View the press release as a PDF
November 16, 2021
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media Contact: Vera Bothner
Phone: (316) 640-5326
Economic analysts provide updated market data for downtown Wichita
Market forecasts indicate strong opportunities for growth
A core function of the Downtown Wichita organization is to provide the public and private sectors with market-based data that allows the community to make strategic investment decisions based on research. The organization first contracted with economic firms to develop market projections for Project Downtown: The Master Plan for Wichita, adopted in 2010.
The market-based economic analysis and forecasts have been updated regularly over the past decade, and the information provided has helped drive investment that has led to a more vibrant urban center for Wichita.
Downtown Wichita recently contracted with three firms to conduct analyses for market-based projections to determine how the COVID-19 pandemic affected the overall downtown market as well as the Riverfront Legacy Master planning area. The results of the three forecasts indicate strong opportunities for growth over the next seven to ten years.
Economic firms include Zimmerman/Volk Associates for residential, W-ZHA for office and RCLCO for residential, office, retail and hotel, including a forecast focused on the Riverfront Legacy Master planning area.
One consistent theme from the analysts is that vibrant downtowns have become even more important for talent recruitment and retention.
“Talent was already becoming a story before, but if there’s anything the pandemic showed us, is that need for vibrant downtowns is even more acute. You must have mixed-use, walkable downtowns to attract the highly sought after 25 to 34-year-old workforce. It’s the way cities compete and attract talent in today’s labor environment,” said Sarah Woodworth, W-ZHA
Forecast General Summary
(for both downtown Wichita district and Riverfront Legacy Master Plan planning area)
- Residential – Continued strong opportunity in downtown overall and Riverfront Legacy Master planning area
- Office –Moderate/strong opportunity in downtown overall and Riverfront Legacy Master planning area
- Retail – Continued moderate opportunity in Riverfront Legacy Master planning area
- Hotel – Continued moderate opportunity in downtown overall and Riverfront Legacy Master planning area
View the full reports and executive summaries at downtownwichita.org/toolkit.
“There’s been a dramatic increase in the size of the potential residential market with almost double the demand from three years ago, which is stunning,” said Laurie Volk, Zimmerman/Volk Associates.
The firms each use different processes/methodology. Downtown Wichita contracted with these analysts to ensure robust market information as well as the ability to compare to previous forecasts. Though the firms use different processes, the forecast projections landed in the same general ranges with minimal differences based on definitions.
The reports will be used to inform potential projects. In addition, the reports will be used to conduct an updated financial analysis for the Riverfront Legacy Master planning process when it resumes.
Please find additional resources and summaries of the report findings as well as direct quotes from the analysts included in this press packet. The full reports can be found at downtownwichita.org/toolkit.
About Downtown Wichita
Downtown Wichita is a private 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation that amplifies the energy, capital, and growth of downtown by empowering residents, visitors, and businesses to explore the possibilities of our city’s core. Downtown Wichita is an affiliate of the Greater Wichita Partnership. Learn more at downtownwichita.org.