TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – The Topeka City Council is holding another public hearing on the Wheatfield project planned for 29th and Fairlawn. The empty lot is currently fenced off and padlocked, but if the council approves the economic package developer Jim Klausman hopes to break ground right away.
“We really feel that people, if you build a really quality project, that they will be there to help support it.,” said Klausman.
People in the community have expressed concern that Topeka can’t sustain a development this big. Others worry about the added traffic at the intersection of 29th and Fairlawn.
Klausman believes this a project the city has been asking for and said that the intersection has sustained higher traffic in the past.
Part of what the city is considering is a deal to raise the sales tax inside the development. Klausman said he doesn’t believe the higher tax will keep people away.
“It relates to about 20 cents on $10 so we really think for the caliber of project we have that people will still come and support it,” Klausman said.
Klausman hopes to have the first phase of construction finished and open by Fall 2018.
Connor England is planning to speak during the public comment at Tuesday’s meeting. He said the project is important for “quality of life” in Topeka, but he doesn’t really like the economic deal the council is looking at.
“Most economic development packages aren’t that efficient, they’re not that effective, but we continue to give them to promote things that we believe will truly help our town succeed,” said England.
England said a project like Wheatfield will never succeed unless people take a chance and allow it to be built.