Wichita had a banner year for downtown development in 2015, with nearly $120 million worth of projects, according to a report released last week by the Wichita Downtown Development Corp. Most significantly, $95 million of that spending is coming from private sources. The $24 million in public spending was primarily on parking garages. Most of the projects are conversions of old buildings into apartments – which is needed as downtown apartments have been at near full occupancy. Several big projects are still underway, including the River Vista apartments along the West Bank and the Exchange Place and Bitting buildings on Douglas. These and other projects are helping make downtown more vibrant, which is important to the city’s image and to attracting and retaining young professionals. Keep up the good work. – Phillip Brownlee
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