Housing shortage solved with renovation of historic hotel in Russell

Russell, Kan. (KWCH) – Like many rural communities, Russell faces a housing shortage. But instead of building new homes, city officials are looking to revitalize a century-old hotel.

Built at the turn of the 20th century, the once proud Holland Hotel sat idle for years.

“Nothing has really been done except for the first floor. And it was basically used for hardware storage which is just across the lane to the east,” Russell Mayor Jim Cross said.

The plan now is to fill the Holland Hotel with lofts.

“Russell Development (Inc.) thought, ‘hey, loft-style apartments. It would be a good thing. People don’t want to deal with a yard,” Cross said.

Hopes with the modern touches of the historic building are to attract a population of young professionals.

“The types of homes available that young professionals would want are not there,” Cross said.

Meeting this need comes with growth plans for Russell.

“Housing is the essence of growth. Every community in western Kansas is looking for growth, and good quality housing is key to that,” Cross said.

The new lofts won’t solve the housing shortage in Russell, but some community members are grateful to see action being taken to address the problem. Russell business owner Mandy Funk, who works near the old Holland Hotel, said the expansion with new apartments was just what the town needed.

“I think that’s where we’re actually lacking, in the population of people,” she said. “We have a lot of old people, we have a lot of middle-aged people, but we don’t have new people coming to town.”

Funk said she wanted to see her city be the best it could be.

“It makes my heart happy. I’m happy to see that there is work being done here in the city, and the community will only grow because of it,” she said.

About Catherine Sturm

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