18th and National Avenue Building Being Repurposed

A blighted building is being repurposed, located at 1801-1805 S. National Avenue.

A new business partnership has been formed between Kale Nelson and Justin Meeks: JK Hold’Em LLC.

Nelson and Meeks have recently purchased the building at the junction of Hwy. 69 and National Avenue for repurposing into offices for themselves.

Nelson will be moving his State Farm Insurance office staff into 1805 S. National and Meeks will be moving his private law practice into 1801 S. National.

The building is about 3,200 square feet.

“My office will be around 1800 square feet,” Nelson said. “Currently I have around 1,200 square feet.”

“Kale and I are committed to this community,” Meeks said. “We are working on a very blighted building. This building needed to be rehabbed. This was a perfect opportunity to take a building and make it better.”

Citizens National Bank ” saw the vision and loaned the money for the rehab,” Meeks said. “Kale presented to BEDCO (Bourbon County Economic  Development Council), who made a commitment.

The Fort Scott city staff have been instrumental also.

“(Economic Director)Rachel Pruitt, (Tourism Director) Larry Gazaway, (City Manager) Dave Martin and (Community Development Director)Rhonda Dunn have helped. Especially Rachel,” Meeks said.

“It’s been a team effort,” Meeks said.

“There are a lot of exciting things happening in Fort Scott,” Meeks said. “We are excited to be a part.”

Nelson and Meeks are doing the demolition of the building in the evenings and on weekends, after their other jobs.

“We are putting in quite a bit of sweat equity,” Meeks said.

Nelson is a State Farm Insurance Agent and Meeks is the Bourbon County Counselor and in addition, has a private practice.

Meeks has been doing private practice out of his home and also has an office on the square in Girard.

“My plan is to do private practice two to three days a week,” Meeks said. “Estate planning and business transactions. I will do depending on what comes in at Girard, in Crawford County. I’ve had a five-year hiatus. I really enjoy being a county counselor, but I want to keep irons in the fire.”

The general contractor for the project is Nate Lyons, and they will be using local contractors, Meeks said.

The building was constructed in 1925 and had many additions through the years with different uses: a steakhouse, bar, pet store, liquor store, antique store and vapor shop.

“People are stopping by and telling us stories” about the history, Meeks said.

The two businesses hope to be in the building after the first of the year, Meeks said.



4 thoughts on “18th and National Avenue Building Being Repurposed”

    1. You are welcome, Kale. Thanks for renovating a building for your business. I know it’s a big investment.

  1. Great! For a while I was concerned that it might have been purchased by the business that uses the lot and thinks it is cute to word play their companies name with an obscene gesture!
    Talk about a marketing disaster, everyone knows what they are really saying, and we don’t need that in a prominent place in our community.

    1. Yes that BBQ seems poorly named. I don’ think I’ve ever seen them open though, so maybe it doesn’t do very well here in our town.

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