Search Results for: Bill Warren

Wichita Old Town Theater’s Bill Warren: No Ideas?

Recently the Wichita City Council approved a no-interest and low-interest loan to Old Town Wichita theater owner Bill Warren and his partners. Citizen opinion in Wichita seems to be mostly outrage at this giveaway, and rightly so. See Wichita Old Town Warren Theater Public Hearing Remarks and Wichita and the Old Town Warren Theater Loan. Now, a post by Randy Scholfield on The Wichita Eagle Editorial Blog (Bill Warren wants your ideas!) comments on how Bill Warren wants Wichitans to send him ideas. According to the Wichita Eagle news story Warren wants filmgoers' ideas, "Warren, who typically plans his theaters and renovations down to the detail, plans to turn much of the planning for the Old Town Warren remake over to the downtown moviegoing public." (I guess that's only fitting,…
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Century II resource center

A resource of information about the Century II Performing Arts and Convention Center in Wichita. Send suggestions for additions to bob.weeks@gmail.com. This document has three sections: Websites and online sources Documents News and opinion. The last update was Saturday, January 9, 2021. Websites and online Professional Management Services for Century II This is a page created by the City of Wichita with information about the possible private management of Century II. There is an opportunity to leave a comment, until January 18, 2021. Link to page: https://www.wichita.gov/Century2/Pages/default.aspx. Facebook group: Century II, Its Future. https://www.facebook.com/groups/CenturyII/ Riverfront Legacy Master Plan. https://www.riverfrontlegacywichita.org/ Century II Citizens Advisory Committee. As of March 4, 2020, this website may no longer exist. Here is its link at archive.org: https://web.archive.org/web/2019*/www.centuryiicitizenscommittee.com. The original website was here: https://www.centuryiicitizenscommittee.com/ Save Century…
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Wichita Warren Theater IRB a TIF district in disguise

On Tuesday the Wichita City Council will consider an economic development incentive for a local business. The process the city is using to grant this incentive bypasses the scrutiny that accompanies the formation of TIF districts while providing essentially the same benefit. The proposal provides Industrial Revenue Bond financing to American Luxury Cinemas, Inc., d.b.a. 21st Street Warren Theatre, a company owned in part by Wichita theater operator Bill Warren. Under the city's IRB program, no city money is lent to Warren, and the city does not provide any guarantee that the bonds will be repaid. Instead, the benefit of the IRB to Warren is that he will escape paying property taxes on the new theater. Also, he will likely avoid paying sales taxes on purchases made with the bond…
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Economic development in Wichita: Two tales

Tonight as Wichita Mayor Carl Brewer delivers his State of the City address, Wichitans will want to remember past addresses, statements, admonitions, and projections from the mayor. Here's one for the record book: In his 2008 address, Brewer promised specific development at the struggling Waterfront development, which is heavily subsidized. Beaming with pride, Brewer said to the audience: "And, great strides are being made at Wichita Waterwalk. The topping out ceremony for Waterwalk Place is scheduled for this Thursday and I invite everyone to this event. I am pleased to announce two more national tenants that will be a part of the WaterWalk restaurant and entertainment development. ... I am pleased to announce two more national tenants that will be a part of the WaterWalk restaurant and entertainment development. Joining…
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Wichitans mislead on Warren IMAX incentives

Wichita theater operator Bill Warren may build an IMAX theater in Oklahoma using economic development incentives. The Wichita Business Journal reports that Warren has been offered a sales tax rebate program there as an incentive. This is newsworthy because last year Warren received economic development incentives from the City of Wichita based partly on the uniqueness of the proposed theater in the region. At that time Wichita city officials said the Wichita theater would be a "major tourism attraction," drawing from as far away as Texas. But with another Warren IMAX possibly being built near Oklahoma City, I think we can now acknowledge that we were mislead. When Warren applied to the Wichita City Council for favored tax treatment for this theater, he implied that without the city's largesse, he'd…
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Kansas and Wichita quick takes: Monday November 29, 2010

Louisville success factor may be gone. The secret sauce behind redevelopment of downtown Louisville, Kentucky may no longer be available to cities attempting to replicate Louisville's success, such as it is. The Washington Post reports in the article Sen. Mitch McConnell's earmark power credited for revitalizing Louisville: "The once grand downtown of this city on the Ohio River is shabby, as the nation's old downtowns tend to be. Magnificent tall cast-iron-fronted buildings sit empty. So do historic brick tobacco warehouses, surrounded in razor wire, tagged with graffiti. But the downtown of Kentucky's largest city also has a spectacular redeveloped waterfront featuring bike paths and open vistas, the spanking-new KFC Yum Center sports arena, and a medical complex of several hospitals that employ nearly 20,000 people, treat tens of thousands and…
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Wichita’s evaluation of development team should be reconsidered

In an effort to avoid mistakes made in the past and inspire confidence in the process, parties wishing to receive economic development subsidies for projects in downtown Wichita are evaluated on a variety of measures. The evaluation matrix released for a project to be considered next week by the Wichita City Council, however, ought to be recalculated. City documents describe one of two competing projects as this: "River Vista is proposed by River Vista LLC, a development group comprised of George Laham, Dave Burk, Dave Wells and Bill Warren." It's this ownership team that ought to cause the city concern. Two of the evaluation criteria are "Past project experience with the City of Wichita" and "References, especially from other municipal partners." This development team was awarded the maximum number of…
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Wichita performs a reference check, sort of

For a video presentation of this material, click on Wichita performs a reference check, the video. Citizens of Wichita are rightly concerned about whether our elected officials and bureaucrats are looking out for their interests, or only for the interests and welfare of a small group of city hall insiders. Cronies, if you will. A recent application filed with Wichita City Hall regarding the West Bank Development Project raises two questions: Did the government officials listed as references give their permission, and were any of the references contacted to learn what they knew about the applicants? The application filed by the River Vista development team shows this: The team, consisting of George Laham, Dave Wells, Dave Burk, and Bill Warren listed numerous local, state, and federal officials as references. Here's…
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Wichita city manager Robert Layton on the air

Yesterday Wichita city manager Robert Layton appeared as a guest on the Gene Countryman Show on KNSS Radio in Wichita and spoke on a number of topics brought up by the host and callers. Several times host Gene Countryman referred to Wichita theater owner Bill Warren and his assessment of Layton as "best city manager the city's ever had," calling Warren's assessment "high praise." Warren has good reason to heap praise on Layton. He and his partners have benefited handsomely from actions the Wichita City Council has taken at Layton's recommendation. Most recently Warren escaped paying property taxes on a new movie theater, and negotiated a deal in where the property tax on an existing property will increase at an agreed-upon rate that is likely lower than what would happen…
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In Wichita, is Economic Development Proven Public Policy?

In a statement read by Wichita Mayor Carl Brewer and released on the city's website at Mayor Brewer Warren Theatre [sic] Statement, the mayor states "Economic development is proven public policy." The word "proven" was used several other times in the statement. (I don't know who wrote the title to the statement, but it combines the mayor's name with theater developer Bill Warren's name in a way that is, I am sure, unintentionally humorous. Mayor Brewer Warren? Who is he?) The Warren Theater economic development project is one example of economic development that has proven not to work, despite the mayor's claims. But that is only my opinion. The definition of success, I realize, could mean different things to different people. To me, I would expect that once a development…
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