Wally Kennedy: New Frisco Station Lofts in downtown Joplin has first tenant

·3 min read

Aug. 12—The Frisco Station Lofts at Sixth and Main streets in downtown Joplin have received their certificate of occupancy from the city of Joplin. The first of 57 one-bedroom and two-bedroom lofts, with five different floor plans, has been leased.

Leasing information is available from Krystal Duncan at 417-782-1550.

Lofts are being shown.

The building's new tenants will have to sidestep some ongoing work in the building's grand lobby, which first welcomed Frisco Railroad passengers when the station opened in 1913.

"We're getting very close," said Dr. Michael Joseph, a local physician who has been restoring the building since 2018. "It may be a month or two before we're done. We want the lobby to be a showplace."

Neglected repairs had put the building in a tenuous position, but each floor was systematically inspected for safety repairs, including new wiring and receptacles. New heating and air conditioning systems were installed along with new water heaters. New stainless steel appliances have been installed in the kitchens along with new cabinets and quartz countertops. The bathrooms are new, and some units have more than one.

The light fixtures and flooring are new.

This opening is viewed as a potential economic shot in the arm for downtown Joplin merchants because the tenants will bring disposable income to the area. It also will enhance safety by creating a 24-hour presence.

There are approximately 340 apartments and lofts in the downtown area.

Another 150, including the Frisco, are coming online over the next year or so, according to the Downtown Joplin Alliance.

The Frisco, the city's first multistory office building, was used as a train station before service ended in 1960 and the building was sold. There were professional offices maintained in the building after the Frisco departure.

The building was vacated as it aged without renovation or repairs.

In the late 1990s, the building's stability was questioned, but a report commissioned by the city in 1993 showed the exterior concrete to be in good condition, saving it from condemnation.

As city officials and others sought a way to save the historic building, they worked with Economic Security Corp. to redevelop the building into senior housing in 2002.

Hiring

The owners of Guadalajara Mexican Grill are not wasting time when it comes to the opening of their new restaurant in Stone's Corner Plaza in Airport Drive.

If you are looking for a job, the restaurant is hiring and doing interviews. For details, call 417-717-9074.

The restaurant is connected to the popular Guadalajara Mexican Grill in Pittsburg, Kansas. The owners there recently said they plan to open the Airport Drive restaurant, formerly The Meat'n Place, within a month or so. The shopping center is on North Main Street Road at the northwest corner of the Stone's Corner roundabout.

On tap

Third Thursday resumes next week in downtown Joplin with the theme "Dog Days of Summer." The street fair will take place from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Main Street, featuring local artisans, music, entertainment and 20 food trucks. There will be vintage cars in the 100 block of Main Street.

Bring your furry companions downtown to participate in a "coolest" pet contest or let them cool down at special pet watering stations. The event will feature agility and obedience demonstrations from the Tri-State Kennel Association and a booth for family pet photos.

This Third Thursday, a free community event for all ages, is being sponsored by General Mills-Blue Buffalo, which will be located in the 400 block of Main Street.

Lori Haun, director of the Downtown Joplin Alliance, said in a statement, "We love to see downtown transform into a pedestrian-focused space each Third Thursday, and a big part of that is getting to enjoy the streets in a safe manner with your beloved pets. Several of our downtown establishments allow dogs on their patios or inside, so make plans to spend all evening here."

For more information, visit downtownjoplin.com/third thursday.

Contact Wally Kennedy at wkennedy@joplinglobe.com.