Downtown Topeka, Inc. (DTI) and the Greater Topeka Partnership announced today that staff member Vince Frye has decided to retire at the end of 2020. Since assuming the role of President of DTI in April 2012, Frye has led numerous efforts to promote and redevelop Downtown Topeka.
Some of the accomplishments made under Frye’s leadership include:
- Winning approval of the City Council to improve the infrastructure on Kansas Avenue in 2012.
- Raising $4.4 million from the private sector for the pocket parks, fountains, pavilions, arches, statues, state symbols and medallions.
- Creating a vision for downtown that led to increased investment in downtown.
- The addition of new businesses like the Cyrus Hotel, The Pennant, Iron Rail, Brew Bank, Juli’s Coffee & Bistro, White Linen and new retail shops.
- The creation of three downtown historic districts.
- The creation of the Dynamic Core Tax Increment Finance District.
- Work on a new downtown master plan.
- The construction of new loft developments.
- The creation of signature events like Tap That Topeka, Crusin’ the Capitol Car Show, Touch-a-Truck, the Jazz, Rock, Country and Food Truck Festivals, the weekly Brown Bag and Second Saturday Concert Series, Bridge2Bridge5K Run and the Tower Run that bring thousands of people to downtown annually.
- The band KANSAS on Kansas Avenue concert.
- The selection of a site for the plaza, the negotiation for the property, the design of plaza, successful fundraising and completion of the Evergy Plaza.
“Speaking on behalf of the DTI Board, past and present, I want to thank Vince for his vision and leadership in reshaping our downtown and positioning us for great opportunities in the future,” said Lisa Stubbs, DTI Board chair and relationship/program manager with Security Benefit. “He leaves a legacy of significant accomplishments such as the many fantastic concerts and other events in downtown, the capital improvements on Kansas Ave., the many fabulous pocket parks and our new Evergy Plaza. I wish him all the best in his well-earned retirement. He will be missed.”
“I have tried to be a positive influence for the community throughout my career. I was blessed to be chosen to lead DTI at a critical time for downtown and was fortunate to be surrounded by many community leaders who shared the same vision for downtown and made significant contributions to its revitalization,” said Frye. “I have always said that a downtown represents a community’s pride and prosperity, and I feel that downtown is now a place we can all be proud of. Most of all, I look forward to the continued growth of downtown.”
In January 2018, after the formation of the Greater Topeka Partnership, the region’s leading economic development collective agency, Frye assumed the dual role of DTI President and Senior Vice President of the Greater Topeka Partnership.
“You only need to take a few steps along Kansas Avenue to see the effects of Vince’s leadership, but it’s all the little things behind-the-scenes that I’d most like to thank Vince for,” said Matt Pivarnik, CEO of the Greater Topeka Partnership. “There were a lot of late nights, long meetings and countless hours of planning that went into every event and redevelopment project. There’s too much for me to cover in just a few sentences, but Vince has gone above and beyond in his role with DTI and the Partnership. I wish him the very best in his retirement.”
Frye has chosen to step down from his position at the end of 2020 so that there may be adequate time to search for his replacement.
With regards to DTI’s future plans, Stubbs said, “Moving forward with the important work of DTI, our mission is to continue to create a thriving and vibrant downtown, while focusing on retaining and recruiting commercial businesses, increasing the number of residential units and promoting Downtown Topeka as the center of cultural activity in our region.”
For additional details, please contact Jensen Simons at Jensen.Simons@TopekaPartnership.com