South Wichita won with Southfork vote

It was a long time in coming, but the neglected south side of Wichita won big with Wednesday’s 3-2 vote by the Sedgwick County Commission to support a tax-increment financing district for developer Jay Maxwell’s Southfork project. TIF districts carry risk and need to be carefully vetted. But Southfork passed muster at the city and county governments for a reason – it will transform 72 acres near I-135 and 47th Street South, including land now in a floodplain, and put a mix of retail and office space, hotels and restaurants in a part of town overdue for economic development.