Governor Laura Kelly Announces $1M For Central Kansas Affordable Housing Development


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RUSSELL – Governor Laura Kelly today announced $1 million will be going to the City of Russell to increase affordable and moderate-income housing options in central Kansas. Russell is using the funds, allocated through the bipartisan House Bill 2510 Governor Kelly signed this past May, to redevelop the former Holland Hotel into loft-style apartments.

“Across Kansas, we are expanding housing in innovative ways so every Kansas family can afford to put a roof over their head – and so we can attract and retain the workers needed to continue our record-breaking economic success,” Governor Laura Kelly said. “I applaud the City of Russell for finding a solution that preserves their history and benefits future generations.”

According to the city’s most recent Housing Assessment, Russell has a low inventory of moderate-income housing and affordable, quality rentals, making it difficult for employers to recruit qualified employees to the community.

To address the issue, Russell Development Inc. (RDI) hired a structural engineer to evaluate the Holland Hotel, a 1910 building that has been vacant for two decades and fallen into disrepair. Using the $1 million in funding, the building will be redeveloped into at least 10 rental units ranging in size from 700 to 1,100 square feet and will include a mix of studio, one-bedroom, and two-bedroom floor plans.

“Redeveloping unused structures and spaces is a creative way to pave the way for new housing options in our rural areas,” Lieutenant Governor and Secretary of Commerce David Toland said. “I’m pleased to see the City of Russell taking a strategic approach to address the housing challenges in their community.”

The units will be loft-style with exposed brick walls, wood floors and open ceilings to evoke an urban sense of style geared towards tenants who cannot afford or do not desire to own a house. Rents are anticipated to range from $575 to $725 per month.

“Our community has a great history and the Holland Hotel is a part of that history,” Russell Mayor Jim Cross said. “The repurposing of the hotel is a great way to keep history alive. Many of our biggest employers have a need for employee housing, and the proposed loft style apartments will help them attract new employees. Young professionals want many of the amenities that these apartments will provide.”

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Derek Nester
Derek Nesterhttps://sunflowerstateradio.com
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2021 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.

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