Improvements made in Delano have sparked interest in the possibilities for that area of Wichita.
“I love Delano. It has a rich history,” Mayor Jeff Longwell said.
“We’re starting to see Delano literally transform in front of our eyes. We have deliberately put in some policies that encourage people to fix up their buildings with some of the façade stuff that’s been done,” the mayor continued. “I’d like to see us continue to grow the Delano area. We’re thinking about adding to the Delano Trail, the old rail corridor that could be built out into a neighborhood amenity that encourages people to get out and enjoy the environment. We’d love to see investors continue to move in there and make a difference in the neighborhoods.”
Likewise, Jeff Fluhr, president of Greater Wichita Partnership and Wichita Downtown Development Corp., sees Delano as an essential link in the chain in the city’s future.
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“What this community has done well at is knowing a balanced approach, if you will, for this community,” Fluhr said. “There’s a lot of deliberate conversations to make sure all of these things connect. They have their own distinctiveness and yet there’s this overarching cohesiveness to what’s being done.”
To further development along the river, the City Council in December approved selling 7 acres of city-owned land to a Johnson County development partnership.
The plan is to create a mixed-use apartment/hotel/retail development bridging a gap between the Delano commercial district, along Douglas west of McLean, and the advanced learning library being built at the southwest corner of Sycamore and Second.
The approved plan calls for a mixed-use project with a 180-unit apartment building, at least 5,000 square feet of commercial space and a 65- to 100-room hotel, according to the developers, EPC Real Estate Group.