Jared Leek saw some downtown buildings that were vacant and decided to make a difference. He is already the owner of the Liberty Theater and Crooner’s Lounge in historic, downtown Fort Scott.
Most recently, he purchased the building whose storefronts are 14 and 16 S. Main.
“I purchased because I saw an opportunity to take a building vacant for several years and grow the downtown,” he said. “And grow my real estate business.”
His Front Door Real Estate office will be located at 14 S. Main.
Crystal Mason and Lisa Ward are working with Leek at the realty.
Leek has been renovating the building for a month and is working on the finishing touches and internet service currently.
The Front Door Real Estate business contains three offices and a conference room along with a lobby.
“In the very back there is an old dance studio,” Leek said. “That space will be available to rent.”
It would be suitable for a yoga or dance studio, he said. “And we will build to suit.”
The landline number to Front Door Real Estate is 620-224-9787, which connects with Leek, Mason and Ward’s cell phones.
He is anticipating an early September opening.
Leek received a downtown revitalization grant from the City of Fort Scott to help with the renovation of the old building which was once Dr. Charles Parson’s Chiropractic Office.
“It’s (the grant) for downtown business owners,” Leek said. “You can apply for it every year for heating, cooling, windows, doors…anything with the structure, to help preserve the buildings”
In addition to his businesses, Leek is the manager of the River Room Event center, just above the old Buffalo Grill on National Avenue.
“That space is available for rent for up to 750 people,” Leek said.
The River Room Event Center has a full bar, caterer’s kitchen, dance floor, bridal suite, handicapped-accessible restrooms, and an elevator, he said.
The Buffalo Grill, which is on the first floor, beneath the River Room, has been shown to several interested parties for possible restaurants, “But nothing is in stone yet,” Leek said.
Another building long vacant, the old Kress Building, is for sale across from Front Door Real Estate and is listed by the real estate business.
At 16 S. Main, Jan and Dick Hedges will be opening a bookstore, called Hedgehog Ink in October, Leek said.