As planing for a new Wichita ballpark continues, city officials are considering a proposal for a nearby 543-space parking garage and bus station.
Set to open in 2020 for the relocating New Orleans Baby Cakes (Class AAA; Pacific Coast League), the new Wichita ballpark is being built on the former site of Lawrence-Dumont Stadium. The $75-million ballpark is envisioned as the anchor of a larger redevelopment initiative in the surrounding area, and city officials continue to discuss ways to plan infrastructure that will serve the facility and new development.
One of the latest infrastructure proposals calls for a new structure billed as the “Delano Multimodal Center and Park-N-Ride.” Proposed for a site at the northeast corner of Sycamore and Texas Street, the six-level structure would feature 543 parking spaces, a bus station, and space for offices, storage, and first-floor retail. (The map above shows where it would be located in relation to the ballpark.)
Parking around the ballpark and new development has been a concern among some Wichita residents thus far, so the presence of a new structure designed to address parking and transportation could alleviate some of those worries. The plans are not final, however, as the city will have to secure funding for the center, which is estimated to cost $14.5 million-$17.5 million. A federal grant would cover 80% of the structure’s cost, with the balance to be paid for by the city. More from the Wichita Eagle:
The center is expected to cost between $14.5 and $17.5 million. The city has less than a week to apply for a federal grant that would help pay for it and needs the council’s approval Tuesday to move forward, the city staff report says.
If Wichita gets the federal funding, the Federal Transit Administration would cover 80% of the cost. The city would fund the rest, or about $4.3 million, from the transit system’s capital improvements budget.
Wichita plans to extend Texas Street from Sycamore to McLean and would add a bus lane to help accommodate the transit center, according to the new plan.
Besides parking, the center would also have office space and storage. A little over 5,000 square feet of retail space would be included on the first floor of the center.
Construction on the ballpark is underway, with a goal of opening it in time for the 2020 season. When the franchise debuts the new ballpark, it will mark the first time that Wichita has an affiliated Minor League Baseball team of its own since the Wichita Wranglers (Class AA; Texas League) relocated to Springdale, AR after the 2007 season to become the Northwest Arkansas Naturals.
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