Category Archives: Housing

Former Western Insurance Building Renamed: Fort Scott Lofts

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A one bedroom apartment in The Fort Scott Lofts. Courtesy photo.

A renovated downtown apartment complex has been renamed and had some age restrictions lifted as of January 1, 2019.

The building that used to house the Western Insurance Company, between National Avenue and Main Street in downtown Fort Scott, is now called The Fort Scott Lofts.

“They wanted to rebrand it,” said Rachel Wheeler, leasing agent and onsite manager at The Fort Scott Lofts. “Many thought it was a senior citizen building. I think it confused a bunch of people.”

Under the former name of the apartments, Western Senior Living, 80 percent of the residents had to be 55 years old, Wagner said, and 20 percent under 55.

Western Senior Living opened in December 2016 following a major renovation of the building.

“My bosses went through the proper channels and got it  (the name and restrictions)changed,” she said. “Now if a person makes this amount of money, they pay this amount.”

Monthly rent starts at $370 for a one bedroom apartment and up to $625 for a two bedroom one, depending on income, she said.

Wagner can be reached at 620-223-1718 on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The apartments are not furnished, except for stove, refrigerator, microwave and dishwasher.

Currently, out of 35, 11 apartments are available, Wheeler said.

Some of the amenities are 120 channel Direct TV, water and trash are paid, Wheeler said. There is also an onsite laundry facility and off-street parking.

“We have a fitness room with a couple of exercise bikes and treadmills,” she said. “Pets are allowed. There is a one-time pet addendum of $200 (in the contract for pet lovers).”

“We have caring people that live here,” she said. “A group meets for coffee in the morning and another meets in the evening for wine and talking about the day.”

There are perks for living downtown.

A coffee shop, restaurants, and shops all within a few blocks.

Residents get a front row seat for the parades that Fort Scott celebrates events with, and also for Good Ol Days, the annual community event.

There are free local-artist outdoor music concerts just across the street in the summer, as well.

The owners of the building are Flint Hills Management, LLC.

A sister property, across First Street, will soon begin renovation of the old Union Building and will be called Union Lofts, she said.

“I’ll be managing it, too,” Wheeler said.

The Fort Scott Lofts, formerly Western Senior Living, 8 East First.

Need Help? GNAT Is Taking Applications

This property on South National Avenue was one of the projects that the Good Neighbor Action Team helped with. The house is owned by the Youth Activity Team, who is remodeling it as a fundraiser. GNAT has put in around 40 man hours on the project so far, Craig Campbell said.

For over a decade the Good Neighbor Action Team has been helping Fort Scottians with painting, helping rid yards of debris, building handicap ramps and other needed projects.

The team provides help for those who are not able to do the job themselves.

“A lot of times, people need a truck or chainsaw to get debris off their property,” Craig Campbell, a member of GNAT, said.

The volunteer group does all kinds of work, but GNAT doesn’t do roofs.

“We don’t put volunteers on roofs,” Campbell said. “There are grants available with no payback through USDA, also there are low-interest loans for different income levels and ages. We can put tradespeople together (for jobs like that), it requires expertise.”

“If people can’t provide materials or funds to help, we can help with that,” he said.

“Funds come from donations from social clubs, for example, Pioneer Kiwanis, who is a constant donor to our cause,” he said.

“When a group takes on a project,  a church, for example, will help fill in the funding gap on the project they are working on,” Campbell said.

“I need to work with churches,” Campbell said. “They are a good source for locating people who could use GNAT help.”

Additionally, churches are a reliable source for providing volunteer workers for projects.

“We get a lot of volunteers from churches,” he said.

The volunteers are asked to give three hours of work per project.

“We think in terms of a three-hour time slot (for the project),” Campbell said. “From 9 a.m. to noon on a Saturday. For a volunteer to do that is wonderful.”

GNAT has tried to handle the project workloads using the model of Habitat For Humanity, he said.

Work project recipients are asked to provide family and friends to assist GNAT workers.

“We bring five people, you bring five people,” Campbell said.

In addition,  proof of income is required with one of the following: income tax return, pays stubs from the last two paychecks, a Vision card or Healthwave card.

“We are getting started thinking about the season (for projects) which is from March to October,” he said. “There will be an emphasis on painting this year.”

Applications can be picked up at the Beacon, 525 E. Sixth; the Chamber of Commerce, 231 E. Wall, or city hall, 123 S. Main.

“You can return the application to the place you picked it up, or to Jara Martin at 824 S. Main,” Campbell said.

Completion of an application, doesn’t guarantee acceptance of a project request.




Hawkeye Investments Hosting Open House Nov. 16-17

New Chamber Member Hawkeye Investments, LLC is Hosting an Open House This Friday and Saturday at 835 Scott Street!
Hawkeye Investments, LLC buys properties to provide primarily residential rentals; we also buy properties for remodel and resale.
835 Scott Avenue is a residence we purchased and have totally remodeled over the past 7 months. It is listed with JR Stewart of Stewart Realty. This is one of several houses we have purchased over the past year; most are rented, and this is our first house for resale.
  • This bungalow style house, originally built in 1900, has been completely transformed into a modern house that still has that cozy bungalow feel.
  • The house has been rebuilt from the inside out, with all new mechanical systems and a new, more desirable modern layout
  • The master bedroom and bath are at the rear of the house, with 2 additional bedrooms at the front; the main bath and laundry are off of the kitchen, which is the centerpiece of the house.
  • This house is located perfectly with Buck Run Community Center; the pool is 1/2 block north and the high school is 1/2 block south.
Please join us at our open house Friday, November 16th, 11am-4pm or Saturday, November 17th 11am-4pm. We are serving hot cider, appetizers and sandwiches, and would love to show you our house.
For more information on the Open House or on this property, contact Lori Lovelace at (620) 215-1314 or JR Stewart at (620) 223-6700.

Downtown Store To Be Converted To A Residence


9 North Main, Fort Scott

Long-time Fort Scottians Jerry Witt and his wife, Judy are trading in suburbia for living downtown.

“Judy and I used to live in the Carriage House, at Third and Main, that Cheney Witt (Funeral) Chapel owns, while our house was being built…We loved living downtown,” Witt said.

“My great-grandfather owned the Witt’s Chili Parlor downtown. I played on the old fort grounds as a kid,” he said.

This summer he has been working with the Fort Scott Planning Commission and also the Codes Department to get plans finalized for the renovation of the downtown building. Recently he got approval from the city to proceed with the project.

“I’m currently working with contractors,” Witts said. “I’ve got to get the interior demolished. The architect is Zingre and Associates. Dave Irwin helped on the project.”

Currently, there is no projected timeline for the renovation, Witt said.



Zoning Change Considered For Residence in Central Business District

The Fort Scott Planning Commission will meet on Thursday, July 12th, 2018 at 4:00 p.m. at City Hall, 123 S. Main Street, Fort Scott, Kansas. This meeting will be held to consider a change to the zoning ordinance regarding residential living in the Central Business and Commercial Districts. This meeting is open to the public.

Bartelsmeyers Given Approval For Alteration of Loft In Historic Downtown

Bartelsmeyer’s loft apartment, pictured from the front, is above the Tribune Newspaper at 22-22 1/2 N. Main.

John Bartelsmeyer appeared before the Fort Scott Design Review Board Thursday to get approval for renovation of the alley side of he and his wife, Cindy’s loft apartment at 22-22 1/2 N. Main.

The City of Fort Scott Design Review Board met and approved alterations to John and Cindy Bartelsmeyer’s loft apartment. From left clockwise: City Clerk Diane Clay, John Bartelsmeyer, members of the board-Darren Crays, Shane Walker, Peggy Cummings and City Economic Development Director Rachel Pruitt. Not pictured are board members Arnold Schofield and Rick Zingre.

The board approved the certificate of appropriateness for the alteration of the Bartlesmeyer property, which is in the historic downtown Fort Scott district.

The function of the Design Review Board is to review requests for Certificate of Appropriateness in the historic district of downtown Fort Scott. They meet on an “as needed” basis.

The Bartelsmeyers will add a garage on the first floor,  and add a bedroom, entryway, and deck to the second floor. Concrete block walls will be on the north and south side of the addition. The garage door will be dark grey steel, as will the trim around the window and door, with a light gray wall siding.

“We’d like to start (the addition) within a month,” Bartelsmeyer told the board at the meeting Thursday. “We’ve been working on this building for three years.”

The approval of the addition will be finalized at the March 20 Fort Scott City Commission meeting, City Clerk Diane Clay told Bartelsmeyer.

The future renovation depiction of the John and Cindy Bartelsmeyer loft apartment, from the alley behind. Zingre & Associates, PA of Fort Scott are the architects.