Archive for Thursday, July 26, 2007

City commissioners OK expansion into parking lot

July 26, 2007

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City commissioners agreed to move ahead on a proposal that would allow a Lawrence developer to use public parking spaces to accommodate expansion of a downtown office building.

Commissioners on a 4-1 vote gave staff the approval to enter into negotiations with developer Thomas Fritzel for eight public parking spaces in the lot southeast of Eighth and Vermont streets. The eight spaces would give Fritzel's group the ability to expand the building at 123 W. Eighth St. by adding an elevator and stairway.

Commissioner Boog Highberger opposed the plan, saying it could set a bad precedent. The city is requiring Fritzel to pay $25,000 per space upfront. Commissioners expressed an interest in using the money to redesign the Vermont Street parking lot in an effort to gain space to replace the eight lost spaces.

The lot currently has a large island in its southern portion that could be made smaller.

Commissioners also told staff to prepare a draft request for proposals to send to other developers to determine if there is additional interest in using downtown parking lots for redevelopment.

Comments

Bill Chapman 7 years, 9 months ago

Parking downtown is already at a premim - even with the parking garage. Part of the problem IS the number of people who either work or live downtown parking in the closer parking spaces when they are going to be at home or in the office for a long period of time. I know of at least four shop workers/owners downtown who run out the door every hour of so to "smoke" when they are really just putting more money in the meter (sometimes they do smoke). With all the budget problems, I'm really surprised they only asked for $25,000 per space (I'm also sure that price will get lowered in the negotiations). Why not ask for $50,000 per space and put some into a downtown improvment fund?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 9 months ago

I agree, hawk. Fritzel should be required to pay for a redesign of the lot to minimize the loss of parking spaces, pay for the necessary changes, and then pay the city $25,000 for each net space that is lost.

Richard Heckler 7 years, 9 months ago

Now just think what could the library building be bought for under this commission during a swell night of swindling? Hmmmmm

coneflower 7 years, 9 months ago

25,000 per lot sounds awfully cheap considering what downtown land is worth.

George_Braziller 7 years, 9 months ago

  1. The parking garage is underused because downtown employees don't want to walk more than one block to get to work.

  2. People who live in apartments downtown don't even think when they are renting where they will park. Establish a parking lot for downtown apartment residents and include the cost in the rent.

  3. Downtown Lawrence hasn't established a designated parking area for employees. When I worked at a bank in Hutchinson 25 years ago they had a designated parking area for employees three blocks from the bank. During the entire time that I was there no one died from having to walk to their car.

  4. Number one and two combined means that they park for either eight hours every day or for three-plus days on the neighborhood streets where residents who own property have to park (or attempt to find a parking spot).

Dracul (Anonymous) says:

Parking downtown is already at a premim - even with the parking garage. Part of the problem IS the number of people who either work or live downtown parking in the closer parking spaces when they are going to be at home or in the office for a long period of time.

Mr_B9 7 years, 9 months ago

Sure is an aweful expensive elevator and stairway.HMMMMM. It is becoming more apparent to me we have elected some real wizards to our City Commission. Why on gods green earth would they sell any parking space for that amount. That property is worth 5 times that unless you are related to the appraiser. Wonder if any of the 4-1 vote work at that business. Wouldn't suprise me. I have seen conflict of interest in City Hall before. Like the roundabouts. Hmmmmm. Well hawkperchedatriverfront I think you hit the nail on the head. I hope you get your parking spaces you requested. At least you have a profit making plan.

Emily Hadley 7 years, 9 months ago

"This commission gets dumber and dumber. They should have told Fritzel that you come up with a new plan for the lot, at your expense. and then we sell the spaces."

I agree--either write the spaces off or make the builder contribute to the design/work on the lot. If he came up with a plan that ultimately added spaces, he could pay for that work rather than buying those spaces he wants.

That is a bizarre lot! It is a figure 8, instead of being one big loop like the others. Would be easy to improve it-- remove that center entrance that cuts through the loop, so cars have to turn to the right when they enter. Those entering the lot are going faster because they don't have to turn, and they often don't anticipate the oncoming traffic on their right as others try to exit the south portion.

I have always avoided the south portion, because it is a tight, and I often nearly got hit by someone blindly flying in off the street as I tried to creep out, obscured by that island.

I am still wondering, though, subtracting some potential $$ loss of the parking spots, is that all downtown real estate is worth?

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