by Brian Heap
Factfinder 12 Investigator
1:36 PM CST, March 7, 2013
The Crestlake subdivision is used to construction, as new homes are still being built in the upscale Wichita neighborhood. But it's a plan for new construction nearby that has homeowners upset.
A new 278-unit apartment complex is slated for the northwest corner of Central and North 127th Street East. The apartments are expected to rent for $729 to $1200 and appeal to "professionals".
Crestlake resident Rick Bloom learned about the project at a neighborhood meeting earlier this week. Bloom is now worried the value of his dream home will be hurt by the presence of what he calls "low rent" apartments just steps from his backyard.
"For this neighborhood it doesn't fit the demographics of what we have here," Bloom said. He's also concerned about increased traffic on Central and the possibility of more crime.
There may not be many options for the homeowners at Crestlake to stop the project. The Wichita planning department says that property was legally rezoned in 2008 before the Crestlake homes were even built. The time period for an appeal has passed.
Bloom supports the idea of something being built on the property. He just hopes the city will reconsider this particular project, or at least make sure the three-story apartment building doesn't stick out too badly.
FactFinder 12 Investigators called and emailed the project developer, Case & Associates. Tim Austin, a project engineer, responsed to our questions. Austin says he appreciates the neighbors for taking the time to meet and share their thoughts and concerns about the project.
"The current property owner and prospective buyer made a good faith outreach to solicit their input and will take the concerns that were expressed into careful consideration," said Austin.
He points out the property was zoned in accordance with the rules and regulations for the City of Wichita.
"The prospective buyer will design the site so as to mitigate as many concerns as possible. We respsect the neighbor's concerns about possible impacts to the value of the adjacent residential homes; however, there are many single-family residential neighborhoods within the city, including many that are upscale, that abut industrial land, commerical land and multifamily housing with no impacts to the values of the homes," said Austin.
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