The City of Wichita seeks a construction manager for the construction of Naftzger Park.
The request for qualification is titled “CONSTRUCTION MANAGER AT RISK to Construct Naftzger Park.” On the city’s purchasing website the relevant information is contained in five separate documents. I’ve gathered them together in one document, which you may access here.
The city may be getting ahead of itself. The RFQ sets the deadline for submissions as 2:00 pm Tuesday August 15. That morning is when the Wichita City Council will consider approval of the redevelopment project plan. 1 Until that plan is approved by a two-thirds majority of the council, there exists no authorization to spend funds from a tax increment financing district. 2
Referring to the planning process for downtown Wichita in 2008 and 2009, the document says, “Since that time downtown Wichita has experienced record growth.” This statement isn’t true. Since that time there are fewer business establishments, fewer people working downtown, and lower earnings generated in downtown Wichita. In all cases, the trend is lower. 3 There is growth in people living downtown.
Something new appears in this paragraph: “Design and construction are planned to be implemented in phasing to accommodate budget, with the first phase budget of $1,500,000 for design, project administration and construction. The first phase budget will provide for an open and usable park that accommodates as many programming features as budget allows. In addition to the $1,500,000 for phase one, there will also be approximately $500,000 worth of cross site work, demolition, and infrastructure to be completed on the adjacent property.”
The document doesn’t specify the source of the $500,000, and this is the first mention of that sum, as far as I know. But the fact that management of it is included in this RFQ is more evidence that the redesign of Naftzger Park is really a project being done for the benefit of the nearby private landowner.
Later, more evidence of the park’s importance to, and benefit of, one company: “Because of the adjacent location and utilization of the park as it relates to the Spaghetti Works Development, it is necessary that TGC’s team play an integrated role; so that the flow and function developed in the park work seamlessly together with the TGC project.”
Just to emphasize, the proposals are not sent to city hall but to the private company that will benefit from the park redesign: “Sealed Request for Proposal will be received in the office of the TGC Development Group, 125 N Emporia, Suite 202, Wichita, KS 67202, Attn: Blake Heiman.”
And who will make the decision? An addendum to the RPQ holds: “A Selection Committee consisting of staff from various City department and TGC will evaluate submissions.”
The city has provided an illustration of what a potential redesign might look like. There has been much criticism — including by city council members — especially for the covering of the park with artificial turf. But, the RFQ states: “A summary of programmatic elements will include a flexible use lawn area (with potential of artificial turf).”
For more about Naftzger Park, see these articles and other information from Voice for Liberty:
- WichitaLiberty.TV: Naftzger Park. Wichita Assistant City Manager and Director of Development Scot Rigby joins hosts Bob Weeks and Karl Peterjohn to discuss the plans for Naftzger Park. Then, Bob and Karl continue the discussion.
- Naftzger Park public hearing to be considered. The Wichita City Council may set August 15, 2017 as the date for a public hearing on the future of Naftzger Park in downtown Wichita.
- Naftzger Park Facebook group.
- Photo album on Flickr.
- Naftzger Park contract: Who is in control? The City of Wichita says it retains final approval on the redesign of Naftzger Park, but a contract says otherwise.
- Downtown Wichita gathering spaces that don’t destroy a park. Wichita doesn’t need to ruin a park for economic development, as there are other areas that would work and need development.
- Naftzger Park concerts and parties? In Wichita, a space for outdoor concerts may be created across the street from where amplified concerts are banned.
- Naftzger Park tax increment financing (TIF). Background on tax increment financing (TIF) as applied to Naftzger Park in downtown Wichita.
- Upcoming Naftzger Park legislative action. The redesign of Naftzger Park in downtown Wichita is not a done deal, at least not legally.
- Weeks, Bob. Upcoming Naftzger Park legislative action. Available at https://wichitaliberty.org/wichita-government/upcoming-naftzger-park-legislative-action/. ↩
- Weeks, Bob. Background on tax increment financing (TIF) as applied to Naftzger Park in downtown Wichita. Available at https://wichitaliberty.org/wichita-government/naftzger-park-tax-increment-financing-tif/. ↩
- Weeks, Bob. Downtown Wichita business trends. Available at https://wichitaliberty.org/wichita-government/downtown-wichita-business-trends/. ↩