Politics & Government

City approves six-story apartment tower across the street from Wichita State

This drawing shows a four-story apartment building proposed near Wichita State University. The building approved by the Wichita City Council will be six stories instead of four.
This drawing shows a four-story apartment building proposed near Wichita State University. The building approved by the Wichita City Council will be six stories instead of four. Courtesy

After weeks of dispute over the height of the building, the City Council has approved a privately owned six-story apartment tower for a site across the street from Wichita State University.

The council approved the plan on Tuesday, the morning after the District 1 Advisory Board agreed to let the structure go as high as 70 feet.

The DAB abandoned its recommendation that the building be held to four stories. That came at the end of a marathon meeting Monday night.

“We were there ‘til midnight,” said council member Brandon Johnson. “It was interesting.”

Neighbors had worried that six stories would be twice as tall as surrounding buildings and that tenants would be able to easily look down into nearby properties.

The project, called University Gardens Apartments, is designed to provide a private-sector alternative to on-campus housing for university students and employees of private businesses that share the Innovation Campus, a public-private partnership venture on the east side of the university’s property.

The apartment building is proposed for the site of a parking lot slightly north of the northeast corner of Oliver and 21st Street North, across 21st from the campus.

The applicant is Wichita businessman Masoud Etezazi.

The exact number of apartments to be built has not been established.

According to city records, the developers are planning about 26 apartments per floor.

The addition of two stories would increase the building’s capacity from about 100 rental units to slightly more than 150.

The City Council initially considered the plan on March 6 but kicked it back to both the Planning Commission and the District Advisory Board for reconsideration on the height issue.

The commission didn’t make any changes and sent the same plan back to the council on Tuesday, said Planning Director Dale Miller.

  Comments