School closings: Several districts closed Wednesday

Renovations to old KC school building converted to loft apartments finally complete

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The renovation of a former west-side school converted into lofts is complete -- and almost at full capacity.

“About two months ago -- I work downtown -- we just relocated downtown, and I wanted something in a better proximity to work,” said Andrew Charlton, who moved into a unit in the newest building of Switzer Lofts on Friday.

“The work they’ve done on it is incredible, the amount of money they’ve put into it but still keeping the charm and character of the building, too,” Charlton said.

Other people are noticing the new lofts, too.

“We actually just completed our lease up," said Erin Fern, property manager at Switzer Lofts. "We’re at 97 percent occupancy right now.”

Watch the video above to see all the renovations.

Developers turned the former Switzer school into lofts and did a complete transformation of the 114-unit buildings. But they still have many of the original features the school once had.

“The school was actually in operation from 1899 to 1950, and just two years ago the Foutch Brothers restored it,” Fern said.

The Foutch brothers bought the five buildings for $450,000 two years ago. The school complex is on the National Register of Historic Places, so the Foutch brothers received $7.5 million in state and federal historic tax credits for the renovation project.

“They have chalkboards that were in the original classrooms, and we actually have an artist in the area that will come and do art on the chalkboard,” Fern said.

“I came over to this building here, and it was amazing, had the 20-foot ceilings, original floors and also chalkboards in all the rooms,” Charlton said.

Charlton is now within walking distance to work and many restaurants and stores.

“I looked at a few other units downtown. They were a little white-washed, kind of like Ikea. They didn’t have much character to them,” Charlton said. “I’m excited about it. This is day one!”