Topeka City Council pass zoning ordinance to turn vacant Ramada hotel into apartment complex

Published: Sep. 15, 2020 at 10:16 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) -What was once the Ramada West hotel will soon be an apartment complex. Developers say it will provide nearly 150 units.

Plans to bring new life to the now vacant Ramada West Hotel on Southwest Fairlawn, took a step forward Tuesday night.

“The zoning for this has been commercial for sixty years so to go to a residential use, that’s not allowed in a commercial zone so you have to change that to a residential.”

Topeka City Council members unanimously approved a zoning change - from commercial, to multiple family dwelling. Developers may now re-purpose the hotel for residential housing.

“The plan from what we know is an apartment complex with 130 or 140 units targeted towards workforce housing.”

City Development Director, Bill Fiander says the new apartment complex will meet a big need for the area.

“Work force will be anything from sixty percent to one hundred and twenty percent of the average income of the area, so it’s really trying to fill a gap for affordable quality housing that we have a dearth of here in the city based on our recent market study. That’s teachers, service workers or just individuals who are having a hard time finding decent quality, affordable housing.”

Fiander says the next step in the process is for the developer to submit his plans for the building permit.

He says he’s hopeful construction will start in the next couple of months.

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