Politics & Government

Delano Catalyst project getting bigger, but will be delayed by AT&T data lines

Hutton Construction chooses Delano for new headquarters

Hutton Construction CEO Ben Hutton explains why he chose Delano for the company's new headquarters. (Aug. 9, 2017)
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Hutton Construction CEO Ben Hutton explains why he chose Delano for the company's new headquarters. (Aug. 9, 2017)

A project of apartments, restaurants and shops to be built just south of the Advanced Learning Library in Delano will be a lot bigger than originally planned, but parts of it will be delayed eight months because of the need to move AT&T data lines.

The Wichita City Council on Tuesday relaxed the deadline for completion of apartments and commercial space in the “Delano Catalyst” project, moving it from October 2020 to June 2021.

The $52 million project is being subsidized with $12 million to be diverted from projected property and sales tax increases the area.

About $3 million of that will come from a 2 percent additional sales tax paid on items bought from businesses at the site.

Assistant City Manager Scot Rigby on Tuesday outlined the changes since the project was approved in December 2017:

The planned commercial space has been doubled, from 5,000 square feet to 10,000.

The apartment building has grown from 180 units to a planned 204.

A companion hotel is increasing in size, from 90 rooms to 95.

The growth is good news for the city, because more development density means higher taxes and more money for the city, said City Manager Robert Layton.

City Hall had expected to get about $1 million a year in tax revenue after making the subsidy allocations to EPC Real Estate, the Kansas City-based development partnership that’s building the project .

“With the increased size we could see up to an additional $1 million (in city income) for this project,” Rigby said.

Those funds will go to public improvements, including the baseball stadium under construction nearby.

It will take longer to complete the Delano Catalyst project because two AT&T fiber-optic lines will have to be moved before construction can begin on the apartment and commercial buildings, Rigby said.

The telecommunications company expects that work to take until September, he said.

The hotel is being built by TGC Development, the company that’s doing the Spaghetti Works/Naftzger Park and Mead’s Corner redevelopment projects on Douglas Avenue.

The hotel is across Sycamore Street from the apartment/commercial development and won’t be affected by the delay from moving the phone lines.

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Senior Journalist Dion Lefler has been providing award-winning coverage of local government, politics and business in Wichita for 20 years. Dion hails from Los Angeles, where he worked for the LA Daily News, the Pasadena Star-News and other papers. He’s a father of twins, director of lay servant ministries in the United Methodist Church and plays second base for the Old Cowtown vintage baseball team.