New housing coming to downtown Fort Scott

New housing coming to downtown Fort Scott

Work is already underway at the historic Union Block building in downtown Fort Scott, Kansas. The 5.5 million dollar Union Lofts project will provide 27 one and two bedroom units to a city that has plenty of jobs, but needs more housing.

” There’s a lot of excitement to get their employees here in our town. Living here, shopping here, spending more time here and less time commuting on the road, ” said Fort Scott Community Development Director Robert Uhler .

City officials even made an exception to a rule the forbids first floor housing in Fort Scott’s business district so more people can move in.

” It will be commercial property here, visible on Main Street. So you’ll see an exercise room, a business computer lab, and an office. As you’re walking down Main Street, you won’t see into any residences. You won’t actually know it’s residential living, ” said Fort Scott Economic Development Director Rachel Pruitt.

Fort Scott prides itself in its numerous historic buildings, and the Union Block building, which was built in 1884, is no exception. But the city isn’t letting its love of the past get in the way of Fort Scott’s future.

” We’ve been blessed with a lot of dedication to the historic past, but we realize that what we have to do in order to plan for the future is modernize , and make these buildings more modern. So while you see an historic structure on the outside, inside is very modern. They’re all electric, very efficient, and have low utilities for those who choose to rent there, ” said Pruitt.

And Fort Scott’s Union Block building isn’t the only one seeing changes. Right behind it lies the dilapidated Stout building which has been condemned since 2007. City officials say it will be demolished in order to create parking or a green space for Fort Scott’s newest residents.