Carrie Rengers

Pop-up park along Douglas Avenue to be ready this summer

The space along Douglas Avenue that will be transformed into a pop-up park this summer, which is a little later than planned.
The space along Douglas Avenue that will be transformed into a pop-up park this summer, which is a little later than planned. File photo

With all the activity happening along Douglas Avenue downtown, such as the start of the Exchange Place project and work that’s underway at Union Station, it makes sense to ask what’s happening with the pop-up park planned for the former pit along Douglas Avenue between Main and Market.

Originally, it was slated to be ready by spring.

“We’re still pushing that we’ll have that park operational this summer,” says Jeff Fluhr, Wichita Downtown Development president.

An almost $150,000 Knight Foundation Fund grant, administered through the Wichita Community Foundation, is creating the park where developers Robert Eyster and Michael Ramsey eventually plan a Class A building when the timing is right.

Fluhr says there’s been some waterproofing and electrical work at the site and some of the park’s furniture has already arrived.

Originally, the park was waiting on dirt from the River Vista Residences project on the west bank of the Arkansas River south of First Street. Developers planned to donate dirt from that to fill in the pit to create the temporary park.

Now, though, dirt will be coming from where the new Child Advocacy Center of Sedgwick County headquarters will be at the former Lincoln Elementary School.

Ted Farha of Farha Construction says the dirt is available now, but the weather is holding things up.

Fluhr says things will be moving ahead shortly, though.

“We’re ready to go as soon as the weather lets up a little bit.”

Reach Carrie Rengers at 316-268-6340 or crengers@wichitaeagle.com. Follow her on Twitter: @CarrieRengers.

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