Council sets hearings for three community improvement districts

Three community improvement districts will go to September public hearings after the Wichita City Council signed on this morning.

The council set Sept. 14 hearings on the proposed Bowllagio development at Kellogg and Maize, the Central Park Place retail development around the new Lowe's at 2600 N. Maize Road and a Sav-A-Lot grocery store for the underserved in the Planeview district.

The action is the first step for Jay Maxwell's Maize 54 Development to levy an extra 2 percent sales tax to finance infrastructure improvements and land acquisition. The community improvement district will include the Bowllagio mixed use entertainment center, a loft hotel and a specialty Mexican restaurant.

Wichita commercial developer Brad Saville's Central Park Place project would create retail north of the new Lowe's, and would establish pad sites on Maize near the Lowe's for restaurant and retail use.

Developer Rob Snyder's Planeview Sav-A-Lot is a $2 million grocery store designed to provide groceries to the underserved.

The extra sales tax, though, drew some criticism from audience members who said it could unfairly burden low-income customers.

"This is not about money," said former council member Greg Ferris, representing Snyder. "It's about providing groceries."

Come back to for more on this story or see Wednesday's Eagle.