Garvey Center to build 36-unit apartment complex downtown at First and Waco

WICHITA — In another sign of recovery – both for Wichita and downtown in particular – the Garvey Center is going to build new apartments.

“We’re going to be constructing 36 new apartment units at the corner of First and Waco,” says Garvey Center manager Larry Weber.

The city owns half the parking lot that’s at the southeast corner, and the Garvey Center owns the other half.

Weber expects the project will take about a year to build after the city approves selling its land.

“The thing that’s significant about it is it’s adding new residential into our downtown,” says Jeff Fluhr, president of the Wichita Downtown Development Corp.

Fluhr says Builders Inc., which owns the Garvey Center, and its CEO, Mike Garvey, were some of the first to step up to help pay for a $100,000 study of downtown that showed that more residential is needed. Fluhr says more living areas in turn help meet retail and restaurant needs, which also were part of the plan.

City Council member Janet Miller agrees that the new apartments are likely to help with the ripple effect.

“That brings more services, more retail, more entertainment options.” All of that may eventually lead to a full-scale grocery store for the city’s core, she says, “which is what everybody wants.”

The Garvey Center already has 155 apartments at 250 Douglas Place.

“We’re 100 percent (occupied) on those, and the demand is such that more are needed,” Weber says.

Parking will be within the Garvey Center’s garage.

While other apartments and condos have become available downtown in recent years, none has been built from the ground up.

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Wichita has at least three smoke-free apartment buildings

WICHITA — It turns out 250 Douglas Place isn’t the first Wichita apartment to go smoke free, including tenants’ rooms.

At least two more are already entirely smoke free.

Last year, the Quarters at Cambridge announced it was the first to become smoke free.

The Quarters’ Charlotte Hanley-Jacobson says she did research and couldn’t find another Wichita complex that had a similar policy.

But Highland House Apartments, a 12-story apartment at 13th and Woodlawn, has been smoke free for more than two decades.

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250 Douglas Place goes entirely smoke free

WICHITA — In what could be the first nonsmoking apartment building in the city if not the state, 250 Douglas Place has gone entirely smoke free.

“With the progressiveness that I’ve seen in Wichita, I think that there is a market for that,” says Larry Weber of Builders Inc., which owns the Garvey Center where the apartment building is.

A lot of apartments don’t allow smoking in their common areas. Nor did 250 Douglas Place, but now residents won’t be able to smoke in their rooms, either.

Before making the change, Weber conducted a survey of tenants in 143 apartments.

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