Study strengthens cause to revitalize Downtown housing

WICHITA, Kansas – Wichita city leaders are hopeful that a study of Downtown housing will prove to developers that the city center can support the construction of more apartments.

A study by a residential market analysis firm says Downtown could handle it, and then some.

The study said between 1,425 and 1,870 housing units priced at market rate in the Downtown area could be successfully developed and occupied in the next 5 to 7 years.

That figure is almost double the current number of Downtown housing units.

“I think that would be a great thing,” said Andy Kim, business owner and resident. “There’s a lot to be had here Downtown.”

Downtown residents and business owners we talked to say they would like to see more residents Downtown to re-shape the perception of urban flight and bring more necessities to Downtown.

Jeff Fluhr of the the Downtown Development Ccorporation said there are currently 1,565 total housing units in Downtown Wichita, with almost 700 more planned or under construction.

Fluhr said a study like this can show developers that Downtown housing could be a wise investment.

“It lays out the economics of our Downtown, and how do we see those projects coming about as far as realizing their project potential, and that really does increase the private sector’s predictability and that’s why we’re seeing the type of investment that we are,” said Fluhr.

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