Topeka Vendors Market buys old Capital-Journal building to expand

Published: Mar. 19, 2021 at 5:23 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - A business owner is planning new life for the former capital journal building near downtown Topeka.

Todd Konkel has hopes the Topeka Vendors Market at Southeast Adams along with thoughts of a distillery, live music venue and more at the buildings could bring more people out.

Todd and Nicolle Konkel own Topeka Opportunity Fund, LLC and the market, and announced their new additions to their Downtown Topeka Development Project Thursday.

After purchasing the old Topeka Capital-Journal building across the street on SE Jefferson, he believes more attractions will only help.

“We’re essentially trying to create an entertainment district in the downtown area. There’s been a lot of great development going on down here and we just want to be a part of it and we think this will add to it,” he said.

Konkel bought six buildings at SE Adams underneath the 6th Street Bridge and opened a vendors market back in October. Since then, they’ve opened up the basement of the building to allow more vendors.

A wide open building allows for creative ideas to get people to explore the capital city. Konkel thinks the 120,000 square feet block could bring in more people.

It features the vendors market with hopes of adding a space for indoor food trucks, fitness area, a distillery and live music venue.

“We’ve heard that’s something that’s sort of missing in Topeka,” he said. “There’s a lot of great, new restaurants and bars and stuff like that but a place where people can come and hear music and shop and kind of experience a wide array of activities and that sort of thing.”

He said there’s a big, open warehouse with a mezzanine where they’re looking to do Pickleball courts for a “Chicken and Pickle” concept with one business.

He said, “We’re also considering indoor food market, maybe focusing on various ethnic foods from the local community.”

He has a general idea of what he wants for the buildings, but working with the community and people interested in moving in could change plans. The hopes of increasing interest in exploring and expanding Topeka stays.

“We’ve got a lot of space to partner up with other entrepreneurs and business owners who see the vision and want to participate.”

The vendor market is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday through Saturday.

He wrote in a statement on Thursday, “I was attracted to the buildings becasue of their history and the overall condition and unique feel to the buildings.”

The four-story building is the former Topeka Transfer and Storage building and was built in 1911.

For more information and to apply to be a vendor at their market -- click here.

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