Wichita City Council clears way for redevelopment of Joyland property

WICHITA, Kan. Update Tuesday, July 9, 2019

The Wichita City Council Tuesday approved a zoning request for the former Joyland Amusement Park property. The new owner is trying to redevelop the area.

The zone change allows for the development of an event center and other improvements.

"(The developer would) like to make it an outdoor venue so people can come out there, have a beautiful place to do a wedding, to do different types of events," Wichita City Council member James Clendenin says. "...He really wants to make this part of the community again."

Council members say the first phase of the project involves cleaning up the property.

The amusement park closed more than a decade ago and fires have destroyed much of what's left on the site.

Joyland closed for good more than a decade ago and fires have destroyed much of what's left of the 57-acre site.

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Friday, July 5, 2019

A new life is on the horizon for Wichita's Joyland Amusement Park property.

What once was a staple of the Wichita community closed for good in 2006 after operating for more than 55 years. Less than one year after the property sold for nearly $200,000 at an auction, the Wichita City Council next week begins looking at a project to redevelop the 57-acre former amusement park site near Pawnee and Hillside.

Specifically, next Tuesday, the city council is expected to create the "Joyland Development Complex." The project would include zoning changes to allow for the development of an event center and other improvements. The amusement park closed more than a decade ago and fires have destroyed much of what's left on the site.

With the Joyland Development Complex, plans call for the addition of restaurants and an outdoor entertainment venue.

For city leaders and those living near the former theme park, there's a sense of relief and hope that the changes will improve the neighborhood and alleviate some of the headache that's come with blight and crime on the property since Joyland closed.

"It is a relief because having that space activated means less crime. It means less people doing things they should not be doing on the property," Wichita City Council member James Clendenin says.