Koch Industries has confirmed it is studying the idea of expanding its campus and that includes moving a major Wichita street.
More than 7,000 cars a day use 37th Street in front of Koch industries.
Koch says it wants to add jobs. The company says it has more than 200 job openings it can’t fill because it doesn’t have the space.
The re-route could possibly take 37th Street to the north of where it is now between Hillside and Oliver.
“Expansion is always good if it creates jobs and is good for them. I don't know if it's best for all of the commuters,” says Kyle Tucker who drives the area often.
Most drivers told Eyewitness News the potential job gains are worth the inconvenience.
“I personally think so…and my husband is also looking for a new job so I’m partial to it being re-routed,” says Amber McColpim.
Koch says it would assume responsibility for all costs. It also say no changes are imminent, but hopes to have a decision on expansion plans by the end of the year.
The City of Wichita isn’t saying much. Koch says it is working closely with the city. A city spokesperson tells Eyewitness News that “There preliminary discussions going on but we don't have anything to report right now."
Koch Industries currently employees about 2,600 people in Wichita. Its complex spans just over one million square feet.
Here are some other points released by Koch Industries:
- Koch companies continue to experience growth in Wichita. Largely as a result of this growth, we have about 200 open positions in Wichita.
- Recognizing this growth trend, in late 2011, we began evaluating available office space at our 1,025,000-square-foot Wichita complex.
- To address our office space needs, we have undertaken two projects to design and build out additional space in areas that were previously underutilized (C3 completed 1st Q 2012; A3 design and engineering now underway).
- Once this remaining office space is complete, we will be close to full occupancy.
- Although continued growth is not certain, it is important that we plan for that potential. Given this, we are reviewing possible options to build additional office space on our Wichita campus.
- At this point, we are only exploring options. This includes a feasibility study to determine costs and other considerations that might be involved with a possible expansion.
- No changes are imminent and there is no certainty about whether we will proceed with any building project.
- If we opt to proceed with a building project, one of the changes being considered is a possible rerouting of 37th Street North. We are working closely with the City of Wichita on this. If 37th Street were to be rerouted, Koch would assume responsibility for those costs.
- We hope to make a decision about whether we will move forward with a building project sometime late this year.