Don Heiland: Breaking ground for change

Don Heiland (left), Seth Wagoner (center), and Cody Foster have invested in downtown. (Thad Allton/The Capital-Journal)

Growing up in southwest Shawnee County, Don Heiland, 23, didn’t get to downtown Topeka often until he worked at Hill’s Pet Nutrition as a college student.


“However, when I joined the team at AIM Strategies in April of 2015 and began looking at downtown, it is easy to see how this area of our community presents a fantastic opportunity,” he said. “Often, many downtown areas of cities are old. Meaning, the businesses downtown have been established for decades, the building and finishes are dated, etc. But here in Topeka, we have the unique opportunity to create something new and exciting downtown.”

Heiland is part of a small but powerful team of investors who are building the Cyrus Hotel in the 900 block of S. Kansas Avenue. He said the boutique hotel, which broke ground in December will spur other economic activity in the downtown corridor.

“With construction beginning on the hotel, we are now identifying opportunities to bring unique attractions to accompany the hotel,” he said. “They will contribute to a lively downtown that entices people in Topeka and outside Topeka to visit.”

In addition to working on the hotel, Heiland serves on the board of the Downtown Topeka Foundation to “generate more investment into the downtown area to foster economic, social and cultural development.”

“When every block is filled with businesses, attractions, and entertainment,” he said, “this investment will pay dividends.”


Don Heiland III

Age: 23

Hometown: Topeka