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Developers Unsure Of Pop-up Park Opening Date

The opening of a “pop-up park” in downtown Wichita could be pushed back to September.

Developers at the Wichita Downtown Development Corporation had been hopeful that the park could open sooner, but construction is waiting on massive amounts of dirt that will fill the large, undeveloped pit that currently exists near the intersection of Douglas and Main streets.

Project Manager Jason Gregory says they’ve already purchased most of the equipment for the park, but are on hold until they receive donated dirt from local construction projects, including the River Vista Residences along the Arkansas River.

“We do not have the funds to buy dirt outright,” Gregory said. “These projects have to get rid of dirt, so we’re kind of at the mercy of their start date.”

Gregory says he could get the call any day that the dirt is ready. When the call does come, it will take about two weeks to fill the hole and another four to five weeks to construct the park.

The project began last November when a grant totaling $146,025 was awarded to WDDC to improve a track of land known as “the hole,” which sits along Douglas Street. According to the WDDC, the hole is the product of redevelopment plans falling through in 2007. The site is now owned by Bokeh Development, which renovated the LUX and Renfro apartment complexes.

The pop-up park will be in place until the developers decide to build at the site. Gregory estimates that to be in three to five years.

In the meantime, plans for the park include food truck gatherings and live music.