WICHITA — WaterWalk president Tom Johnson and Ed Martin, the city’s manager for the public-private partnership, stand on the 7th floor balcony of the WaterWalk Place condominiums Friday morning and watch a backhoe and front-loader prepare ground for what has been more than seven years in the making:
The downtown development’s first phase of fountains, waterways and landscaping is under construction and should be finished by fall.
“This we had hoped to get started on before now,” Johnson says, quickly admitting, “I’m sort of prone to understatement.”
WaterWalk’s issues — bumps along the way, Johnson calls them — are numerous and have led to a lot of negativity attached to the project.
“But now there’s a whole new tone,” Johnson says. He says the area will be transformed and WaterWalk’s unofficial motto will become a reality.
“This will become Wichita’s next great gathering place,” he says.
But it won’t be the place developers initially said it would be.
“You know, everything matures and changes,” Johnson says.