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Wichita Ballpark Development Plan Unveiled

Wichita ballpark Riverside Village development

Details have emerged on Riverfront Village, a planned mixed-use development north of a new Wichita ballpark for the relocating New Orleans Baby Cakes (Class AAA; Pacific Coast League). 

In their concept for a new ballpark, Wichita officials plan to demolish Lawrence-Dumont Stadium later this year to clear the way for the new venue. The new ballpark is being envisioned as the anchor of a broader initiative that includes surrounding mixed-use development, and a group has released some details on its plan for the development component of the project.

A contingent known as Riverfront Partners is pitching a mixed-use development, dubbed Riverfront Village, north of the ballpark. While much of the vision for the development is still preliminary at this stage, Riverfront Village could include bars and restaurants, entertainment spots, retail, offices, and living space. It would be developed on seven acres. More from the Wichita Eagle:

“We want to bring something to downtown, to the river, that truly takes downtown development and river development to a new level,” says developer George Laham.

He’s partners in the project with Old Town developer Dave Burk of Marketplace Properties, Key Construction president Dave Wells and Jerry Jones of Jones Commercial Development.

The developers are working with Metropolitan Baptist Church, which currently is at the property and will retain a small presence with the redevelopment.

“The land is important to our congregation and we wanted to do what is best for us and our City,” said Mason Lampkin, the church’s pastor, in a statement.

The partners have been working on the development for three years, but Laham says the vision for the Village is still preliminary. He says the partners are coordinating with the city, the stadium and Delano.

The new ballpark project is estimated to cost as much as $83 million, a figure that includes $75 million for the facility itself plus an additional $8 million for infrastructure improvements, including a pedestrian bridge that would cross the Arkansas River. Under the current schedule, the ballpark is slated to open in 2020.

Riverfront Village Development Wichita

A Class AA Southern League team is expected to move to New Orleans at the same time that the Pacific Coast League franchise relocates to Wichita. The move of a as-of-yet-unanounced Southern League team would come under the ownership of the current New Orleans ownership, led by Lou Schwechheimer, allowing the Baby Cakes moniker to live on in New Orleans while the Wichita club receives a name of its own.

Renderings courtesy Riverfront Partners, LLC. 

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