WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – The city of Wichita has seen a big boost in the amount of capital investment in Wichita in 2016.
With that, many projects that were started in 2016 and before are set to be complete next year.
Wichita city councilman James Clendenin says when he was elected to the council in 2011, the city was struggling.
“We had a lot of cuts we were having to make, there were things that just didn’t look so positive on the horizon, and we had to fight through those things,” said Clendenin.
Fast forward to now, and the city is trending upwards.
Capital investment in Wichita is increasing, from $129 million dollars in 2015 up to $1.2 billion in 2016.
Looking ahead to 2017, Clendenin says the new $30 million downtown library is set to be completed.
“The library should be finished sometime by the end of 2017, you know it is one of those projects that is a quality of life project that is going to mean
something for the city,” said Clendenin.
The revitalization of Union Station in downtown Wichita is set to wrap up.
The project began in 2014, with the developers taking on the $54 million price tag, as part of a Tax Increment Finance District.
“They just need to finish, from what I understand, finish up on the main Union Station building and then they are ready to go,” said Clendenin.
While those are set to be completed, Clenden says there are several projects on the horizon the city is hoping to kickoff in 2017.
This could all happen, if the city moves forward with state approval of star bonds.
“The new baseball stadium, museum and restaurants,” said Clendenin.
It’s these types of quality of life initiatives Clendenin says, are pushing the city in the right direction.
“We are starting to get the capital investment in this city that is going to lead to job growth in the city of Wichita,” said Clendenin.
Looking even further ahead, there are some more projects to be completed in 2018.
This includes a 750 space parking garage to be built in conjunction with the new Cargill building.
Also, the old Commerce Plaza building downtown is set to be transformed into a Hilton Garden Inn.
That is set to be finished just in time for when Wichita plays host to the first two rounds of the 2018 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.