The Pop-Up Park is located on the South side of Douglas Avenue between Main and Market at 121 E. Douglas Avenue, Wichita, KS 67202.
The park was built to fill in “The Hole” on Douglas Ave, which came into existence in 2007, when redevelopment plans by the previous property owner fell through, leaving behind the foundation walls a large “hole” along the urban edge of Douglas Avenue. A local development team, Bokeh Development, took ownership of the property as well as both buildings immediately adjacent, the Caldwell Murdock Building to the West and Woolf Bros. Building to the East. In the last five years, Bokeh Development has successfully completed the Zelman Lofts, the Renfro and The LUX. These new projects contribute 115 new residential units, 210,000 SF of commercial space in Downtown and accomplish the vision set forth in the Master Plan. Downtown Wichita worked closely with Bokeh Development and other community partners to fill in “The Hole” and build the Pop-Up Park to activate the underutilized space. To design and develop the park, Downtown Wichita hosted a design charrette, engaging Kansas State University design students along with local design professionals, developers, business owners and residents.
Through a grant from the Knight Foundation at the Wichita Community Foundation, the temporary Pop-Up Park was constructed along the Douglas Avenue frontage of “The Hole.” The project consisted of filling in the site with excess fill material (dirt) from the nearby development project on the Arkansas River - River Vista. After “The Hole” was filled, the site came to life with the addition of colorful furnishings, planters with trees for shade and string lights for ambiance at night.
Transforming this eyesore into a community gathering space creates many opportunities for civic engagement. Food trucks at the site provide a vibrant, urban lunch setting for Downtown workers, while live music and occasional playground equipment engage residents and visitors in Downtown.
The Pop-Up Park was built through a grant from the Knight Foundation Fund at the Wichita Community Foundation. Downtown Wichita lead the design and implementation process with community partners Bokeh Development, Farha Construction, Together Wichita, Professional Engineering Consultants (P.E.C.), City of Wichita Parks & Recreation, River Vista LLC, Child Advocacy Center of Sedgwick County, Automation Plus, COX Communications, and High Touch Technologies.