Originally built in 1915, the pink marble Exchange Place and beige brick Bitting Buildings in downtown Wichita have sat vacant and deteriorating for years, despite attempts to redevelop the properties. One of the major obstacles developers faced in revitalizing the prominent structures was how to create adequate parking. Watry Design was hired to design a parking plan that would solve the problem and allow the project to move forward. Site design called for parking to be located in a 7 story structure over the former site of the Michigan and Lerner Buildings along with 35 apartments. However, there was not enough space to utilize a traditional parking solution. By instead utilizing a mechanical lift "stacking" solution that stores vehicles above traditional spaces and over the drive aisle, Watry Design was able to more than double the parking capacity.
This design allowed developer John McWilliams to move forward with his vision: a luxury apartment complex known as The Douglas. When complete, the project will offer ground floor retail and 240 residential units while maintaining the architectural character of the original structures, including preserving ornate handrails from the Michigan Building in the revitalized Exchange Place.
- Owner: Confidential
- Client: Spangenberg Phillips Tice Architecture
- Design Architect: SPT Architecture
- Developer: John McWilliams
- Contractor: Key Construction
- Project Status: Completed 2017
- Parking Stalls: 310 vehicle capacity using 168 mechanical lifts
- Levels: 5 parking
- Total Sq Ft: 400,000 (93,869 parking square feet)