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Posts tagged as “Downtown Wichita revitalization”

Articles about the redevelopment of downtown Wichita and its impact on the economic freedom of Wichitans.

WaterWalk deal not good for city, public policy

There are several aspects of the proposed hotel in the WaterWalk development that I find troubling.

Perhaps most important to public policy, the city has now recognized that when it provides subsidy to one business, it may harm other businesses. As you may recall, I've spoken to the council several times on this topic over the past few years. I've been concerned about the effect on privately-owned businesses and the willingness of entrepreneurs to assume risk only to find themselves competing with a subsidized business. The city has shown little concern for this.

Waterwalk hotel deal breaks new ground for Wichita subsidies

On Tuesday, the Wichita City Council will consider an agreement with a hotel developer that, besides awarding the usual subsidies to politically-favored developers, breaks new ground in the use of subsidy. Additionally, the deal contradicts recent promises made by a top city official.

Wichita’s economic development strategy: rent seeking

As Wichita embarks on our planning for the revitalization of downtown Wichita -- or as we look back at actions the Wichita city council takes almost every week -- we ought to take a look to see if these actions produce an increase in wealth for our community.

It is wealth, after all, that defines prosperity. Our goal ought to be to create an environment where everyone lives in an environment conducive to creating prosperity and wealth. But in a misguided effort, our city leaders, week after week, take actions that produce just the opposite.

Oklahoma City sales tax passes; model for Wichita

On Tuesday, voters in Oklahoma City passed a new sales tax to fund downtown improvements. It passed by a vote of 54 percent to 46 percent. Wichitans can count on a similar sales tax being proposed for whatever projects the year-long downtown planning process calls for.

Jeff Fluhr updates status of downtown Wichita

Last Friday, Jeff Fluhr, president of the Wichita Downtown Development Corporation, addressed members and guests of the Wichita Pachyderm Club. His topic was the future of downtown Wichita and its revitalization.

"It's very important that we have a downtown that is very clear and very concise on where it wants to go," he said. He likened the development of downtown to the planning of an automobile trip, so that we don't make major investments that we later regret.

Kelo abandonment holds lesson for Wichita

In New London, Conn., developers wanted to build a new business complex on land owned by a number of homeowners, including Suzette Kelo. She didn't want to sell, and the case eventually wound its way to the United States Supreme Court. In the decision, the court ruled in favor of the ability of cities to use eminent domain to take property from one party and give to another private party for economic development.

Carlos Mayans addresses state and local issues

Last Friday immediate past Wichita mayor Carlos Mayans addressed members and guests of the Wichita Pachyderm Club.

Speaking of his experience as a member of the Kansas House of Representatives, Mayans said that Kansas state spending must be brought under control. Having served under governors from both parties, he said that Republicans spend as much as Democrats. Some people change after they get elected, he said, acting differently in office from how they campaigned. It's important to hold these people accountable.

If Wichita truly seeks community input in downtown planning …

As Wichita begins to plan for the revitalization of downtown Wichita, city leaders say they want everyone to be involved. All ideas are welcome and appreciated, they say.

In a recent city council meeting, Mayor Brewer said "we need every person's ideas, recommendations, and their opinion. ... Being quiet and then complaining about it later isn't going to be good for you or the community."

Wichita downtown Q-Line an expensive ride

On the first Friday in June -- that's the outdoor music night in Old Town Wichita -- I went downtown. One of the things I did was to ride the Q-Line. That's the free trolley or shuttle bus that provides service in Old Town and downtown, including Exploration Place.

I rode the entire route, and I was the only passenger. So I got to wonder about ridership and costs.

Downtown Wichita revitalization on Kansas Week

The planning for the revitalization of downtown Wichita is the topic of a segment on the KPTS Television public affairs show Kansas Week on October 16, 2009. Tim Brown is the host. Bob Weeks and Randy Brown are the guests.

Wichita planning puts freedom, prosperity at risk

Mr. Mayor, members of the council,

I'm here today to ask this council to put aside consideration of this proposal. My reasons are not particular to this proposal or planning firm, but rather I am concerned that we believe we have the ability to successfully plan at all.

Downtown Wichita parking plan at odds with revitalization goals

Currently, Wichita is struggling to find enough parking spots downtown to meet the demand expected to be created by the new Intrust Bank Arena. It's been a contentious issue, with many Wichitans skeptical of the city's ability to supply enough parking at prices that people are willing to pay for.

But did you know that there is likely to be fewer parking spots in downtown Wichita if the firm likely to lead downtown revitalization planning has its way?

Wichita’s Waterwalk failure breeds skepticism

A recent Wichita Eagle editorial starts with this: "Seven years into a project that was supposed to give Wichita a grand gathering place full of shops, restaurants and night spots as well as offices and condos, some City Council members and citizens remain skeptical at best about WaterWalk's ability to deliver on its big promises. ... True, the skepticism to date is richly deserved."

The editorial goes on to report that public investment in this project has risen to $41 million. I don't know if this figure includes long-term land leases for $1 per year.

In any case, there's little to show for this investment. Even the proposal for the redevelopment of downtown Wichita from the planning firm Goody Clancy realizes that WaterWalk is a failure.

Planning downtown Wichita revitalization: an impossible task?

At tomorrow's meeting of the Wichita City Council, consideration of a plan for the revitalization of downtown Wichita is on the agenda. Before the city goes down this path, we ought to become aware of some of the difficulties with this type of planning.

Randal O'Toole, in his book The Best-Laid Plans: How Government Planning Harms Your Quality of Life, Your Pocketbook, and Your Future, writes this about urban planners: "Because they can build a house, planners think they can design an entire urban area."

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