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Historic Parsonian Hotel to be Converted Into Senior Apartments - KOAM TV 7

Historic Parsonian Hotel to be Converted Into Senior Apartments

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Developers from Lawrence, Kansas are breathing new life into the historic Parsonian hotel in downtown parsons. The building has operated as a hotel since 2008 and will soon house new residents.

Originally opened as a community owned hotel in 1954 “The Parsonian” helped to bring to life downtown. Many residents held shares of stock in the hotel company until it went bankrupt in 1962.

"The building has been here for 61 years now and it's really added to the local economy. And this particular project is kind of capitalizing on that investment from 61 years ago to help to bring new energy to downtown,” says Architect Stan Hernly.

Now Flint Hills Development Group is transforming it into thirty five affordable senior living apartments, keeping things like the hotel's original check-in desk, spiral staircase, and telephone booths intact.

"There's always a nostalgic connection for the community because they used to work here or had family members who used to work here or had family members that worked here, or they stayed here. So being able to revitalize those into an asset that is productive for the community and in this case much of the community will be able to appreciate and utilize is very, very satisfying,” says Flint Hills Development Group VP of Development Tom Larkin.

At six stories high the building is still the tallest in parsons and stands out for its historic mid-century modern style architecture.

“In parsons in particular they wanted to use this style to promote the community as a progressive community,” says Henly.

61 years later, backers hope the redevelopment will help to transform parsons downtown once again.

"Even in rural communities like this there's a larger focus put on downtowns that maybe wasn't there 10 or 20 years ago and people are coming back to the city centers. And they want to shop here and they want to dine here, and that really helps to bring that density back to support those businesses."

The Parsonian is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Developers plan to have the senior apartments ready by next summer.

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