Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Loft Tours to Show off Topeka's High Life

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Loft Tours to Show off Topeka's High Life

Article excerpt

When Tom and Lisa Stubbs found themselves to be empty-nesters a few years ago, they began looking at ways to downsize and find a different place to call home.

The couple found their new residence in a most unexpected place -- downtown Topeka.

The Stubbs purchased a building at 820 S. Kansas Ave.. They renovated the second floor into a loft living space and a rental unit on the east end of a long hallway.

The residences are above the Moburts spice shop, which is at street level in the same building the Stubbs own. The spice shop and rental unit provide the Stubbs with two streams of income from the same building where they live.

The Stubbs' home will be one of four downtown residences to be featured on the first Downtown Loft Living Tours, which will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.

The self-guided tour will take about two hours to complete on foot. Homes may be visited in any order.

In addition to the Stubbs' home at 820 1/2 S. Kansas Ave., other lofts featured on the tour will include those at 826 1/2 S. Kansas Ave., 913 S. Kansas Ave., and 931 S. Kansas Ave.

Homes are not handicap accessible and, in the Stubbs' case, will entail a 31-step climb to get to the second floor.

The Stubbs will be on hand to share their story of downtown living, which Lisa -- a former Topeka city councilwoman -- said had its genesis in a leadership class she was taking.

Vince Frye, president and chief executive officer of Downtown Topeka Inc., spoke to the class and mentioned the possibility of loft living in some of the buildings located in the downtown corridor.

Something clicked and Stubbs and her husband began investigating the possibility. They purchased the building at 820 S. Kansas Ave. in September 2013. set to work renovating it and by the end of June 2014, had moved into it from their previous home in southwest Topeka.

The Stubbs said it took about a year to feel "at home" in their loft, which has approximately 2,400 square feet, but now are big proponents of downtown living.

Lisa Stubbs said contrary to some recent reports, she found the city of Topeka was "very accommodating and very good to work with " as the couple made sure their renovations brought the building up to code. …

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