City approves star bonds for new stadium, river improvements

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – The Wichita City Council voted 7-0 to move forward with plans to improve Wichita’s river district after hearing from the public.

The focus is on Phase II includes the redevelopment of the Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.

Phase I of the project includes other waterfront improvements, a new baseball or sports-related museum and a pedestrian bridge connecting the stadium area to Century II.

Between Phase I and Phase II, the total river district project will provide about $30 million.

“We’ve done so many great things downtown so I think this is just going to be an excellent accent to what we’ve got going,” Blubaugh said.

The project will use star bonds at no additional cost to the city.

“It’s not going to cost us anything additional because it’ll be paid for by the sales tax that’s going to be generated in the area that normally you’d be sending to Topeka and instead, we can stay there and pay for our own infrastructure,” Blubaugh said.

City council was given state approval for the expansion from Phase I to Phase II last fall, according to Jeff Blubaugh, Wichita City Council District IV representative.

With the approval, a sales tax will be put into place, start collecting the money and finally, move forward with making the improvements.

“We think that this is going to spur a lot of activity because obviously, you know, it’s going to increase the value of the property around there,” Blubaugh said. “It’s going to be an entertainment venue, we’re looking at a pedestrian bridge that’s gonna be across the river so where we have connectivity with the Hyatt and Century II.”

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