Luxury Condos Dot WaterWalk Landscape

Friday, December 4 2009 12:34 AM

Reporter: Jared Cerullo

One year after the first dirt was turned, Wichita's Waterwalk development is well underway, but are people taking advantage of it?

The construction is still well underway, but as Wichita's Waterwalk development turns one year old, a lot of the condominiums that are still in the development remain unsold.

"We really see Waterwalk as being a great gathering place for people," said Waterwalk Place Vice President Doug Rupe. "We had the jingle bell run going on just this morning. About a thousand people took part in that. We are really starting to attract people downtown."

With millions of dollars in public money spent on the project, you can't miss it. Waterwalk has been billed as the centerpiece to downtown revitalization.

"It's really perfect timing with downtown revitalization that the Downtown Development Corp. is doing and the new arena," said Rupe. "There's an emerging demand for downtown housing."

But the Waterwalk homes are clearly not cheap. On the low end, the smaller loft units cost $200,000. On the high end, the 2-bedroom, 5,000 square-foot units cost more than $750,000. Rupe says they're worth it because of their appeal of being among the excitement that is happening downtown.

"I've traveled around the country a lot myself and I know that it can be done and it has been done and we're going to do it here," Rupe explained. "It's easy to be negative, but not productive."

There are a total of 46 homes at Waterwalk Place. Rupe says 15 units were sold in the first year in what was a very rough economy. The latest buyer is Wichita City Manager Bob Layton... A fitting tenant, considering the public money used to develop the area.

"I know that the total amount that the city will have put into this will be somewhat over $40 million," Rupe said Saturday. "Not into this building, but into all of the infrastructure that it took and the cleanup, getting the buildings removed, streets redone and all the utilities in place."

Rupe says he hopes to have the remaining unsold Waterwalk Place units sold within the next 18 months.

Previous: WaterWalk Announces Newest Tenant Next: WaterWalk Announces Design Affiliation