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Riverfront Legacy Master Plan

More than 600 Wichitans crowded in the Newman University Dugan Library and Campus Center in January. All were anxious to hear the final recommendations for the future of the east bank of the Arkansas River. It had been several months filled with community engagement, data from previous studies and market-based research – all coming together to form one vision.

The plan, completed by Populous, RCLCO Real Estate Advisors and Olin Studio, includes renderings and designs, a cost breakdown and funding strategies.

In total, the recommendation calls for 17 major capital projects, including:

  • New performing arts
  • New convention center to generate tax revenue
  • 10 acres of green space (including a new park along the riverfront)
  • Funding for programming and maintenance of parks
  • New mixed-use components to drive economic growth
  • New pedestrian bridge to connect the site to the new ballpark

The 17 projects are projected to cost between $1 billion to $1.2 billion and would be phased in for 10 to 15 years.

When presenting the funding strategy, the design team suggested a mix of private investments and public options, and recommended about 50 percent of the public investment to be from a city or county sales tax.

The next step in the process is for a final report to be presented to city and county officials for potential adoption. This has been delayed due to the outbreak of COVID-19, but will likely happen later this spring.

See the full presentation with a cost breakdown and funding strategies at riverfrontlegacywichita.org.


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