Historic Casson building in downtown Topeka becoming affordable apartments

Local News

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – Topeka Housing Authority Inc. is turning the Casson Building in downtown Topeka into affordable apartments.

The five-story building at 603 SW Topeka Blvd. was built nearly 100 years ago in 1927 and was originally home to commercial offices, retail spaces, and apartments. Over the decades, the building housed different companies like Blue Cross Blue Shield and IBM and was even the headquarters for the Girl Scouts of America in the early 2000s.

Fast forward to today, and Topeka Housing Authority Inc. is the newest owner. The company has big plans for the building, like expansion into the parking lot behind it.

“There’s going to be a total of 41 apartments between the new construction units as well as the historic rehab,” said THA Inc.’s Executive Director Trey George. “Forty of those are one-bedroom apartments, the one two-bedroom will be the penthouse on this particular site.”

With a prime location within walking distance of the statehouse and local restaurants, it’s the perfect option for people who want to live in the heart of the city. The build is a partnership with the developer The Pioneer Group.

“A combination of the historic elements that were still salvageable in the building, those will be saved and incorporated such as doorways, windows,” George said.

George said there will also be some modern touches.

“Energy-efficient appliances, hot water tanks, low flow water features as well to help keep utility expense down for the residents that are going to be living here,” George said.

The one-bedroom apartments will range from $575-$600 dollars, depending on income, and the two-bedroom penthouse will cost $745. To live in the apartments, a one-person household has to have an income below $32,340, while a two-person household must be below $36,960; that’s 60% of the area’s median income.

Construction is underway and is expected to be complete by December 31, 2021. If you’re interested in living in the apartments, call The Topeka Housing Authority at 785-357-8842 to speak with a leasing specialist for an application.

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