There will be lots of activity at the corner of First and Main Streets in the next few weeks, according to Paul Wagner, Co-Founder of Flexbuild, Merriam. Flexbuild is the general contractor for the demolition of the Stout Building and the renewing of the Union Block Building in downtown historic Fort Scott.
The Union Block building, three storefronts at 18, 20 and 22 South Main are in the “build-back” phase, now, following demolition phase, Wagner said. The project is slated for completion for the end of 2019, he said.
“The buildings have been gutted by Skitch’s Hauling, Excavation, and Demolition,” Wagner said. “He has done a great job.”
These buildings will be transformed into 25 market-rate apartments ranging from 750 to 1,100 square feet in size. In addition, there will be a community room, exercise room, and an office area.
“The community rooms will be in the front, where the glass is,” Wagner said. “Everything else will be apartments. These are nice accommodations. In the back of the north building, there will be a courtyard for residents.”
“Just recently we got the building permit (from the city),” Wagner said. “Westar (Energy) is moving the electrical lines out of the way, to keep us safe. And we got the state fire marshall approval, which is a big step.”
Flexbuild is moving from demolition to reconstructing on the Union Block Building and is currently working with a local quarry to fill the crawlspace under the buildings, he said.
Tony Kresnich, Flint Hills Holdings, holds the contract for the project, Wagner said. Neil Sommers, Louisburg, is the architect.
“We are trying to do as many local subs as possible,” he said. “Electrical, plumbing, HVAC, concrete, masonry, painting and carpentry. Between subs and my workers, there will be 15-20 workers.”
The Stout Building, at National Avenue and First Street, will be completely demolished and a parking lot/park rebuilt on the spot, Wagner said.
The Union Block buildings were built in the 1880-90s, Wagner was told.