Downtown Emporia apartment renovation project begins, public hearing Wednesday night

Local News

EMPORIA (KSNT) – The Emporia City Commission is hosting a public hearing Wednesday night to discuss a new construction project downtown. Developers plan to renovate the building that includes 714, 716, and 718 Commercial Street.

Developers plan to add 10 apartments to the upper level of the building. Emporia Main Street Executive Director Casey Woods said crews will also be rehabbing the street level as well.

“What they are doing right now is preparing to take out the storefronts and rehab the entire frontage of the building,” Woods said. “That’s part of the larger project, so we have one storefront that was completely covered.”

Developers plan to enter the state’s “Rural Housing Improvement District” program. The public meeting Wednesday night is part of the procedure for that program. If it goes well, the city will send documents to Lt. Governor David Toland, who is also the Secretary of Commerce, for approval.

Woods said the program will help the developers with costs associated with the project.

“It’s a recoup of property taxes that are specific to the upper story,” Woods said. “Over 25 years they’ll be able to absorb that to offset debt associated with permanent improvements to the housing portion of this particular project.”

Construction is already underway and Woods said developers plan to have apartments ready to lease in August 2022.

The public meeting will take place during the Emporia City Commission meeting Wednesday night. The meeting starts at 7:00 p.m. and takes place in the Municipal Court Room/City Commission Room at 518 Mechanic Street in Emporia.

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December 31 2021 11:59 pm