August 14, 2022

Garden City Downtown Vision Releases Market Study


Garden City, KS(westernkansasnews.com) Tuesday Garden City Downtown Vision presented its market study.  The study provides an economic and demographic framework of the region, city, and downtown; case studies of comparable downtowns, and an analysis of commercial and residential market opportunities.

The study showed that almost 50% of Garden City’s population identifies as being Hispanic or Latino, which is higher than the 45% and almost 42% in the Primary and Secondary Trade Areas, respectively.

Garden City’s population is generally younger than the Primary and Secondary Trade Areas, with a higher percentage of the population in the coveted millennial category (age 25‐34) and lower percentage of the population aged 65+ than the Primary and Secondary Trade Areas.

Educational attainment in downtown and the City lag the State. About 33% of the adult population in downtown has not graduated from high school while 29% of the adult population in Garden City has less than a high school education. Only 10% of adult residents in the State of Kansas have not graduated from high school.

Household incomes are lower downtown than in the city, with median household incomes around $42,000. Garden City’s median household incomes of about $49,000 and average household incomes of just under $66,000 are lower than the Primary and Secondary Trade Area incomes of about $68,000.

Despite the addition of 413 residential units over the past seven years, the Garden City housing market continues to tighten due to underproduction. Underproduction can be attributed to many variables, including the cost of public infrastructure, land prices, the inability of buyers to obtain financing, and potentially the 2010 Census undercount.

An estimated 1,643 residential units are needed from 2017 to 2030, or an average of about 117units per year. Construction activity would have to double from recent rates to meet estimated demand, a scenario that seems unlikely given recent trends. A portion of this demand could be met in the downtown area.

In the last five years, taxable retail sales in a few key retail categories in Garden City increased from $396 million to $486 million, an overall 20% increase in sales in these categories, partially due to new retail at Schulman Crossing. The sporting goods category grew the most at 39.7% or at a consolidated average rate of 5.2% annually. The new Dick’s Sporting Goods at Schulman Crossing was part of this increase. Health and personal care also grew by a substantial percentage. Food Service and Drinking Places grew by 12.1% on an average annual basis as did Building Materials and Garden Supplies.

Downtown Recommendations

Focus on Restaurants and Multifunctional Uses for Downtown Garden City Expanded restaurant options would great enhance downtown’s draw. While competition may be a concern, expanding the number of restaurant options would help bring more people downtown and provide a broader array of choices. Restaurant uses require convenient parking. A parking strategy in combination with an outreach / incentive restaurant strategy would be helpful to attracting restaurants.

Expand Nightlife

Expanding the number of restaurants as well as bringing in activities such as microbreweries, taverns, small music venues, comedy clubs, etc. would help expand nightlife.

Garden City is one of the more populous communities in the state, with more than 31,000 residents and over 10,500 households. The estimated population of Garden City in 2017 represents about 22% of the population in the Primary Trade Area and about 14% of the Secondary Trade Area. Since 2010, the populations of Garden City and the trade areas have remained relatively constant.

About 71% of Garden City’s adult population has at least graduated from high school, which is lower than the Primary Trade Area (73.2%) and Secondary Trade Area (75.4%). However, the percentage of adult residents with Graduate / Professional Degrees is higher in Garden City than in the Primary and Secondary Trade Areas.

Average annual employment in Finney County increased by about 1,200 jobs between 2005 and 2015 as shown in Table 5. The industry that witnessed the largest change in employment during this time was Accommodation and Food Services, which increased by more than 450 jobs. This sector was followed by Wholesale Trade and Manufacturing, at 281 and 239 jobs respectively. In percentage terms, Educational Services grew at the highest rate of any industry during this period, followed by Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation.

There is approximately 1.35 million square feet of major retail space in Garden City outside of downtown.

Current projections show that the population of downtown Garden City will grow by over 800 people in the next 10 years. Projections show it will grow by a little over 900 in surrounding areas.

Locally, there is demand in the following categories: Grocery Stores, Specialty Foods, Beer, Wine and Liquor, and Health and Personal Care,

A growing demographic group is the Hispanic households. In the quarter and half mile radius around Garden City, Hispanic households represent over 60% of the population.