News Columns & Blogs

Wichita City Council approves downtown incentive policy

Real Development's Exchange Place project is one of several redevelopment plans financed in-part by taxpayer incentives.City Council members this morning approved a wide-ranging policy aimed at encouraging downtown development and carefully evaluating developers who want taxpayers to help make their projects happen.

District 4 council member Michael O’Donnell was the lone opposition vote. He said the policy was too “open ended” and carries too much risk to public funds.

“We're risking the public's time and money on these projects,” he said.

The downtown incentive policy will steer developers seeking city hall's help to preliminary meetings with city officials and members of the Wichita Downtown Development Corporation. They will then have to submit a business plan and other documents to the city. Those requests will be vetted by city officials and private businesspeople and scored based on how well they fit with the city's downtown development goals and how strong business plans are.