Looking into the proposed $400 million plan to renovate Century II, the Bob Brown Expo Hall, and the downtown library building.

Century II
Courtesy City of Wichita / Populous

On Tuesday, the city unveiled a proposed $400 million plan to renovate not just Century II, but the Bob Brown Expo Hall and the old downtown library building. And before you ask, no, none of it includes a Cheesecake Factory, an aquarium or a 2-month lease for a Spirit Halloween store.

Remember, this is just a proposal and no action has been taken on it.

I read through the entire presentation, which you can find here. Here are some highlights:

Courtesy City of Wichita / Populous

Century II

The proposed plan would save Century II; it would be designed to support the community and future needs.

Part of the re-imagination includes converting the south half of it to a 30,000 square foot ballroom. The cost to add the ballroom, fix the infrastructure and other modifications would be $55 million.

Courtesy City of Wichita / Populous

Bob Brown Expo Hall

The convention center would be expanded to host local, regional and national events and act as a revenue generator for the city. Proposed cost of this project would be $170 million.

Courtesy City of Wichita / Populous

Old Downtown Public Library

Re-purposing the library space would cost $15 million.

Other Areas

The addition of The New Heart of the City. This would be a gathering spot in the heart of the city serving as a destination for all locals and visitors alike, as a complement to the neighborhood centered efforts in the region. There would be modernized river access & new public green space. This would improve access to the riverfront while uniting existing parks and amenities.

Then the final $160 million would be poured into additional site development which includes parking, landscape connection and Riverfront access.

Courtesy City of Wichita / Populous

What’s not included in the plan so far is a new performing arts center. Mayor Brandon Whipple said that nothing would move forward without that piece included.

It’s too early to tell right now what will come of the plan. Who knows, Kellogg construction could be finished by the time we have all of this decided and completed.

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