Archive for Friday, April 2, 1999


April 2, 1999


For about 50 years, the Moore family name in Lawrence has been synonymous with real estate development.

Before forming the real estate development company known as Advanco, the Moore family was literally building a reputation in Lawrence.

Bob Moore began building homes in 1951. From there, he went into development. Bob's brothers, Bud and Al Moore, joined him for a few years during the 1950s in Moore Associates. The trio's company constructed single-family houses and worked in land development.

Martin Moore, Bob's son, describes his uncle Bud as a dynamic salesman who outsold everyone in the company.

Martin Moore said the company was headed by his father, Bob Moore, the first family member to enter the real estate business. Bob's father, George Moore, made a living by selling cars. He had a few lots in Lawrence. Locals may remember Mr. Smart, a German shepherd that went everywhere with the elder Moore.

Starting with starters

Land developers buy raw land and prepare it for building. They oversee construction of such necessities as streets, water lines, sewer lines and electricity, Martin Moore said. Then the developer sells the property.

Bob Moore developed land for starter homes in the booming post-World War II era. And he platted a lot of land on the exterior of the city, to the north.

The Moores have developed land in East Lawrence, around Centennial Park and north of the Lawrence Country Club.

Martin Moore, said his father has built several thousand single-family residences and several thousand apartment units, most of them in Kansas.

When Martin Moore got an opportunity to work at the company, he took it.

He began by managing some assets in 1981.

Prior to that, Martin Moore sold real estate in Colorado. He jokes that, at that particular time in Colorado, there was an broker for every 100 people.

Now, Martin Moore is the president of Advanco and his father, Bob Moore, is the owner. In addition, Martin Moore's sister, Melonie Sullivan, and her husband, Walter Sullivan, are associates in the family company.

The company, a real estate development business, offers design and building services, and residential and commercial land development.

Basically, that means the company works with owners to determine their building needs and then puts together a program to complete the project.

Some of the company's more recent projects include coordinating the design and construction of the DCCCA Center Headquarters, a 15,400-square-foot office building at Kasold Drive and Clinton Parkway. Advanco also acquired and developed the land sold to J.C. Penney for its new department store on South Iowa Street.

Going downtown

Another major project that Advanco is undertaking partners the firm with Bob and Jeff Shmalberg.

They are working on the development of the 900 block of New Hampshire.

"Downtown is important to so many people in Lawrence," Martin Moore said. "This exciting project is a reaction to their sentiment."

Some of the plan's highlights include a 600-space parking garage on the east side of New Hampshire Street, retail space, office space and apartments.

The Shmalbergs, who have development experience themselves, invited the Moores to participate.

Martin Moore said his development company regularly receives referrals from architects, contractors, bankers, real estate professionals and attorneys. In fact, the company can afford to be selective about which projects they end up taking, he said.

Martin Moore says it's not uncommon for the firm to enter into partnerships for specific projects.

It seemed right

Not all sons want to follow in their father's footsteps, but it seemed right for Martin Moore.

"I grew up going to construction sites," Martin Moore said. "In college I got my business degree. A few years out of college, it was a good opportunity for me to join Advanco."

And working alongside his father makes him happy.

"I can't say enough about working with my dad," Martin Moore said. "I have continued to learn from him over the years, and he's still teaching me things. I know it doesn't work for everyone, but the positives far outweigh the negatives. It works great for us."

As with many of the longstanding families in Lawrence, community involvement has been important to the Moores.

Those Bobs

Bob Moore is a member of the Group of Bobs, which have provided awards to local school teachers.

The Group of Bobs is a group of seven men whose first names are Bob. It's a loosely organized group, with Bob Shmalberg leading the way this year.

Each spring for the past two years, the men have selected an educator of the year. The first recipient of the award in 1997 got to drive a Mustang for a year.

Bob Moore also has been active with the chamber and the Lawrence Memorial Hospital board.

Martin Moore has spent time working on the Rising 20/20 Steering Committee, serving on the Lawrence Public Library's board of trustees. and serving with the boards of the Lawrence Chamber of Commerce and The Shelter.

-- Regina Cassell's phone message number is 832-7189. Her e-mail address is

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