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Wichita Ballpark Village Plan Released

Updated Wichita Ballpark rendering 4-9-19

Wichita’s Ballpark Village Master Plan was released this week, showing some possibilities for how the area surrounding an upcoming ballpark could be reshaped. 

Construction is underway at the former Lawrence-Dumont Stadium site for a new Wichita ballpark, which is slated to open in 2020 for the relocating New Orleans Baby Cakes (Class AAA; Pacific Coast League). The $75 million facility is envisioned as the anchor of a larger initiative for the surrounding area, with the ballpark and planned mixed-use development to be accommodated by various infrastructure improvements.

In mapping out the project, the goal for city officials is to ultimately reshape the surrounding area to help drive economic activity to the ballpark and surrounding development. This has involved plenty of discussion about parking in the area, as well as how surrounding streets could be remade to be more pedestrian friendly. Details released this week in The Ballpark Village Master Plan show some potential options, but the plan will need the approval of the Delano Plan Advisory Committee, Wichita City Council, and the Sedgwick County Commission before it can be formally adopted. More from the Wichita Eagle:

McLean Boulevard would be narrowed from four lanes to two lanes from Douglas to Maple and moved away from the river. That would make room for riverfront shops and restaurants on land the city sold for $1 an acre to the baseball team’s owners. A new street, an extension of Texas Street from Sycamore to McLean, would provide more frontage and access to the businesses expected north of the stadium.

Both streets should be designed to be closed to traffic for events on the street, the plans say….

City planners don’t know how the proposed infrastructure changes will be paid for yet.

“Those answers don’t exist at this point,” said Scott Knebel, planning manager for the Metropolitan Area Planning Commission. “But we adopt a lot of plans that don’t have those answers when we adopt them.”

Discussion about The Ballpark Village Master Plan will unfold over the coming months, with the first key meeting set to be that of a public hearing before the Delano Plan Advisory Committee on Tuesday.

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