Wichita megachurch plans 280 homes, event venue, amphitheater, shops and school

Central Community Church on west Maple plans to develop 33 acres of vacant land into a major housing and special events complex. (December 8, 2017)
Central Community Church on west Maple plans to develop 33 acres of vacant land into a major housing and special events complex. (December 8, 2017) The Wichita Eagle

One of the city’s largest churches plans to develop a major housing subdivision and special-events complex in west Wichita, according to plans filed with the city.

The plan by Central Community Church envisions as many as 280 single- and multi-family homes and senior-living apartments, an amphitheater, a special events center/nightclub, a chapel, shops, a soccer field and two ponds. Space would also be set aside in the development for a future school, serving kindergarten through high school, according to a site plan filed with the city.

The new development is planned for 33 acres of vacant land just west of the existing church buildings at 6100 W. Maple, near the west bank of the Big Ditch.

Church officials did not return phone messages seeking comment Thursday and Friday. But City Council member Bryan Frye, who represents the area, said he met with church leaders about a week ago for a briefing on the development.

He said it’s the first time he’s seen a Wichita church attempt to build an entire residential/multi-use neighborhood on its property.

“It’s very exciting,” Frye said. “I haven’t seen anything like that on the west side. In fact, I haven’t seen anything like it in Wichita.”

West Wichita was a rapid-growth area in the early 2000s, but development sputtered during the recession in 2009 and has yet to fully recover.

Frye said he’s especially pleased that the church project will fill in an area that was skipped over as the city sprawled westward.

“It’s good to see that acreage developed instead of pushing out to the outer limits,” he said.

The plan will be aired at a public meeting on Thursday, when it comes before the Subdivision and Utility Advisory Committee of the Metropolitan Area Planning Commission, said senior planner Neil Strahl.

The committee will review the plat map proposed to subdivide the land to accommodate the development.

According to the site plan, the church wants to split the undeveloped property into four lots:

▪  Lot 1, at the northwest corner of the property, would have a mix of as many as 80 single-family homes, duplex and quadplex housing units.

▪  Lot 2, the northeast part of the site, would have as many as 200 housing units, including quadplexes and senior apartments; also a pond and a community swimming pool.

▪  Lot 3, the southwest corner, would have a 16,500-square-foot event center and nightclub authorized to sell and serve alcoholic beverages, an outdoor entertainment amphitheater, the school site, a soccer-size athletic field and another pond.

▪  Lot 4, the southeast corner, would include parking and a row of shops.

The development proposal is likely to be considered by the Planning Commission in January, Strahl said.

Frye said he will also take the proposal to the January meeting of his District 5 Advisory Board.

That meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Jan. 2 at Fire Station 21, 2110 N. 135th St. West.

Two churches, Lorraine Avenue Mennonite Church and Greater Faith Christian Church, are working together to create a cookbook. Church members are compiling family recipes to share across church lines and build camaraderie. (Video by Fernando Salaza