WICHITA FALLS, TX (KFDX/KJTL) – With more and more businesses setting up shop and calling downtown home, it has attracted more foot traffic in the area—prompting the question, is there enough space for folks to reside in the downtown area?
Will Kelty has started building apartments downtown and now others are following suit, and construction is underway on the residence at Lamar as well as the 9th Street Lofts.
You may have noticed a lot of working going on in the old historical Maskat Shrine Temple at 5th and Lamar streets. Something that Vice President of Development of Overland Property Group Matt Gillam said the progress that downtown has been making made them want to jump on board.
"What kind of struck us was it was kind of the perfect opportunity, perfect time, and perfect time not being just for us but for downtown and the revitalization we felt was coming and now its clearly coming," Gillam said.
With the building now being registered with the National Historical Society, Gillam said he’s excited to bring it back to life.
"It really is an intense process. So you really get a great product in the end because you have design teams, and historical teams, and development teams all working together to not just preserve the history but to make sure its represented in the right way," Gillam said.
The building will feature 35, one- and two- bedroom units providing spaces for residents who are 55 years of age and older to be closer to downtown. But preserving the history behind the building has posed some challenges for developers, especially with the government shut down.
"The federal government and the national parks service who reviews all these historic details, so actually can’t get that portion approved on really any of the windows in the building even though they’re in the final approval stages until the government shut down ends," Gillam said.
And just a few blocks down the road, crews are hard at work revitalizing the old Brown building on 9th Street. Owner of the 9th Street Lofts Anthony Patterson said it was a success from bigger cities bringing more residential spaces into their downtown as well as the progress of our downtown that made him want to develop these loft.
"Bringing the residents to downtown is what really started the momentum in Oklahoma City’s downtown. So I kept that in my back pocket and always thought about it and with the momentum happening over the last couple of years I thought now would be a good time," Patterson said.
The 9th Street Lofts are projected to be complete around May or June, providing one more place for residents to call downtown home for good.