Kenyon Heights Wins Ad Astra for Special Achievement in Housing Development - Urban

EMPORIA - The Kansas Housing Conference awarded Kenyon Heights of Emporia the 2013 Ad Astra Award for Special Achievement in Housing Development – Urban. Kenyon Heights is an adaptive re-use of Kenyon Hall, a historic landmark built in 1929 on the old College of Emporia campus. The 65,000 square-foot, Tudor Gothic-style building was abandoned after the college closed in the 1970’s. Today the iconic building offers 47 modern, energy-efficient, loft-style apartments serving the elderly.

Manske and Associates, L.L.C. out of Wichita oversaw the renovation.  Accepting the Ad Astra, Jay Manske said receiving the award was an honor.  “Rarely do you have a chance to work on such a unique development and we are extremely proud of the job the team did to restore this important Emporia landmark,” said Manske.

Developers faced significant challenges during the renovation, but worked to keep the structure’s historic look and character intact. Crews preserved the brick façade, copper gutters, portions of the stained glass windows and the original terrazzo floors. They also replaced the leaky roof with new composite slate shingles that match the original ones. When contractors installed exterior wheelchair ramps for the building, they excavated land around the garden level instead of cutting new entrances into the façade.

In order to make Kenyon Heights a reality, Manske and Associates utilized $8.8 million in federal Low Income Housing Tax Credits to offset development costs. Additional partners in the development include:

  • WNC & Associates, Inc.
  • Mitchell-Markowitz Construction Co., Inc.
  • Mann & Company, P.A.
  • First National Bank of Hutchinson
  • Lyons Federal Bank
  • Emporia State Bank
  • CoreFirst Bank
  • Lyon County State Bank

All units at Kenyon Heights include the following amenities: energy-efficient construction; electric range, microwave and self-cleaning oven; frost-free refrigerator; dishwasher; garbage disposal; individually controlled central heat and air conditioning; ample cupboard and closet space; walk-in shower; and combination windows with blinds. Interior and exterior maintenance, lawn care, snow removal, water, sewer and refuse collection services are included in the monthly rent.

The property also features two outdoor courtyards, a community room, storm shelter, access control system, security cameras, laundry facilities on each floor, elevator, fitness center, and computer center.

Other Ad Astra award winners honored at this year’s Kansas Housing Conference include:

Special Achievement in Affordable Housing Development – Rural
Heritage Estates – Neodesha

Excellence in Partnership
Buttonwood Tree Apartments

Outstanding Housing Advocate
Cerebral Palsy Research Foundation

Affordable Housing Trail Blazer
John Johnston, Executive Director, Topeka Housing Authority

Innovation in Housing and Community Development
Live Work Housing Program - City Vision, Inc.

The Ad Astra Awards are given out each year at the statewide Kansas Housing Conference. The awards honor individuals and organizations who demonstrate excellence in developing affordable housing, shaping housing policy and creating innovative housing solutions to meet the daily needs of low and moderate-income Kansans.  For more information about Kenyon Heights, visit www.kenyonheights.com.