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Decision on more money for downtown development is on hold

Exchange PlaceThe future of a $51 million downtown development remains up in the air.

Wichita City Council members today put off decision on whether to give prominent downtown developers, Real Development, $2.3 million more in tax increment financing.

The council plans to vote next on the increase next week after a third party appraiser is hired to reevaluate how much property tax the project can generate. It’s unclear who that third party will be.

The deferral came after more than two hours of complicated and, at times, confusing dialog between council members, developers and those who oppose the project.

Council member Janet Miller said that the big question is whether the project can generate $2 million more than initially planned by adding more apartments that would become condos and increasing the amount of public parking in the high-tech garage developers plan on.

"I think the project itself, at face value, is a good project,” Miller said.