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Motive Power Place Offers Affordable Housing for Topeka Seniors

Topeka - A massive renovation of Topeka's Motive Power Place office building has created 56 modern, safe and affordable rental units serving seniors aged 55 and older. At a recent ribbon cutting, officials from Kansas Housing Resources Corporation (KHRC) joined representatives from the Kansas State Historical Society, the City of Topeka, the Greater Topeka Chamber of Commerce and the Pioneer Group to celebrate the property's grand re-opening. 

"KHRC's investment of $5.8 million in housing tax credits to renovate Motive Power Place continues a trend of providing affordable housing to the underserved areas of Topeka," said Fred Bentley, Rental Housing Director at KHRC. "We approved this development because of its proximity to the historic Oakland neighborhood and the significant role the building has played in the lives of local residents," said Bentley.


In 1920, the Topeka & Santa Fe Railway constructed Motive Power Place, located at 1001 NE Atchison, to serve as offices for nearby railway shops. The building also functioned as a community center for shop employees and their families. The auditorium on the top floor hosted social activities.

Today the development boasts 39 one-bedroom, 15 two-bedroom and two studio apartments. Each unit enjoys modern energy-efficient amenities that include an individual central HVAC, individual water heaters, new appliances and central laundry facilities on each floor. In addition, the building offers a community room, controlled building access and off-street parking.


Doug Kinsinger, President/CEO of the Greater Topeka Chamber of Commerce, said the renovation demonstrates how local government and non-profits can successfully partner with private developers to create housing for the elderly. "For most of its life, Motive Power Place has been a huge economic anchor for the City of Topeka," said Kinsinger. "The building's conversion into rental units not only gives seniors access to much-needed, quality housing, it will also help revitalize the Oakland community," said Kinsinger.

Developer Ross Freeman, President of the Pioneer Group, oversaw the remodel and says the development is one of his favorites. "There's such an emotional reward for providing clean, safe and affordable housing. I think this is one of the best historic rehabs we've done so far," said Freeman.

Additional partners included:

  • Architect One P.A.
  • Woltkamp Construction
  • Art Glassman, Sloan Listrom
  • Ginger Powell, Berberich Trahan and Co.
  • Premier RE Management

Rents at Motive Power Place vary from $400 to $480 a month for one-bedroom apartments and $540 to $580 a month for two-bedroom units. Income guidelines apply. For leasing information, please contact Premier Real Estate Management, Inc. at 785-232-8001 or visit their website. To view photos from the Pioneer Group's recent ribbon cutting ceremony, click here.

KHRC is a self-supporting, public corporation which serves as the primary administrator of federal housing programs for the State of Kansas. Our mission is to increase the availability of affordable, decent and accessible housing for low and moderate-income Kansans. To learn more about affordable housing programs administered by KHRC, visit www.kshousingcorp.org


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