by Josh Heck
An expansion of the Lofts 324 apartment complex in the former Wichita High School is starting next week.
Jason Van Sickle, a co-developer in the project with Dave Burk, says the plan is to break ground next week on a 72-unit addition to the property, located 324 N. Emporia.
The ground-up expansion comes with a $7 million price tag.
The complex already has 68 units.
Van Sickle says other amenities, such as a Wi-Fi-ready cafe and an outdoor pool also will be added.
The expansion is needed to keep up with a growing demand for apartments in the downtown area. The first phase of the project reached 90 percent capacity within months of opening.
The developers purchased an adjacent parking lot from United Methodist Open Door to facilitate the expansion. That sale closed on July 31.
Additionally, the city of Wichita agreed to vacate its easement in an ally near the property. Van Sickle says the new apartments will be constructed to the east of the existing Flats 324 complex.
Key Construction Inc. is the general contractor. Spangenberg Phillips Tice Architecture is the architect.