichita right to look ahead at city’s future

We can understand self-serving politicians and bureaucrats. It's what they do. But a city's newspaper editorial board ought to be concerned with the truth. In February the Wichita Eagle editorialized about Project Wichita, a ramping-up effort to do something about the future of Wichita. [1. Wichita Eagle Editorial Board. Project Wichita right to look ahead at city’s future. Available at http://www.kansas.com/opinion/editorials/article198178899.html.] It's worthwhile to take a look at the op-ed, if only to learn something about the quality of Wichita Eagle editorial writing. I understand civic boosterism; the desire to paint a positive image of the future. But this rosy…
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Naftzger Park private use plans unsettled

Naftzger Park private use plans unsettled

An important detail regarding Naftzger Park in downtown Wichita is unsettled, and Wichitans have reason to be wary. In the developer agreement regarding Naftzger Park passed on December 19, 2017, there was this: “The City and the Board will cooperate with Developers, upon Developers’ request, to create an Annual Master Calendar of private and public events for the Park, with the expectation that the Developers will have the use of the Park for certain private events.” [1. DEVELOPMENT AGREEMENT between the CITY OF WICHITA, KANSAS, BOARD OF PARK COMMISSIONERS OF THE CITY OF WICHITA, KANSAS, SENECA PROPERTY, LLC, and SUNFLOWER…
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Naftzger Park project details

Naftzger Park project details

The city has finalized a proposal for a development near Naftzger Park. It includes a few new and creative provisions. This week the City of Wichita will consider a development agreement for land and buildings near Naftzger Park in downtown Wichita. [1. City of Wichita Agenda Packet for December 19, 2017, Item IV-6. Available at http://wichitaks.granicus.com/AgendaViewer.php?view_id=2&clip_id=3699.] Community Improvement District The plan includes the formation of a Community Improvement District. In CIDs, merchants charge additional sales tax for the benefit of the property owners, instead of the general public.[1. Weeks, Bob. Community improvement districts in Kansas. Available at https://wichitaliberty.org/kansas-government/community-improvement-districts-kansas/.] In this…
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Delano catalyst site

Delano catalyst site

A development near downtown Wichita may receive subsidy through four different avenues. This week the Wichita City Council will consider approval of a development agreement with EPC Real Estate, LLC, for the Delano catalyst site. This is vacant land north of Douglas, between the Advanced Learning Library and the River Vista project. Update: The measure passed four votes to three, with Bluebaugh, Frye, and Longwell in the minority. Wichita Eagle reporting mentions some of the public subsidy the development will receive: $12 million over a period of years, in the form of Tax Increment Financing and Community Improvement District sales…
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Briefs

Reminds me of the Wichita flag Wichita Eagle Opinion Line, December 5, 2017: "So Wichita wants to put its flag on license plates. I hope not. Every time I see it, it reminds me of how much it looks like the KKK emblem." I've noticed this too. Have you? Here is the center of the Wichita flag along with the blood cross used by the Ku Klux Klan. Wichita hotel resurgence? At the meeting of the Wichita City Council today, there was self-congratulation on the success of the city and its convention and tourism bureau in generating business for Wichita…
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Briefs

Briefs

He didn't participate Wichita Eagle Opinion Line, November 24, 2017: "The kindest word that can be ascribed to State Senator Susan Wagle, when she criticizes the Kansas Supreme Court? Disingenuous. She never mentions Brownback appointee, Justice Caleb Stegall; he has repeatedly agreed with his colleagues on school finance." The likely reason Senator Wagle doesn't mention Justice Stegall when criticizing the Court on school finance matters is that he, along with another judge, hasn't participated. The recent opinions are signed "BEIER and STEGALL, JJ., not participating. MICHAEL J. MALONE and DAVID L. STUTZMAN, Senior Judges, assigned." Why? "Justices Carol Beier and…
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Living in downtown Wichita

Living in downtown Wichita

Wichita economic development officials use a circuitous method of estimating the population of downtown Wichita, producing a number much higher than Census Bureau estimates. Recently the Wichita Business Journal reported: Getting more people to live in the core was clearly one of the most important tasks for the city. Back in 2010, the report said downtown Wichita was ripe for an additional 1,000 housing units. That goal seems to have been met. According to a recent report from the group Downtown Wichita, 835 residential units have been completed since 2010. An additional 742 units are in development downtown, where about…
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Downtown Wichita report omits formerly prominent data

Downtown Wichita report omits formerly prominent data

The new State of Downtown Wichita report for 2017 is missing something. What is it, and why is it missing? Recently the Wichita Business Journal reported: When you're Jeff Fluhr, you don't spend much time in park -- it's usually full speed ahead. It was no different when a couple of members of the Wichita Business Journal's newsroom visited with the president of Downtown Wichita and the Greater Wichita Partnership in early October. On this day, Fluhr was excited to pass out copies of the 42-page 2017 "State of Downtown" report, which had just been released. [1. Horwath, Brian. Downtown…
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