$8.5 million Landmark Plaza project updates downtown high rise

Kimberly Gray, property manager, and Jason Lundgren, vice president of Young Management, which owns the Landmark Plaza, have been excited to see the building get a complete renovation. (Illustration/The Capital-Journal)

The new owners of the Landmark Plaza Apartments have poured $8.5 million into renovating the decades-old property, which has been part of the Topeka downtown landscape for decades.

 

Jason Lundgren, vice president of Young Management, the Kansas City-based, family-owned company that purchased Landmark in 2013, said the makeover included redoing “basically everything,” as significant work hadn’t been performed since the 1970s.

“The tenants have all brand-new units, brand-new elevators at the property, new furniture, new office spaces,” he said of the building at 1000 S. Kansas Ave.

Lundgren said Young Management specializes in operating Housing and Urban Development properties, which offer low-income, affordable housing.

Renovating a property from top to bottom while tenants live there can be challenging.

“We’ve done quite a bit of development work, my family has,” Lundgren said. “We’ve come to know exactly the process.”

That process involves a lot of coordination, said Kimberly Gray, Landmark property manager.

As the process started, Gray said she would hold an apartment open if a tenant moved out. She managed to have 20 empty apartments when they started.

“That way, I could relocate my tenants,” she said. “We had to do it in steps because of the plumbing. A couple of them had to move a couple of times, and some of them only had to move once. I had to move one lady off of the property, and we paid for that.”

But by April, everyone was back, and the countdown was on to complete the project in mid-May.

Gray said everyone was excited to see the 10-story building get a significant facelift, down to plumbing, heating and even new bathrooms.

Landmark Plaza, which has 83 apartments, typically has a wait list of people who would like to live there, Gray said.

“The need is great,” said Lundgren, who added that he’s pleased to offer updated units for the tenants. “For an affordable building – people have this stigma in their minds that the units are going to be awful. These are really nice units on the inside. Everything’s brand new.”

Gray said the Landmark provides a community for residents, with a library space, an exercise room and multiple gatherings for events around holidays or to play bingo and cards.

Along with seeing the potential of the Landmark property, Lundgren said his family was excited about purchasing the building in part because of the downtown redevelopment.

“We really wanted to expand our footprint in Topeka,” he said. “We’re a regional firm that specializes in properties around here. My grandfather started our business in the late ‘60s, so it’s a third-generation business.”

The Landmark’s 2016 appraisal was $1.8 million, according to Shawnee County Appraiser’s information. For 2017, it is appraised at $3.1 million.

Mayoral elections are Aug. 2
 

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