Vacant 'Gander Mountain' building could soon be home to 700 new jobs

WICHITA, Kan. A building that's set empty in downtown Wichita for more than a year could soon be filled with 700 new jobs.

Wichita Mayor Jeff Longwell says these jobs could be moving into the old Gander Mountain building at the city's WaterWalk.

As of Wednesday, the nature of the new jobs expected to fill the closed retail business for outdoor sport and recreation hasn't been disclosed. But people who live and work near the Gander Mountain building say the addition of any jobs to Wichita is good for the city.

Longwell did say the owner of the WaterWalk Hotel Apartments has staff working to fill up the building and says they are tentative on a deal. He says he doesn't have any more details right now.

Wednesday, Eyewitness News reached out to the owner of the WaterWalk Hotel Apartments for insight into his plans for the vacant space, but has not heard back.

Alyssa Wesbrook who works across from the empty building says there are some things she would like to see developed.

"Definitely food (or) entertainment kind of stuff," she says. "If the new ballpark is coming, than we really just want it to be a booming area where people can get everything in one place and just walk along the river and one-stop shop for everything."

Longwell says the addition of jobs in the Gander Mountain building would be a big boost to a core area, but the added opportunity would likely come with tremendous renovations