Becoming an entertainment district may be the first of many new changes ahead for Wichita's Old Town
"This is going to be the start of a whole new era for Old Town," said Old Town Association President Jason Van Sickle.
Van Sickle says those changes could include expanding the boundaries of Old Town and banning some people out of the area for life.
Joe's in Old Town has been a watering hole on Washington Avenue more than a year, but never officially inside Old Town's boundary.
The new plan would push the borders east to Wabash, north to Central, west past the rail road bridge to St. Francis and south past Douglas.
"The new Union Station, which is going to be a big part of the growth story for Old Town in the years to come," Van Sickle added.
Van Sickle just became President of the Old Town Association, but says the plan to change Old Town into an entertainment district has been a two year process.
"You have to put in a unique set of laws and rules to help make sure you don't have those occasional trouble makers come and upset the fun for everyone else," Van Sickle said.
Those new laws would double or triple the fines for crimes committed in Old Town. If you are a repeat offender, you could be banned for life.
"Some of the changes are good for Old Town," said Joe's Owner Dave Allen. "They are trying to keep some of the problems out, the problem people out."
"What you will see this Summer is really the first of a major effort to have a lot of organizations working together," Van Sickle added.
Van Sickle would like to get more people involved in the Old Town Association and is hoping to increase membership from 20 to more than 100 people.
The changes could also include adding a special tax in Old Town to pay for those changes and extra security.
The Wichita City Council is expected to discuss the entertainment district issue at its meeting on May 14th.