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Archive for Saturday, August 21, 1999

OFFICIALS REVIEWING CLINTON STATE PARK PROPOSALS

August 21, 1999

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Two Kansas City-area companies might find out next week which Clinton State Park resort proposal is approved by state officials.

State officials are keeping details close to their vests on two proposals for a resort at Clinton State Park, but a 1990 study gives insight into where development at the lake is likely.

Two companies -- American Executive Management of Kansas City, Kan., and CB Richard Ellis of Kansas City, Mo. -- want to build the resort and are waiting for state officials to choose a development plan.

Details of the two plans, forwarded Monday to the secretaries of the Department of Wildlife and Parks (KDWP) and the Kansas Department of Commerce and Housing (KDCH), continue to remain a secret to the public.

Steve Kelly, director of business development for KDCH, said a 1990 study by Recreation Ventures Management Inc. pointed out two suitable resort locations at Clinton State Park. One of the sites is just southwest of the Clinton Lake Marina, adjacent to a camping area; another site is north of the marina, directly east of an existing picnic area.

That study was cited by Economics Research Associates of Chicago, which submitted a feasibility report for resorts at Kansas state parks to KDWP and KDCH.

"Where it will specifically be located, we haven't determined that yet. We're going to work with the city of Lawrence and the state to determine that," said Dan Carr, co-developer for CB Richard Ellis, the world's largest commercial real estate company. The company is based in Los Angeles but has an office in Kansas City, Mo.

Carr said the costs of the proposed development haven't been finalized, pending future negotiations, but that his company is looking at building a 150- to 200-room complex.

"We've got some ideas, but it's going to come down to trying to determine what's the best for everybody in terms of impact to the lake," he said. "We plan to utilize the lake for entertainment."

Don Boos, head of American Executive Management, did not return a telephone call Friday. Carrie Stallwitz, client services manager for the DLR Group of Overland Park, an architecture and engineering firm working with Boos' company on the project, said that her company was waiting for a decision from state officials.

Kelly said a decision on the proposals could be made next week.

Steve Williams, head of the KDWP, and Lt. Gov. Gary Sherrer, also secretary of KDCH, could choose one of the two proposals or reject both.

The Legislature passed a bill in 1998 allowing for developments at selected state parks.

"If there is a developer selected, negotiations will start with the state, in terms of what kind of agreement we need in place and more specific guidelines for the project," said KDCH's Kelly. "There obviously also needs to be interaction with the local chamber and city and county officials."

Officials from KDWP, KDCH, the Kansas Development Finance Authority, legal staff from the Department of Administration and the Lawrence community reviewed the plans before sending them to Williams and Sherrer.

-- Chris Koger's phone message number is 832-7126. His e-mail address is ckoger@ljworld.com.

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