Mayan calendar influences proposed Caban Marketplace in Bel Aire

WICHITA — The developers behind the proposed 580-acre Caban Marketplace in Bel Aire aren’t sharing all their plans yet, but there is one question they will answer.

What does Caban mean?

Tom Blitz of Shopping Center Development & Consulting says Caban is a symbol on the Mayan calendar and means earth.

He says early on, there were some green-thinking physicians involved with the project who suggested the name.

He’s not sure if the symbol will be incorporated into the development’s logo.

“We haven’t really addressed it to that level.”

Blitz says he was clear with his architect, though.

“I said, ‘I don’t want this to look like a Mayan temple.’

“The name comes from there. I’m not taking the architectural highlights.”

Kansas Sports Academy to locate at planned Caban Marketplace in Bel Aire

WICHITA — Developers of the planned Caban Marketplace along North Rock Road in Bel Aire are sharing specifics for one phase of the potentially 580-acre development.

Tom Blitz of Shopping Center Development & Consulting says there are plans for a $22 million, 220,000-square-foot Kansas Sports Academy that would locate south of Highway 254 and north of the new Bel Aire high school.

He says the complex will have 17 full-size basketball courts, 25 volleyball courts, eight tennis courts and three outdoor sand volleyball courts and be intended as a place to develop athletes.

“It’s more of an environment to bring in professional coaches and help train traveling teams,” Blitz says.

He says there also will be strength and speed training areas as well.

“This is an academy,” Blitz says. “Not just here’s a court and play.”

There are several developers behind Caban Marketplace. Blitz won’t say who is doing the Kansas Sports Academy.

“They are choosing to remain anonymous at the moment.”

In addition to sports venues, Caban Marketplace potentially will include retail stores, a water park/destination hotel and an aquarium among other things.

The size and scope of the project could be affected by whether the developers and city are able to get approval from the state to use sales and tax revenue bond financing, which is repaid using the state sales tax collected from businesses on site. The bonds would be used to build the project’s infrastructure.

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