Construction begins on downtown Wichita Falls apartments

Published: Oct. 26, 2022 at 6:50 PM CDT
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WICHITA FALLS, Texas (KAUZ) - Housing is booming in downtown Wichita Falls. In fact, construction is underway right now on 170 new apartment units.

The Kate LLC building that most people know as the Highlander is getting the space above the restaurant turned into an apartment complex.

Will Kelty, owner of the building, is excited for what this addition will provide to downtown and the city as a whole. He says this will be a gamechanger as it will help the downtown area grow, thrive and expand into the vibrant city Wichita Falls was always meant to be.

Construction is underway on the inside of the building but there are two parts to it. Floors two through five will be 115 student-housing units for Midwestern State University students. Floors six through 10 will be 55 traditional apartments, 45 one-bedroom units and 10 two-bedroom, two-bath units.

“When I first showed up to Wichita Falls, it was a gut feeling that I loved the downtown area,” Kelty said. “You just don’t come across too many downtowns that have beautiful bones to them. The only issue was it was deserted, so I came to the realization that what it really needed was residents downtown to help blend with retail office to make it a whole downtown.”

Kelty said this project is close to his heart, especially after a bumpy ride over the last seven years taking his vision off the blueprint and constructing it into reality.

He faced with one hurdle after another, with the biggest challenge being financial issues. He is still facing challenges with materials and a labor shortage is forcing him to order materials months in advance.

“The electrical boxes, the main conjunction boxes that will come in off the street and into the building, there is a 10-month lead time on those boxes,” Kelty said. “We have ordered them, but we are just in a waiting phase for 10 months until we get those.”

Kelty said the same is true with HVAC equipment, fire suppression equipment and many other things, but they started ordering these items months ago. They have been able to make progress with construction as each material comes in.

Kelty said that the student housing on floors two through five has a scheduled completion date of July 12, 2023, a month before the school year starts. Floors six through 10 are expected to be finished by April of 2024.