Frequently asked questions received on the University Village development.

Would you give us a clear picture of the location of the development?  What are the boundaries of the development?

The development is targeted on the property owned by Wichita State University along 16th & 17th Streets between Hillside & Oliver.  Maps of the location and WSU owned properties can be found online.  

How do we go about leasing?  Will the facility only be for student leasing, as faculty, staff, and support center employees may want to lease due to the close proximity to campus?

Leasing has yet to begin.  An anchor tenant will host the first floor.  The second and third floors could include, medical offices, senior living space, community engagement offices and small businesses. 

The details will come but the developers are open to conversations.

Will there be parking for students?

It is something the developers would consider.

What is the plan for a grocery store or fresh market?  A grocery store is needed for both the community and campus residents.

There are couple of concepts we are considering including one like a coop that is in Kansas City, KS; they plan to reach out to others who provide others for smaller spaces.

What is the timeframe of this development?

This is just the presentation, a developer has to be selected, the goal for selection is early spring.  From there it could be up to two years before any building begins.  

How can people receive more information about the development?

Register online that will provide us with your emails.  Check back  

Are the developers looking at low-cost housing?  

The developers are not looking at housing.  They are looking at commercial use and how those commercial tenants/property answer the needs of all.  They are not married to the renderings.  They want to actively engage in interested groups. 

How will this differ from Braeburn Square?  

Braeburn is a separate development under a different developer.  It is a single story development that tend to crowd out local business as the cost to lease is higher.  

The anchor tenant and the retail and service outlets have not been determined. The hope is that the community and WSU students will help identify potential tenants.  For anchors to work there has to be balance, the merit of what’s being brought will bring balance, that is what they are striving for. Furthermore, the goal is to create an opportunity for those needing low-cost square space.  The university wants to honor the neighborhood and relationship to the community and their students.  

The developer understands that people appreciate local, the service of the mom & pops matter, they’re the authentic local business.  A local business feeds back into the local community.

What is the marketing plan for bringing in tenants?

The developers will talk to the community, make calls to businesses, and talk with more people until the right tenants are found.  If someone knows the right people let the developers know.   

Is there room to incorporate a fresh food plaza and/or food hall like what you’ve built before?

It is a great suggestion and one that will be taken into account.

Do you have an anchor tenant?

One has not been identified.  Suggestions are welcome.

When do you think you will begin?

Once the anchor tenant is found, we will begin with the design and concept.

Do you have a general contractor?

No, we do not have a general contractor yet.

What is difference between GMLV and Lane4?

GMLV is the developer and Lane4, the owner.  They would serve as partners.

Will this be for a major chain, is that what the university is looking for?  

The developer would consider both chains and local retailers.  The target for space is both campus and community. We would like to focus on items that meet the needs for both stakeholder groups.

Will the community be talking with other potential developers before a decision is made?

Based on the responses to the RFP, WSU is not considering additional developers.

When will the selection process take place? 

The feedback  from today’s presentation is being collected.  The feedback will be reviewed for themes and with that data, the WSU University Village Committee and administration will make a decision and that decision will be shared publicly. 

UV Presentation Comments

Will this development connect to the parks?

That is something the developers will add to their conversations.

Will there be any updates to the bar & laundromat near 17th and Hillside?

Those properties are privately owned and not a part of the development plan.  

I would love to see some applied learning spaces like the WISE mental health clinic and our healthcare programs in these spaces.

The spaces will include mixed use spaces, the developer is open to a conversation around the clinic and healthcare programs.

There are two types of people this project is being built for, the students, faculty, and staff and the neighboring community.

This development is not an extension of Innovation campus.  It will be a blend of community and businesses.  They are not planning any residential housing. They will host discussions with both the students and the community to find out what each would like to see in this development. 

Is upgrading the Fairmount properties included?

No, that is not included in the development at this time.

A community business owner shared that back in the 1940's in the Fairmount Neighborhood there was a gas station, a grocery store, a hamburger place, all along 13th & Hillside.  Those places were beneficial to the community and supported local businesses.  He shared that as a goal the community would like to see again.  Engaging a community is so necessary in the developers process.  

This isn’t we win/you lose.  It covers options that are needed.  The developers want to facilitate conversations with community members.  It is important in their development that find the right anchor.  They believe the right anchor will bring the right retailers to the area.

Regarding workforce development, would a tradesmen training facility be considered? The average tradesman is 50 years old, and as construction professional, we know how critical they are to our industry.

A tradesmen training facility has not been discussed, although needed in our community. That seems like a discussion to have with WSU Tech, who already provides this type of educational opportunity.

Could a community garden be included? 

It is something they would consider.  Also, WSU currently has a community garden accessible right off 17th street, perhaps there is an opportunity to enhance what currently exists.  

Are there opportunities for incubators?

Incubators could be discussed further.  For example, with a culinary arts program, incubator kitchens for young chefs could be discussed further.  The developer cannot make promises, but if an idea can be funded and there is a model that could lead in the right direction, they’ll investigate it.

Most small business cannot afford the space being developed in the area now, so it will be interesting to see how this works. 

Upon selection, the developer will just be coming on board and they have no pre-conception of the work.  They understand that meeting the needs of the community mean going to work. 

The Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) work with people who are looking for space to lease, and SBDC works closely with them to find the resources.  There are big and small players. 

The developers noted the development could create access to the space and folks with the SBDC can help both the developer and the people interested.

It was noted that the developers were well received with those here from the community. How excited are they?

The developers are excited but they want to be realistic.  They will make every effort in looking at both retail chains and local businesses.  


Feedback Received on Wichita State's University Village 

Small Business

The university committee and the development team is open to feedback from community members with regards to entrepreneurs looking to open their small business. At this point, all are relying on connections with Create Campaign, the Richard Robinson CBA group and Wichita State's Small Business Development Center.  There are opportunities to share potential tenants directly with the developer. 


It is important to break the reliance on transportation by car only. People will spend more time in areas that are walkable, well connected by pedestrian and bicycle paths, supply bike racks, and connect to public transportation. Cars should be admitted grudgingly, if at all.  


Work with the city to be exempt from parking minimums, like Revolutsia did, so you don’t waste space. Any parking should be at the back to not interfere with walking and attractiveness. Don’t make the design mistakes that were made at Braeburn Square, rendering it another setback strip mall with too much parking.


I read with great interest the proposal for University Village across 17th Street. I think it is a wonderful idea that will help the neighborhood and the university. But what will happen to Kirby's? Some of my fondest college memories are from Kirby's Beer Store. 35 years later Kirby's continues to be a cultural gem for Wichita. Sure it's a small hole-in-the-wall and a little worse for the wear but it is special. It's one of those places that helps make WSU unique and provides a certain continuity for - amazingly without losing it's "hip" factor over time. Kirby's helped make my WSU experience unique and fun. Please try to incorporate Kirby's into University Village.

Exterior of Proposed Buildings

I thought the illustrations looked rather ordinary and not warm and inviting (again, I realize that they don’t want to put funding into plans if they aren’t to be selected).

The building they are proposing looks uninviting to students, the community, and visitors.  I would suggest development that has more ambiance created by greenspaces, outdoor seating, shade on the sidewalk for walkers, and trees.  Think:  Revolutsia's outdoor firepit with tables and chairs in an open courtyard with a small stage for outdoor concerts.  Another important factor is affordability-- it should be a place where local businesses and shocker entrepreneurs can get started; any student housing should be affordable and include a grocery store with staples and international options.  The architecture of the building should be creative and inviting--  rooftop dining, glass garage doors opening onto a patio--places where events are held and people want to linger.  A variety of modes of transportation should be built into the plan--bicycle racks, bike share bicycles, a bus stop with a bench,  protective cover, and map.

We need places that are inviting. Green, outdoor space AND served by local businesses.


Providing some green space is worth strongly considering. Please share information about the ways the new buildings will be environmentally sound (green). 

Community Contractors

The University Village is an emergent project that will be an tremendous asset to the university and the community.  Will  the developers work with contractors who live and/or work in the community? 

The RFP included a requirement that historically underutilized businesses (Minority-owned Business Enterprises and Disadvantaged Business Enterprises) be included in the overall scope of work for the project. Lane4 has a history of supporting minority vendors. Sub-contractors, labors and others should be included. There is no language that specifically addresses contractors who work/live in the community. 

Kansas Animator

I haven't had a chance to attend the community meetings for University Village development, but as a new member of the Kansas Animator for the shocker area, I'd like to propose an idea for development that further contribute to the university strengthening its relationship not just it's students but the surrounding community as well. I've heard feedback from residents concerning the need for activities or a resource center for youth, a stationary(permanent structure not mobile) food pantry or small grocer, and a community space that's accessible to anyone in the area for meetings, cohorts, a recreation center for children 8 to 16 years of age. I would love to provide more input on these ideas whether it be a response via email or at the next community meeting. Thank you!

A Growing University in the Community

Without question, it is within Wichita State's best interest to help create and oversee an ecosystem that is healthy and inviting for students, innovation campus partners, and various other stakeholders.  For a growing university, what it offers, as well as its overall attractiveness to students and stakeholders will likely require a certain degree of gentrification and youthification.  As the late Dr. Bardo was very transparent in sharing, it is unfortunately a part of the growth process.  In a townhall type of meeting, I used the example of homes being replaced by multiunit apartment complexes as an example, to which I was informed that I would need to address the developers of these units, and that these efforts were not university initiatives.  That said, even things that WSU is not directly apart of are driven by the presence of the university, so most of the activity in the area shares either a direct or indirect relationship with the university.  Case-in-point, the university is fully aware of how many beds will become available because of these efforts, and I could be wrong, but I believe that this data was used in same presentation where my initial inquiry took place.       

The items mentioned in the present memo are not bad things, but delicate things in terms of how Wichita State envisions itself as a responsible steward for the community surrounding the university, most notably the Black community that makes up 44% of the Fairmount population but will rapidly decline as apartments are being built and commercialization takes place.   It is refreshing that ownership of this responsibility appears to be spelled out in the vision which references “the communities we serve” and a mission that speaks to driving “the greater public good” within these communities.  While I embrace the idea of more diverse communities, my hope is that these communities won’t be completely replaced by new communities altogether.  The same Black residents who remained loyal to these communities through a complete lack of attentiveness, deserve to be a part of new prosperity initiatives that are taking place.       

As a property owner in Fairmount, an employee of the university, and a proud Black man who is very sensitive to racial oppression, I'm curious as to the measures being taken to (a) empower and provide resources to residents who are not displaced, and (b) minimize displacement as much as possible? Also, what measures are being considered for keeping property taxes reasonable as new developments may incur specials taxation? Other items of concern include the lack of fresh produce and healthy eating options? Some of my friends who are developers and even landowners in the area want to know why Black developers and entrepreneurs feel "iced-out" of opportunities to participate in these business endeavors that will most likely produce lucrative yields?  Some even feel they are snubbed from the opportunity of even having real conversations pertaining to this (Lonnie Barnes, Christopher Lee, Bernard Knowles, and others).  What efforts are being taken to bring qualified black professionals to the table and have access to some of these opportunities?

From an academic standpoint, how will the University Village collaborate with the colleges to produce research opportunities that will (a) help address these and other community concerns, and (b) provide research opportunities for students that enable a real-world collision between scholastic rigor and community engagement? How are the perspectives of real community stakeholders being assessed? Beyond Mr. Carrington, or developers like Mark and Brock, or the developers and contractors slated to build this village concept, what are the stories and perspectives of the Fairmount residents who have lived there for decades, raised children there, and call neighborhoods like Fairmount and Kenmar home? 


University Village would build the community of Wichita and the University. It’s a win-win and past due. Bravo WSU! Keep moving forward.


The University Village Steering Committee consists of folks in higher administrative positions. It is my hope that ODI and TRIO staff and students are involved with the planning process. And maybe they are. The WSU community needs to see their involvement or at least see their input during this process.

To promote the entrepreneurial spirit, it would be ideal to have at least one building dedicated to a student-run small business that is utilized by a new student business each year. There is an application process and interview process to award the space. See Wash U. in St. Louis for an example of this initiative.

We should see a seamless connection between the campus and the neighborhood in which the University Village is being developed.

This is an opportunity to create more place-making spaces such as green space, a playground, benches, walking paths, etc.

Most importantly, it is my hope that the needs of the community and the needs of the students are being documented and then are met as a result of this plan.

Is anyone on the board of regents bound to make a profit off this proposal?

Please get a salon on campus.  I'd love to be able to get my hair and nails done in a more convenient way.

Food Options

Make a grocery store or Walmart of some sort on campus.

Fresh and healthy food options are a major pressing need in this area.  I love the idea of a co-op style grocery store.  


Would like to see a park with gardens including a butterfly garden. Maybe a 2nd story indoor garden that could be enjoyed all year, with shops at the edges. In Calgary, Alberta's city center there's an extensive network of skybridges and covered tunnels connecting buildings so that you don't have to walk outside in the cold. Considering our extreme weather, this would be an interesting solution to beat the heat and cold. If not covered tunnels, pedestrian bridges over major roads would aid foot travel. No one likes walking across 21st and Oliver.


An easier way help prevent people who speed from causing accidents on the east-bound 17th 2 lane to 1 lane merge immediately at the Hillside and 17th traffic. Currently, after turning onto 17th, multiple drivers have used the merge lane to speed up and cut people off or almost cause accidents instead of yielding and merging in a good way.

As it is currently, I'm concerned about the on-street parking on 17th with cars, people, and bikers. I think adding people backing out into traffic creates more accidents and slows traffic down.

While not part of this phase, a crosswalk with a light would be beneficial at the current crosswalk near Brennan Hall. If not a full light, then at least flashing lights would be beneficial such as those at the Red Bud Path crossing Woodlawn.