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Downtown landmark purchased by Topeka developer

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Topeka, Kansas (WIBW) – A long-established downtown Topeka landmark is given new life with office and residential buildings after it was recently purchased by a local real estate developer.

The 90-year-old former post office building at 424 S. Kansas Ave. in 2022 was purchased by Ken Schmanke and business partner Patrick Ellrich through 424 QOZB LLC on August 25th.

The purchase price was not immediately announced. However, according to the Shawnee County Appraiser’s Office, the 2022 building is valued at his $1,595,900, down from his $1,603,100 in 2021 by $7,200.

Schmanke, founder, president and chief executive of K1 Realty, told 13 NEWS on Thursday that plans for the building are still being worked out.

He said details of plans for the five-story building will be revealed in the coming weeks.

However, according to Four2Four’s Facebook page, the building will include apartments, condos and office space.

Four2Four’s Facebook page indicates that the property will offer “unique urban lifestyle living” in downtown Topeka.

Additionally, rentals are available for office space and advance rentals are available for apartments, according to a Facebook post.

Schmanke said the deal closed a few weeks ago.

Topeka’s primary post office facility has been located at 1410 NW Gage for many years, but postal services are available in the downtown building purchased by Schumannke and Erlich.

A portion of the building’s ground floor remains leased to the U.S. Postal Service, Schmanke said.

Local leaders said they were excited about the prospect of restoring the former post office.

“We are delighted to see the redevelopment of such a historic and important building in downtown Topeka. Their work on the Townsite Tower complex has been a great success.

“We look forward to seeing their plans and restoring this facility for future generations to enjoy.”

The historic downtown Post Office building was built in 1932 and served as the United States District Court until 1976, hearing parts of the Brown v. Board of Education case.

The Brown v. Board case later went to the U.S. Supreme Court for its landmark 1954 ruling outlawing segregation in public schools.

Mr. Schumannke is no stranger to downtown real estate development. July 2020, he bought a 17-story building At 534 S. Kansas Ave., formerly home to First National Bank, then Bank IV, and Bank of America.

In 2021, the skyscraper, now known as Townsite Tower, will Deformed from the original From sandstone color to iron ore color.

Businesses in downtown Topeka are also looking forward to the potential for more residential units to come to the area. Many residences have been added in recent years, including lofts.

Alexander Lancaster, owner of Two Wolves Studio & Artists Den at 114 SW 8th Ave, said: Over the last few years it’s really brought in more business – it’s brought more people downtown.

“It’s great to actually see people living, working and doing their thing in downtown Topeka.”

Katie Turner, general manager of Celtic Fox at 118 SW 8th Ave., said people who live downtown support businesses in the area.

“It creates a lot of extra income and people that businesses downtown attract,” Turner said. “So from 9 to 9 he’s not just 5, but having someone here more consistently means local businesses get more traffic and the income we need to stay alive.” It really helps to generate

“We’re close. We’re their neighborhood residence, so it’s a nearby place where they can go out for a little while and get home safely.

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