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Abandoned KS team: Developer found to take ownership of Menninger Clock Tower

Published: Dec. 10, 2021 at 5:37 PM CST
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Months after the release of a developer video, Menninger Clock Tower is one step closer to a new owner.

While the developer has not been named or officially made an owner, Emily Cowan with the Abandoned Atlas foundation said developer has a history working with abandoned buildings and repurposing them to make them essential for the future.

The building’s current owners, SCL Health, allowed Cowan’s team inside the tower months ago to take photos for a video to send to potential developers.

“We sent that to a bunch of contacts throughout the us this was not just like ‘we’re sending this to developers in Kansas’ this was sent to developers across the US and as a result of that, a developer has been found,” she said.

City of Topeka Planning Director Bill Fiander told 13 NEWS there is now financial incentive to save the tower.

He said the recent approval of the city’s neighborhood revitalization plan makes the tower eligible for a 10 year rebate on any increased property taxes caused by improvement.

According to Fiander, the building is also eligible for state and federal historic tax credits since it is listed on the National Historic Register.

Cowan said she’s glad things lined up at the right time.

“I think this is a great example of if people come together and take action and make people aware of these historic buildings that there can be many Meninger Clock Towers and repurposed into something that can benefit the community and not just be left abandoned and become an eyesore or things like that,” she said.

She said she is looking forward to a building filled with rich history being part of the city’s future.

“Don’t let a historic building with a little bit of dirt and grime scare you people appreciate saving our history rather than just building it for scratch,” she said.

“If you don’t have your town’s history you the charm of your city.”

Cowan said the developer’s name should be released by the start of next year.

13 NEWS reached out to SCL Health but did not hear back.

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