1. Downtown YMCA
The YMCA is building a new $23 million, 110,000-square-foot Central Family Y to replace the existing facility, which dates to 1959. It will have two indoor pools, two gymnasiums, racquetball courts, an indoor track, fitness centers, a nursery and the YMCA’s corporate offices.
2. St. Mary’s Cathedral
The Catholic Diocese is restoring The Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception (popularly known as St. Mary’s Cathedral) to help celebrate the building’s 100-year anniversary. Work on the 105-foot dome, additional lighting to emphasize architectural details and a new covered structure connecting all buildings on the campus at Broadway and Central are among $16 million in work underway.
The national outdoor retailer is building a 80,000-square- foot store in Regency Lakes at 21st and Greenway. The stores sell thousands of items related to fishing, hunting, boating and other outdoor activities, and tend to become tourist destinations on their own with their trophy animal mountings and wildlife displays.
4. Fresh Market
The upscale Fresh Market grocery chain is moving into the former Ultimate Electronics space in Bradley Fair. The chain, concentrated in the southeast United States, tries to emulate the feel of open-air European markets with an on-call meat department, fresh seafood, gourmet foods, freshly roasted coffee and classical music playing in the background.
It’s hard to remember a fast-food chain generating more excitement than this one did when it announced it will open two locations in Wichita this year. Known for the chicken sandwiches and humorous TV commercials featuring cows, Chick-fil-A plans one store on the east side at Central and Rock, and another on the west side, near 21st and Maize.
6. Redbud Bike Trail
The city is constructing a new bike trail, called the Redbud, on an abandoned railroad track running from the Canal Route near Central to the intersection of 17th and Oliver. The trail will connect downtown with Wesley Medical Center, the Ken-Mar neighborhood, Wichita State University and more. Cyclists hope it will eventually be extended to Rock Road or further east along the old railroad line.