Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Three-Story Office Building to Fill in Vacant Space at 720 S. Kansas

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Three-Story Office Building to Fill in Vacant Space at 720 S. Kansas

Article excerpt

Construction of a three-story office building at 720 S. Kansas will begin soon, filling the gaping hole left in the downtown Topeka streetscape by a Jan. 1 fire that destroyed HHB BBQ and Top City Soda Pop.

Both of those businesses have reopened in other spaces, and now Randy and Debra Clayton, who purchased the 720 lot after the fire, plan to do their best to fill in the vacancy.

Debra Clayton, president and principal of Clayton Financial Services Inc., said Monday that it has taken months of planning to finalize a design for the space that will fill needs in the Topeka real estate market.

The new building, designed by Architect One, will have 8,000 square feet in three floors. The third floor is not a full floor to account for space for skylights to bring natural light to the second floor, she said.

"We want the second and third floor ideally to be occupied by one lessee, preferably a business," she said. "I think there will be some real appealing amenities to it. The fundamentals for a roof- top patio will be in place. It's up pretty high. You don't want to be afraid of heights. We're pretty excited about those plans."

Clayton said it was challenging to make the best use of a space that was narrow and deep.

Scott Gales, AIP, LEED AP, of Architect One tackled the project.

"When you have a long, narrow facility like that, and you have certain code or circulation requirements, you have to be creative in how you maximize the usable square footage," he said. "Sometimes it comes down to the type of user or what type of programming for the spaces."

Clayton said she would like to see a restaurant take the first- floor space.

"If they came along right now, even though we are in the process of really finalizing plans, they could still have an impact on the space," she said. "Perhaps less on the second or third floor, because we've tinkered with those plans until we've just about used up all the paper there is to be printed on."

Gales said natural light was a concern in the building and higher ceilings on the first floor allowed him to maximize natural light, as well as skylights that will bring that lighting to the second and third floors. …

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