Susan and David Cohrs know a little bit about change. Last year, the Cohrs exchanged 20 acres for a WaterWalk condo in Downtown Wichita with a 300-square foot balcony. “We really did a 180,” she says of their decision to embrace urban life after 20 years in the country. “And we love it – even more than we thought we would.”
After David underwent multiple hip surgeries, the Cohrs wanted to find something easier to maintain. “For us, we loved the farm so much it was kind of all or nothing. We weren’t going to be able to move into suburbia and make that work so we wanted something completely different,” Susan relates. after researching their options they landed at WaterWalk.
“We looked at everything available in Wichita and WaterWalk is close enough downtown, without having to being in the middle of it,” she says, explaining that she and her husband have fallen in love with the lifestyle afforded by living in central Wichita. “We jump on the Q line in front of our building and take it to Oldtown and go out for drinks or dinner or a movie. In nice weather, it’s just under a mile for us to get to Mort’s (Cigar Bar),” she says, adding that they can easily walk to shows at Century II and other downtown venues as well. “It’s all right there.”
Not to mention the nights they stay in. “There are fireworks over the baseball stadium at home games on Friday nights so we’ll sit on the balcony and watch those,” Susan enthuses. “It’s just an easy way to live,” she says.
There is always something going on, always something fun to do — Dan Ast
Like the Cohrs, Dan and Gayle Ast have discovered that in downsizing from a house to a condo, they have “upsized” their lives with easy access to downtown activities and entertainment, while eliminating property maintenance and reducing their work commutes. “It was probably driven as much by our son’s idea, who also lives downtown in Douglas Place,” Dan says. “He’s the one that got our interest in a different way to live.
“There is always something going on, always something fun to do — from races, to car shows, to the Riverfest, evening concerts on the grounds,” Dan continues. “You’ll never run out of things to do and you’re constantly exposed to it.” as an added benefit, it takes Dan less than five minutes to get to work. Susan, however, has even Dan beat – she works at Go Wichita, which is one of 10 businesses based in the WaterWalk complex.
Although both the Cohrs and Asts have grown children and grandchildren, they say they have been surprised by how easy it is for them to entertain family and other guests with access to a fitness facility and the rooftop owner’s lounge, which can be reserved. Their proximity to downtown activities is another draw for visiting company.
“When all the kids are around, it’s busy, but it doesn’t seem near as crowded as I thought it might,” Susan says. and if space gets too tight, WaterWalk condo owners are given a special rate at the Marriott Fairfield Inn and Suites. “That’s a real nice bonus,” Susan says. “There are solutions to the problems. 90 percent of the time it’s just Dave and I and it’s perfect for us – 10 percent of the year we’ll have some of the kids home and things going but that has worked a lot easier than we thought because of the functional design of the space.”