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Two Projects Under Consideration For Wichita’s Topeka St. Firehouse Redevelopment

City of Wichita

The city of Wichita is considering two development projects for the Topeka Street firehouse.

One project would turn the building into a learning lab for Butler Community College’s hospitality and culinary arts programs.

The other project would create a commercial property providing small spaces and common seating to start-ups, freelancers, artists and businesses.

Mayor Jeff Longwell says developers will provide details at an open house on Thursday.

"They will present their proposed developments for the fire station. We encourage all residents to come out and hear these proposals and comment on it," Longwell says.

The city put the two-story former firehouse located at Topeka Avenue and Lewis Street up for sale in January to help revitalize the area.

City officials considered the property a “catalyst” site to help spur development of nearby vacant lots and existing buildings.

“We just want to see a robust development that hopefully will bring other opportunities to our city — whether it be quality of life or economic development," Longwell says. "We want to see more opportunities."

The firehouse most recently served as a city maintenance facility.

The open house is scheduled from 5-6:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 26, at Downtown Wichita, 505 E. Douglas.


Follow Deborah Shaar on Twitter @deborahshaar.

To contact KMUW News or to send in a news tip, reach us at news@kmuw.org.

Deborah joined the news team at KMUW in September 2014 as a news reporter. She spent more than a dozen years working in news at both public and commercial radio and television stations in Ohio, West Virginia and Detroit, Michigan. Before relocating to Wichita in 2013, Deborah taught news and broadcasting classes at Tarrant County College in the Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas area.