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Planned Communities and Downtown Living in Topeka, KS

Topeka is a down-home kind of town with a fresh, upscale face.

By Michaela Jackson on April 18, 2015

Southwest College Avenue in Topeka, Kansas
Topeka / Kevin Young

Topeka is a down-home kind of town with a fresh, upscale face. Soothing lakes and rolling hills give the community an easy feel, but modern luxury homes and walkable downtown living characterize the city as unmistakably modern.


Downtown Topeka is currently experiencing a welcome revitalization, drawing both new urban dwellers and the amenities they crave. Glitzy new abodes and offices like the Sells Brothers Building line South Kansas Avenue, inviting would-be neighbors to experience life downtown.

Clarion Lakes 

For more traditional tastes, though, Clarion Lake offers large, beautiful home sites crisscrossed by accessible trails and inspiring public art. For residents seeking the serenity of a quiet neighborhood without the responsibilities of land upkeep, Clarion Lake includes a full-maintenance villa section. Split roadways, water features and picnic areas lend the community a charming aesthetic.


Another upscale subdivision is RockFire at the Lake, a 169-acre master planned community that is currently in development. The neighborhood is elevated atop bluffs that overlook Lake Shawnee Golf Course. When the community is completely developed, 250 homes will sit adjacent to a community park and a 20-acre neighborhood commercial center with shops, restaurants and offices. The neighborhood will feature walking trails, mature trees and an active adult community. Condominiums and town homes will be available in addition to single-family homes.

Washburn U

Closer to the center of Topeka, the historic neighborhood around Washburn University is being restored as the university grows and requires nearby housing. The city, the school, the neighborhood association and a development firm are working to combine the community’s historic charm with modern design. The College Hill Redevelopment, as the project is called, will ultimately include 216 residential units, nearly 25,000 square feet of retail space and a 6,500-square-foot clubhouse. Residents of all Topeka neighborhoods enjoy the city’s several golf courses and country clubs, because there’s nothing like reserving a tee time to make you feel at home in a hurry.

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