Developer Gary Oborny is seeking to expand the Union Station tax increment financing district to include his Icehouse, a 1901 building the company is renovating at 155 S. Rock Island between Union Station and the new Cargill offices.
“We have a number of public spaces over there,” Oborny says. “Typically in the TIF, we use that money for the public spaces.”
The public spaces include landscaping and potential public gathering areas along with a future parking garage.
“Obviously, as you build density, which is the focus of downtown, you’re in a tighter parking situation,” Oborny says. “You start to have to go vertical with more parking.”
He says he hasn’t designed a garage yet but would plan to allow public access there.
“We’ve always done pay as you go,” Oborny says. “We have to front all the costs for those public spaces.”
He says it’s about him as a developer creating value with what he builds.
Oborny says as the county and city get extra property taxes because of that increased value, then the difference in property taxes at that site each year is used to reimburse him for the money he’s put into the public spaces.
The Wichita City Council will consider the expansion at its weekly meeting on Tuesday.