By Kristin Hiller
A renaissance is underway in Topeka, Kansas, with undeniable momentum as new commercial, industrial and residential developments emerge citywide.
The year 2015 was pivotal with a $9.4 million public-private investment in infrastructure and amenities along Kansas Avenue downtown. Local investors have purchased more than 25 buildings on the avenue for gradual restoration into thriving businesses like Iron Rail Brewing, The Pennant, Cyrus Hotel and Kansas Avenue Lofts.
The 45,000-square-foot Evergy Plaza is slated to open in March 2020 in the shadow of the Kansas Statehouse. A crowning jewel of downtown development, the plaza will feature a 50-foot performance stage, digital screen, programmable fountains, fireplaces and an ice skating rink during the winter.
According to a recent market study, growth in the Capital City shows no signs of slowing down. St. Louis-based Development Strategies says downtown could support expansion over the next decade to include 900 new or rehabilitated housing units, 300,000 square feet of new or rehabilitated office space, 690,000 square feet of retail space and at least 200 more hotel rooms.
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