Economic Research Since the adoption of Project Downtown in 2010, market-based information for developers, property owners and investors has driven investment and development in the urban core. Since the inception of the plan, Downtown Wichita has regularly engaged experts to update three distinct markets (residential, hotel/ commercial, and retail) to provide timely, accurate information. In July 2018, Downtown Wichita re-engaged Laurie Volk of Zimmerman/Volk Associates to reassess the downtown multi- family residential market. Updated market information provides lenders, developers and the public sector an accurate forecast of the market potential. In addition to market-based research and specific planning initiatives, the annual State of Downtown Report presents timely U.S. Census Data and local market information and trends. Working in partnership with Wichita State University’s Center for Economic Development and Business Research, the City of Wichita, Sedgwick County, Visit Wichita and other partners we are able to provide this data to drive collaborative conversations and assist the public and private sectors with strategic investment decisions. The report is designed to be a resource for those who own, develop, market or invest in real estate. 3 7 D O W N T O W N Opportunity Zones are a new economic development tool that was created by the tax code under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act in December of 2017. Census tract areas in each of the 50 States were identified by state governors with the goal of spurring economic development and job creation in distressed areas and communities. Much of downtown Wichita falls within the defined Opportunity Zone areas which under certain conditions, may allow properties to qualify for preferential tax treatment created by the program by providing assistance to investors. Downtown Wichita worked with area stakeholders to produce an Opportunity Zone Prospectus for Wichita in which favorable development opportunities within the Opportunity Zone Areas are promoted. Downtown Wichita distributed this prospectus to potential local and national investors. This beneficial program is another major attractor for those seeking investment opportunities in real estate and allows us to position downtown favorably in the regional and national markets. Opportunity Zones