Though there are a lot of businesses near Central and Hillside, there is housing, too, and some residents are worried about a new business proposal for the area.
OnPoint Development, a developer of healthcare properties, wants to demolish 14 houses near Central and Hillside.
The houses are north of the Hibachi Boy at 3010 E. Central and bounded by Elm Street on the north, Chautauqua on the west and Lorraine on the east.
OnPoint CEO Austin Kinzle said there is a demand for more medical office space, particularly for specialists near Wesley Medical Center.
“With it’s proximity to Wesley, and the demand for space, it was a relevant project for us.”
Kinzle won’t say who the potential medical users are.
“I cannot talk about any of that at this time,” he said.
“There are still a lot of moving parts with this project for it to align to come about.”
Chief among them is a Tuesday vote at the Wichita City Council.
The District Advisory Board for District 1 voted against recommending to the city to allow demolition.
The planning commission voted to recommend approval.
“At the moment, I’m still kind of weighing the conversation we heard,” said District 1 Council member Brandon Johnson.
He said all of the houses are currently inhabited.
ESP Realty owns all the parcels. Kinzle is representing ESP in addition to being the developer of the proposed medical facility.
Johnson said some of the issues that have been brought up include concerns from residents who said moving would create a hardship. They said they didn’t know where they’d go, and they fear that new housing will be more expensive.
Others, including one resident from nearby Sleepy Hollow, mentioned a housing shortage, too.
Also, Johnson said other neighbors not in the affected housing are concerned about further business encroachment into the surrounding neighborhoods.
Johnson said he hasn’t made a decision on how he’ll vote.
“I really try to think it through to the end and come up with the best decision possible.”