Diane and Dean Striler recently purchased the Rennet Studio building, 6 N. Main, which includes the loft above.
The building is located between Fort Scott Family Dental and Papa Don’s Restaurant.
They have begun renovating the building for three office spaces.
“We started looking for a downtown building in November and closed the purchase on December 3,” she said.
“The main reason for this purchase is that Dean and I have wanted to invest in the Fort Scott community,” Diane said. “After purchasing our home at Fort Scott Lake in July of 2014, we had often discussed the idea of ending up in Fort Scott as our full-time home.”
“We are living full-time in Fort Scott but still have a home in Lenexa,” she said.
“We feel that there is a lot of potential in the downtown area and see how it is expanding and growing,” she said. “We enjoy the history of the town, the people we have met, and love the quaint atmosphere of the community. We feel that purchasing the Rennet Studio would be a great way to start investing in the community.”
After the Striler’s decided to invest in a downtown building, they looked at a few and then placed an offer on the Rennet Studio, she said.
“Although the main floor of the building had not been occupied for quite a while, we were impressed that the building was in such great shape,” Diane said. “Obviously the owners of the building, the Barnett family, had taken great care of it.”
“It also has a full finished basement that is lined with cinder blocks, had extra cement poured, and has a vinyl floor,” she said. ” We were also very excited about the loft apartment above the retail area. This part of the building really appealed to us because of the tall ceilings, old woodwork, and transom windows above the tall doors.”
After purchase, they started working on some exterior repairs to the building.
“We started with getting the front brick power washed,” Diane said. “It was amazing to see the difference in the before and after pictures. The brick on the upper portion of the building had an orange tint to it and now is redder and much brighter. We are waiting to also have some tuck work done to the brick on the upper portion.”
” We have picked out some new paint colors for the front of the building and have submitted them for approval from the City Historic Design Board,” she said. “Last week we had a new roof put on the back portion of the building. That was badly needed and we are happy to have that done.”
New Tenet Ready To Move In
The main front area of the building will be leased to the Fort Scott Tribune Newspaper, currently at 22 N. Main.
“We have been working with them to update the area they will be in,” she said. “Everything is being painted, we’ve had some trim work to do, and new flooring is being put in. The paper is working on the transition and would like to be up and running in our building by the beginning of February. ”
Additional Office Spaces
“My husband, Dean, will also have an office in the rear of the main floor,” she said. “We were able to close off a wall so that he has a separate entrance to his office.”
“Dean is the Senior Vice President of Sales for Zephyr Ventilation, she said. “The company manufactures residential hoods to go over cooking appliances along with beverage units and wine storage units.”
“We have an additional 700 square feet of commercial/office space that we have available to rent out that will include a break room and restroom,” Diane said.
“Once we complete updating the main level, Dean and I will start working on the apartment loft above,” she said. “We are planning to keep as much of the original woodworking as possible and are going to try to refinish the original hardwood floors.”
Diane is a realtor for Front Door Real Estate, with Jared Leek as the broker.
It is a seller’s market, she said.
” I am finding that with the current conditions, I am receiving calls from all over,” she said. “People from other states are wanting to come back to the Midwest for a calmer way of life and are enquiring about the properties that I have listed.”
“Housing is one thing that Fort Scott definitely could use more of, and there is a shortage of what is for sale,” she said.
” As a result, I am trying to find additional properties that are not being occupied, and could be put to good use for a family in need,” she said. “If anyone knows of any properties like this, I would greatly appreciate it if you would reach out to me.”
Diane Striler’s contact: 620-878-3630 or