WICHITA, Kan - Business and community leaders gathered in downtown Wichita Thursday morning to break ground on a project that will redevelop Naftzger Park and create new residential, retail and office space.
Wichita mayor Jeff Longwell and city council members attended the ceremony at a site near William and St. Francis. Longwell said the project is more than new commerce, it's about the park and the community, increased pedestrian traffic along the Douglas corridor, and it's connecting the downtown area.
Nick Esterline with TGC Development Group said the project will create 41 apartments in the former Spaghetti Works building. A new building will have the Martin-Pringle law firm as the anchor tenant, and Esterline said talks are being held with restaurants and retail businesses to occupy the rest of the space.
Naftzger Park will have open space with a stage area for concerts and special events. Westar Energy's parent company, Evergy, is donating $1.4 million to complete the park redevelopment. Evergy president and CEO Terry Bassham said partnerships on projects like this will build the company and build the community.
Esterline said the apartments should be completed by early 2019, and tenants will be accepted by March. The Martin-Pringle firm will occupy the building in September of 2019 and the other tenants should be moving in later that fall.