TOPEKA (KSNT) – Topeka’s governing body is taking action to assess its recent purchase to see what condition it was left in.

At Tuesday’s Topeka City Council meeting, members approved a public works architect contact with a Schwerdt Design Group, Inc., of Topeka, to assess and recommend any needed repairs at Hotel Topeka for $157,680, and not to exceed that amount. The City of Topeka purchased the property at auction earlier this year. Because of the method of purchase, it wasn’t able to inspect the building before the sale.

The city wants recommendations for major hotel improvements. A team of structural engineers, mechanical, electrical and plumbing professionals with Schwerdt Design Group, Inc. will do a full review of the hotel, according to City of Topeka Public Works Director Braxton Copley.

“This is a top-to-bottom review of all of our systems and structures in the building envelope to give us good information in terms of what we’re going to need to rehab and refurbish this hotel to get it into the condition where we can make it something that our entire community is proud of,” Copley said.

“We’re going to gather that information for you. We’ll have someone analyze what you need in that hotel and that comes back to you [the council] to decide,” Interim City Manager Richard Nienstedt said at Tuesday’s meeting. “Perhaps with that information, somebody can find a developer that will say, ‘Hey, we’re willing to take this report. We’re willing to work with it and we can do this,’ because it would be a lot better off if we had that hotel back in the private hands with companies that know how to run hotels and know how to update them on a regular basis.”

Copley said he wants a preliminary report of the building’s status before the closing date, Oct. 31, 2023, and a full report after 60 days.