Masonic Temple Getting Revamped

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GRAND ISLAND, Neb. -- Built nearly 90 years ago, the Masonic Temple is getting revamped. Now called Tower 217 for its address on Locust St. the building will be seeing change, from lofts to entertainment.

"Our plans right now are to fill the other commercial space, get a commercial tenant in there. And from there progress up to floor two and three and do some residential lofts. And then four and five will be residential as well and eventually entertainment venue on six and seven," said Amos Anson, the Contractor and Developer of Tower 217.

Amos Anson isn't just a contractor and developer. He's also the Downtown Grand Island Director who is bringing residential spaces in hopes of revitalizing the area.

"A vibrant downtown says this is a community that respects its heritage and cares about its future," said Cindy Johnson, the President of the Grand Island Chamber of Commerce.

Even though Anson says he feels he's doing it all the work downtown single-handedly, when he gets interest in his space it's all worth it.

"We get interest from people all the time about the residential and commercial spaces. We just have to work fast enough to keep up with the people showing interest," said Anson.

Almost a month ago, Anson helped Chelsea open her lifestyle boutique, Kindred. And even though the boutique has been busy every day Chelsea says more business is never a bad thing.

"I'm really excited to see residences upstairs because it's going to bring more traffic down here, it's going to bring more people and more exposure to my business as well," said Chelsea Sackschewsky.

Anson says he's excited for the second-exit wall to be completed on the first floor and to start marketing his second retail space in Tower 217.