STORMONT VAIL AND BLUE CROSS TEAM UP TO SUPPORT EVERGY PLAZA PROJECT
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 17, 2019
TOPEKA, Kansas – Downtown Topeka Foundation is proud to announce a generous funding commitment made toward the construction of the forthcoming Evergy Plaza in downtown Topeka. Stormont Vail Health, together with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas, have jointly donated to the project.
Evergy Plaza will be located at the northeast corner of 7th & Kansas Avenue. Designed as a flexible open air gathering place, the plaza will feature the CapFed® On 7th Stage for live performances, a large digital screen, water features, a fire pit and more. Currently underway, the area is being cleared for the construction phase. More information and updates throughout this project can be found at evergyplaza.com.
“Stormont Vail’s contribution will be an investment in the health and wellness of the community,” Rob Kenagy, M.D., president and chief executive officer said. “The downtown revitalization is a pivotal project for both the economic development of our city but also the development of partnerships around a common focus of community health improvement.”
“Evergy Plaza is an exciting addition to downtown Topeka that will provide a new type of gathering place for residents,” said Matt All, BCBSKS president/CEO. “Our commitment to downtown Topeka is 77 years strong, and we want to do our part to help Topeka be a thriving and vibrant capital city. Amenities like Evergy Plaza will make Topeka a more liveable city for residents of all ages, and will get downtown Topeka moving.”
The project is made possible with funding from multiple public and private sources, such as donations from local businesses, Transient Guest Taxes and a Tourism Improvement District supported by the Topeka Lodging Association, which will be used to pay for fees and annual operating costs of the plaza.
Evergy Plaza is expected to be opened by March 2020.
NEW PLAZA IN DOWNTOWN TOPEKA TO BE NAMED EVERGY PLAZA
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 1, 2018
TOPEKA, Kan. – Downtown Topeka, Inc. is proud to announce the forthcoming Plaza in downtown Topeka will be officially named Evergy Plaza. Located at the northeast corner of 7th & Kansas Avenue, Evergy Plaza will be a destination venue with the flexibility to host a wide variety of open-air events in downtown Topeka.
The Evergy Plaza will be anchored by a 50-foot performance stage, officially named CapFed® On 7th Stage, complete with production sound and lighting. A diverse range of events, including concerts and other programmed entertainment will be on the CapFed® On 7th Stage.
“Evergy Plaza will be a central gathering place and we loved the idea of bringing people together as part of downtown Topeka’s redevelopment and growth,” said Terry Bassham, President and CEO of Evergy, the parent company of Westar Energy and KCP&L. “Westar Energy has been a longtime foundation for the downtown district and we’re proud to join with our neighbors to bring the project to life.”
“Downtown Topeka has always been home for Capitol Federal, so we’re very enthusiastic about Evergy Plaza and what it will do for the sense of community downtown and throughout Topeka as a whole,” remarked Capitol Federal CEO John Dicus. “We feel privileged to be a part of the public and private partnerships coming together to make it all happen.”
Other features of Evergy Plaza will include a splash pad style water feature operating during warm weather which can be converted into an ice skating rink in winter, and a 30-foot digital monitor for multi-media concert experiences and broadcast opportunities.
The project is made possible with funding from multiple public and private sources, such as donations from local businesses and a Transient Guest Tax supported by the Topeka Lodging Association, which will be used to pay for fees and annual operating costs of the plaza.
Construction is expected to begin in early 2019 and the Plaza is expected to be opened by March 2020.
CAPITOL FEDERAL® DONATES $2.5 MILLION FOR NEW DOWNTOWN PLAZA
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 16, 2018
TOPEKA, Kan. – In a joint announcement held today in the Capitol Federal® Pocket Park, Capitol Federal and Evergy, in conjunction with The Greater Topeka Partnership and Downtown Topeka Inc., revealed the renderings for the Downtown Plaza. As the lead contributor, Capitol Federal Foundation® will donate $2.5 million dollars toward the construction and completion of the new Plaza.
Located at the northeast corner of 7th & Kansas Avenue, the new Downtown Plaza will be across the street from the Capitol Federal Home Office. Chief Executive Officer John B. Dicus said, “Capitol Federal is proud to support downtown efforts and remains committed to the continuing support of community focused projects. The new Plaza will not only be the heart of a vibrant Downtown District, but the cornerstone of the entire Topeka community.”
Funding for the Plaza comes from several sources including donations from local businesses, private fundraising, and the Topeka Lodging Association who assessed themselves a tax of $1 per room night through a tourism business improvement district. The estimate is expected to be approximately $500,000 per year for the next ten years. The money will be used to pay for fees and operating costs of the plaza.E
The Plaza will include many year-round features for public use, including a summer water feature that has the ability to turn into an ice rink in the winter months. Also included is a 30-foot digital screen fully equipped with sound and lighting and ample seating for people to enjoy being in Downtown Topeka.
An official name for the Plaza has yet to be given, however, construction will begin in early 2019 and the Plaza is expected to be opened by March 2020.
EVERGY CONTRIBUTES $2.5 MILLION TO DOWNTOWN PLAZA
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 16, 2018
TOPEKA, Kansas – Evergy announced its first major corporate gift today with a pledge of $2.5 million to development of a plaza in downtown Topeka, building on the legacy of its predecessor companies, Westar Energy and KCP&L.
“We are excited to be in the heart of Topeka’s downtown redevelopment, which is a testament to what public-private partnerships and community leadership can accomplish,” Terry Bassham, president and CEO of Evergy, said. “We are excited to support the downtown plaza with our first major gift as Evergy.”
Evergy was formed when Westar Energy and Great Plains Energy, which operates KCP&L, merged in June. The combined company will continue to serve customers as Westar Energy and KCP&L until sometime in 2019.
“Forming Evergy, we brought together two companies with strong ties and commitments to their communities to form a leading, locally controlled energy company,” Bassham said. “From employees volunteering their time and talents to corporate giving, we are committed to growing upon the reputations of our legacy companies.”
The plaza will include many features for use by the public including a water feature for children to play in that has the ability to turn into an ice rink in the winter months. Also included are a 30-foot digital screen fully equipped with sound and lighting and ample seating for people to enjoy being in Downtown Topeka
Construction of the Plaza at 7th and S. Kansas Ave. is scheduled to begin in early 2019 and be complete by March 2020.
About Evergy Inc.
Headquartered in Kansas City, Mo., Evergy, Inc. (NYSE: EVRG) is the holding company operating the electrical utilities Kansas City Power & Light Company (KCP&L) and Westar Energy, Inc. Evergy, Inc., through its operating companies, provides 1.5 million customers in Kansas and Missouri with the safe, reliable electricity needed to power their businesses and homes. Half of the power supplied comes from clean sources, creating more reliable energy with less impact to the environment. More information about Evergy, Inc. is available at: www.evergyinc.com
LOCATION SECURED FOR TOPEKA’S DOWNTOWN PUBLIC PLAZA
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 22, 2016
TOPEKA, Kansas – The potential for a public plaza in downtown Topeka is growing as property has been secured at 7th and South Kansas Avenue. Architectural plans are slated to begin in 2017.
As the Capital City continues to grow its downtown with additional programming, the downtown public plaza is an important enhancement. Now, with both public and private support, the vibrant hub of activity in the heart of downtown that was eight years in the making is coming to fruition.
Those working to develop the plaza are excited that what Topekans have asked for is moving forward. This location was suggested by two different outside consultants. Through a process that explored over 10 different location options, 7th and Kansas quickly rose to the top and the group has worked diligently to secure the addresses 612 through 634 Kansas Avenue for development.
Research shows visitors and residents of communities across the nation and beyond are seeking opportunities to explore and experience activity in public spaces. Studies also show that active downtown plazas spur economic growth and increase community pride among residents. The plaza will allow Topeka to create a vibrant, cultural hub for year-round activity in the heart of downtown. New restaurants, the Cyrus Hotel development and other enhancements occurring simultaneously ensure a bright future for downtown Topeka.
The Downtown Topeka Foundation now owns the property at 7th and Kansas and is working with the Topeka Lodging Association and Visit Topeka on the effort. A portion of taxes paid by lodging guests will fund development once the final agreement with the City is in place and a potential funding source has been identified to fund the ongoing daily operation of the plaza. Visit Topeka staff already is working on plans and programming opportunities that will ensure the plaza is a hub of activity, festivals and special events year-round for people of all ages and interests.
Now that a location has been secured, the next step is design and construction of the space itself. That process will incorporate the feedback of nearly 3,000 Topekans who responded to a survey by Visit Topeka last April. Food vending, fire pits, gardens, splash parks and performance areas were a few of the top-rated features identified by the plaza survey.
“The most critical element to a successful downtown revitalization is the consistent and regular presence of people. The Downtown Public Plaza will offer new opportunities as it draws investments and events to Downtown Topeka,” said Kurt Young, executive director of the Topeka Lodging Association. “Hoteliers in Topeka recognize this as a crucial investment for our community as programmed plazas work and will usher in a new chapter for Topeka.“