The area of Lawrence south of 15th Street and east of Iowa Street is in transition. The Farmland fertilizer plant that sits at the eastern edge of the city closed a few years back -- and while the future of the property remains in limbo, it's clear that the plant and the land surrounding it constitute one of the next great frontiers in the city's growth.
A 54-acre patch of open land along the south side of Kansas Highway 10, at the eastern edge of Lawrence, is slated for construction now that it has been purchased by Lawrence developers Doug Compton and Bill Newsome. The owners, operating as Eastside Acquisitions LLC, intend to set aside 35 lots for new homes, 54 lots for new duplexes and 18 acres for a mixed-use development that includes: 55 townhomes and 200 apartments.
"We feel there's a significant amount of pent-up demand," Newsome said when the project was announced in April 2004.
There's plenty of places to exercise and relax in southeast Lawrence, including the East Lawrence Center on 15th Street, and the Prairie Park Nature Center down in farthest southeast corner of town.
This part of town is also home to Haskell Indian Nations University, a federal Bureau of Indian Affairs college open to members from all the nation's recognized American Indian tribes.
The area is also home to the flurry of residential growth that happened in Lawrence right after World War II. In the western edge, closest to KU campus, about half the homes were built before 1952. To the south and east, however, a higher proportion of residences were buillt in the 1950s through the 1970s.
Throughout southeast Lawrence, there's generally a two-to-one ratio of homeowners to home renters, according to U.S. Census Bureau Records. The median age of residents is around 30 years old, except in the neighborhoods closest to Kansas University campus. And the area is solidly middle class, with median household incomes of between $30,000 to $45,000 in most areas -- again excepting the neighborhoods closest to KU.
The area is served by five elementary schools:
- Cordley Elementary School, which serves the area of town between 15th and 23rd streets on the north and south, and between Naismith Drive and New Jersey street, roughly, on the west and east.
- Kennedy Elementary School, directly east of Cordley. Kennedy's boundaries extend to the eastern edge of the city.
- Prairie Park Elementary School occupies the area of town generally southeast of 23rd Street and Haskell Avenue.
- Broken Arrow Elementary School is also south of 23rd Street, roughly between Naismith Drive and Haskell Avenue.
- And Schwegler Elementary School serves students between Iowa Street and Naismith Drive, south of 19th Street.
Students in southeast Lawrence generally attend Lawrence High School.