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June 11, 2009

RFQ Issued for Downtown Master Plan

Heather Bohrer

Innovative Design Team Sought to Develop 20-Year Vision for Downtown
The City of Wichita on Friday issued a Request for Qualifications (RFQ), seeking design teams interested in developing a 20-year Downtown Revitalization Master Plan. A multidisciplinary design team will be charged with developing a bold vision that celebrates the city’s rich history and reflects the community’s progressive spirit.

“An updated Master Plan will provide Wichita with ambitious development strategies that reveal downtown’s tremendous potential,” Mayor Carl Brewer said. “It will move downtown forward in a cohesive way that connects existing assets such as Old Town, INTRUST Bank Arena and River Corridor Improvements. It will create a pedestrian-friendly environment that makes downtown Wichita a unique and memorable experience. Downtown will be a place for people of all ages, ethnicities and cultures.”

“Today’s release of the RFQ reflects the momentum that is underway to develop downtown Wichita into the next great American River City,” said Larry Weber, Wichita Downtown Development Corporation (WDDC) Chairman. “We are a city with tremendous assets and opportunities; and we look to the future with great expectations. The master plan will guide us as we continue the development of our city center, the identity of our community.”
Another goal of the Master Plan is to enhance downtown’s status as a destination. A further revitalized core area will feature park and open spaces as well as additional retailers, residences, restaurants, office buildings and multiple venues for arts and entertainment. It will help retain young people, families and jobs. It will grow the tax base and make Wichita more competitive with neighboring and competing cities.

To help fund the Master Plan, the Wichita City Council authorized funding from the Stabilization Reserve Fund in the amount of $175,000 and $50,000 from the Federal Transit Administration. The WDDC Board of Directors committed $175,000 as seed capital to forge partnerships and secure additional funding. The WDDC has a goal of raising at least $100,000 from private sector businesses and has secured $57,000 in just more than a month of fund raising.
The selection process will be overseen by the Downtown Revitalization Steering Council recently appointed by the Wichita City Council. The RFQ is attached and is available at http://www.wichita.gov/.

Downtown_Revitalization_Master_Plan_RFQ

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