Dave Frederick, 41, loves being part of downtown Topeka, literally.
The real estate agent and Seaman High School graduate lives next door to RowHouse Restaurant that he helped his husband Greg Fox open 10 years ago.
“We are actively living downtown, trying to patronize businesses here, living an urban lifestyle,” he said. “We’re walking the sidewalks, just being part of it, literally immersed.”
The renovations to downtown Topeka as whole are welcomed, but in Frederick’s opinion, the single most important enhancement to downtown has been the renovation of the state Capitol building.
“I think it’s an awesome architectural building,” he said. “It’s a huge anchor. It’s awesome, and I think it’s kind of overlooked. People just see it and drive by but it’s an awesome, awesome thing.”
Frederick said he’s encouraged to hear the Statehouse will be open on Saturdays, which will encourage visitors to spend more time downtown when normally they might not. He said that can only be beneficial to downtown businesses and for the capital city’s tourism initiative.
Looking to the future, Frederick said he sees more people deciding to make downtown Topeka their home, as he and Fox have. He said an estimated 800 people actively live in downtown, and he expects a newly formed downtown neighborhood association to continue growing.
“Hopefully more people will move downtown,” he said. “Hopefully there will be more retail businesses for the residents to use.”