Topeka to be a source of jobs and industry advancements with new developments

Published: Jun. 23, 2021 at 6:59 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - It is a groundbreaking time in Topeka.

Wednesday saw the beginnings of several new business endeavors throughout the city.

On the west side of the city, Cedarhurst of Topeka, a senior living facility, held a groundbreaking for its complex that will include 84 apartments, with more than 20 that will be dedicated to older adults facing Alzheimer’s and dementia.

Cedarhurst officials estimate the project will bring about 250 new jobs from construction workers to full-time employees at the facility once it opens in fall of 2022.

“We know there’s a growing senior population here and it’s going to continue to serve those seniors throughout the coming years as the baby boomers get older and the demographics age in that direction,” said Nick Dwyer of Dover Development, which is leading the project.

It comes on the same day the Kansas Turnpike Authority (KTA) started construction on a new local administration building near the South Topeka toll plaza.

“We’ll have a complete new cashless system in place by 2024 and this building is really going to be the catapult to help us get to that level,” said Kansas Turnpike Authority CEO, Steve Hewitt.

Hewitt said about 50 call center jobs will be created.

On the north side of town Hill’s Pet Nutrition’s Small Paws Innovation Center officially opened.

It focuses on the needs of small dogs, a type growing in popularity.

“Because this is a really growing size we felt that it was really necessary for us to understand that so we’re really meeting the needs of pet parents into the future,” said Yvonne Hsu, a company spokesperson.

Leaders look forward to the opportunities these new places will provide.

“I think that having good quality opportunities is important and will bring people from the sidelines back into the workforce,” said Topeka City Manager Brent Trout.

Of the Hill’s Innovation Center, Governor Laura Kelly said “This great Kansas company has cemented its reputation and ours as a leader in the animal health field”.

There’s agreement that the developments show Topeka will be a key part of many industries.

“We’ll be meeting the needs of pet parents and for the vet community as we understand the breed,” said Hsu.

“If you have any problems or needs with KTAG you can call us and we’ll be here and we’re excited about that,” Hewitt noted.

“We want to keep those people here we feel it’s important they like the community and I’d like living here and in this either working life and I ready to retire we wanna make sure they got this option available to them rather than looking for another city to be located in,” Trout said.

To learn more about Cedarhurst click here.

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