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Historic Kansas Hotel Converted to Residential Use with USDA Rural Development Support

About 85 years ago, the leaders and generous residents of Pittsburg, Kansas rallied to build the Besse Hotel in the city’s quickly developing downtown district.  The structure was a 13-story grand dame that catered to business travelers and visitors for decades with a grand ballroom, upscale restaurant as well as beautiful guest rooms.

However, after more than 50 years, the structure fell into disrepair and became a blight on Pittsburg’s downtown.

But on December 8, 2010 a new generation of leadership in Pittsburg gathered to celebrate the rebirth of the historic icon as Besse Apartments – a 46-unit high-rise rental development made possible by a USDA Rural Development $1,170,000 Guaranteed Rural Rental Housing Loan and the use of State and Historic Tax Credits.

Pittsburg’s downtown revitalization boosters are enthusiastic about the positive impact of the development and according to Sue Young, project construction manager, $1.8 million has been spent locally to complete the project.

Besse Apartments is also greener than its predecessor.  New residents will benefit from energy-efficient windows and design as well as new, more efficient appliances.

According to Gary Hassenflu, President of Garrison Community Development, LLC, “The project is truly a team effort that includes funding partners like USDA Rural Development, the Kansas Housing Resource Corp. and local lenders, as well as the City of Pittsburg, Crawford County and the Pittsburg business community.”

To find out more about how USDA Rural Development programs can be used to benefit your community, click here.

Pictured from left to right in the restored lobby of the Besse Hotel:  Randy Snider, Iola Area Office Director; Dale Yager, Multi Family Housing Specialist; Gary Hassenflu, President, Garrison Community Development, LLC; and Tim Rogers, Housing Programs Director.

Pictured from left to right in the restored lobby of the Besse Hotel: Randy Snider, Iola Area Office Director; Dale Yager, Multi Family Housing Specialist; Gary Hassenflu, President, Garrison Community Development, LLC; and Tim Rogers, Housing Programs Director.

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