BAXTER SPRINGS - While it's still in the thick of summer, things are really starting to snowball in downtown Baxter Springs. As residents are anxiously counting down the days to the Oct. 12 grand opening of Decades of Wheels, that's only the beginning of a rejuvenated spirit that rapidly growing in historic downtown Baxter Springs.
Military Avenue has been abuzz lately, and not just from the construction taking place on the 1100 block north of the Ritz or the roar of the frequent car shows at Monarch Pharmacy & Soda Fountain. Coltyn Seifert, his brother Casye, and wife Kelsey, have been hard at work on defining, refining, and bringing to fruition their dream of restoring an old building on Route 66.
A little over a year ago, in May 2018, the Seifert's purchased the building at 1020 Military Ave., with the hopes of restoring it and owning a business on the Mother Road in Baxter. At the time they had big aspirations and several options. According to the GoFundMe page the Seifert's started, their dreams for the building felt endless as they continually explored both the interior and exterior.
"Production Studios. Coffee Shop. Podcast Studio. Bitcoin Mining. Whatever we could dream was possible," Coltyn said in the description on the page. "The weeks and months following we arduously worked to strip plaster off the walls to expose the authentic brick walls, clear out debris and edge closer to installing features like electric, plumbing, and HVAC."
Since then the family has made great advances tearing plaster off brick walls, cleaning out debris, cleaning brick and all sorts of other demo work. In the coming months they plan to wrap up demolition and begin installing utilities.
So what did the Seifert's settle on? Well, a little of everything! Here are a few of their plans:
"We hope to create a niche coffee shop that specializes in boutique style roasting and brewing. This space would offer pristine coffee selections as well as provide a welcoming and productive atmosphere for locals and tourist alike."
"Along with studio space for the 'SciFi And Friends Podcast' we want to create a public podcasting studio(s) where individuals or groups can rent out to produce their own shows. People can rent hourly, weekly, or perhaps even longer. We would supply the space, equipment and if needed the editing and producing of the show."
"The production space for Infinite Productions continues to grow with each passing season. Having a studio to house all of our needed equipment as well as provide space for filming products (beverages, vehicles, etc.) and individuals will help continue to expand our potential. Along with editing bays, producer's offices, and writing rooms, the space will work as a full-scale production company."
"Above 1018 and 1020 is 1018 1/2! This space was old apartment rooms that had a single dedicated bath house! We hope to renovate these living quarters to create a prestigious living area that would overlook the historic Route 66. These lofts would be situated over the coffee shop and would have street access."
The Seifert's have set up a GoFundMe account to help cover the renovation costs, and according to Coltyn, the support has already been immense. Their page not only is a place where local residents can help assist with the costs, but the Seifert's are also using it as a vehicle to share their progress with frequently updated photos and videos. Their page can be found at: https://www.gofundme.com/1020military