Downtown housing continues to see progress

Local News
8th street coffee house expansion_49839514

Big housing developments in downtown Wichita Falls might have fallen behind schedule but construction is moving right along. Development for City Center above 8th Street Coffee House is well underway.

The owner of both of the buildings says the challenges for redevelopment only double when it comes to older buildings but he’s excited to bring more people downtown soon.

Sarah Johnston and Daryl Canpagna spend a lot of their time together downtown.

“We spent a lot of time out here, since spending time at Memorial Auditorium,” Johnston said.

With all the changes happening in the area, they say the thought of living right above a popular Wichita Falls coffee shop would be very unique.

“I think it would be kind of cool. I think of it as something not normal. So I think it would be kind of fun,” Johnston said.

“I think it would be fun to live in a coffee shop,” Canpagna said.

“My firm belief is that downtown needs to be a place where you can live work and play and part of that is live,” owner Will Kelty said. “So my view is to convert the upstairs floors into loft style apartments.”
    
Kelty says the construction right above 8th Street Coffee House might be delayed but it’s coming together. His plan was to lease out some of the 30 units around this time but they faced some obstacles.

“With any construction project, there are challenges. But with a construction project the size of this there are additional challenges because the building was built so long ago that there are a lot of unknowns,” Kelty said.

Over the years, Kelty says the building saw a lot of water damage and the floors were deteriorating with time, most of the hard work is framed out.

“We’ve got the plumbing that’s probably a quarter done, the electrical is probably three quarters done at this point,” Kelty said. “One of the elevators is fully functional and modernized.”

Kelty says one of two elevators at City Center was repaired as of last week. Elevators that haven’t been working in 20 years.

Though it’s been a lengthy process, Kelty says he’s excited to see the progress above the busy coffee shop.

Kelty says he has a list of people interested in some of the units but he hopes to have them up and running by december. Meanwhile  completion to create student housing at the crescent hotel has been put on hold for a later date.

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