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Archive for Saturday, April 3, 1999

GROUP SNAGS DOWNTOWN SITES

April 3, 1999

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One of the properties will remain a furniture store, while the other property's use is in flux.

A Prairie Village investors' group is planning to buy two more downtown buildings, bringing to seven the number it owns in the area.

Jayhawk Equities LLC and Jayhawk Properties are buying 722 Mass. and 714 Vt., which house Johnson Furniture and Bert Nash Community Mental Health Center, respectively.

No changes are planned at 722 Mass., said Pat Talbott, Jayhawk Equities' property manager. But Bert Nash soon will be vacating the office building on Vermont Street, and part of it could be converted to retail uses. Bert Nash is moving to a new $14.1 million community health building under construction on Maine Street across from Lawrence Memorial Hospital.

"We'll just try to lease it out as office space," Talbott said. "But it does include a parking garage, which it's conceivable could be converted to retail."

The building, which is owned by Southwestern Bell, includes about 7,000 square feet of office space and about that amount in parking space. Talbott said the purchase was scheduled to close by early June.

The purchase of the Massachusetts Street building, meanwhile, is set to close by the middle of this month.

The two-story building, which includes about 5,800 square feet on the ground level and 3,200 square feet on the second floor, is owned by Janet Schroeder. According to Douglas County records, the building was valued this year for tax purposes at $316,970.

The furniture store also occupies the building directly to the south, which Talbott's group isn't buying. It is owned by the Johnson family.

Jayhawk Equities purchased its first building in downtown Lawrence last May, and since has been snapping up properties throughout the area.

The group's first purchase was the building at 1012 Mass. that houses Danish Inspirations. It also owns 727 Mass., which houses Hair Station and Southwest and More; 205 W. Eighth, the former home of the Lawrence Chamber of Commerce; 1105 Mass., the historic building that formerly housed Jester's bar and restaurant, and the former Varsity Theater at 1015 Mass., which has been leased by Urban Outfitters.

-- Richard Brack's phone message number is 832-7194. His e-mail address is rbrack@ljworld.com.

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