2017 DTI Annual MeetingSitting in the lobby of a former bank, over 200 local business leaders met to celebrate the successes in downtown Topeka at the DTI Annual Meeting last week. The Topeka Chamber, GO Topeka, Forge, Heartland Visioning and EMBD joined together in celebration of business growth in 2016, and  further learning about what is to come in 2017 and beyond.

The two future developments announced that night highlighted what is to come for our community. First, the Menninger Foundation announced it will fund a sculpture for Kansas Avenue. Monies has been raised to fund a sculpture that is in the design stage, this sculpture will represent the Brown v Board decision. The sculpture will feature McKinley Burnett, the President of the Topeka Chapter of the NAACP in 1948. Burnett led the suit and personally recruited thirteen African American families to attempt to enroll their children in all-white schools.

Next Jim Klausman, Midwest Health and local business developer, announced the purchase of the old AT&T building in downtown. Klausman further reported that the rehabbed space will be a mixed-use facility with both retail, office space and lots of downtown residential living spaces.

With the theme of the evening being “Transforming,” these announcements, in addition to the general hub of attendees, truly showed that Topeka is moving forward. As we look for more partnerships, our community and region are growing and with that, plan on seeing continued momentum!

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