Capitol Federal Bank, along with Evergy, announced they will both donate $2.5 million to the construction and completion of the Plaza in downtown Topeka. The Plaza, on the corner of 7th and Kansas Ave., is expected to be open by March of 2020. It has yet to be given an official name. Construction is expected to start in early 2019 and the Plaza area will have a water feature for kids that can be used as an ice rink during winter, a 30-foot digital screen and a fully equipped performance stage.
Capitol Federal 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.” Terry Bassham, the president and CEO of Evergy (the combination of Westar and Great Plains Energy), said, “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. We are excited to support the downtown plaza with our first major gift as Evergy.”
According to the press release, the funding for this project is coming from multiple sources. They include donations from local businesses, private fundraising and the Topeka Lodging Association, which “assessed themselves a tax of $1 per room night through a tourism business improvement district.” That money is estimated to bring in around $500,00 per year over the next ten years and will be put toward the fees and operating costs of the Plaza.