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Archive for Monday, July 30, 2007

New Urbanism development moving ahead

With Wal-Mart proposal going forward, Lawrence architect can solidify plans

July 30, 2007

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Now that a plan for a new Wal-Mart store in northwest Lawrence is moving forward again, activity is starting to pick back up on the intersection's other major development proposal.

Lawrence architect Michael Treanor said city commissioners soon will see new plans for the Bauer Farm development, which seeks to put a mix of retail, offices and residential units on the northeast corner of Sixth Street and Wakarusa Drive. That places it across the street from a proposed Wal-Mart store that received Planning Commission approval last week.

The Wal-Mart store - which has been fought by neighbors for nearly five years - still must receive approval from city commissioners. But Treanor is excited that plans for the mega-retailer are moving forward.

"If we could have the big, comparison-shopping anchor, Wal-Mart, on one corner, then on our side we would have more of the specialty stores, lifestyle, pedestrian-oriented shopping," Treanor said. "We think it would be a good mix."

The Bauer Farm development, which would have a mix of about 220 homes and apartments along with a retail area, has been billed as the city's first significant foray into the concept of New Urbanism or Traditional Neighborhood Design. That means the project will feature narrower streets, homes with alleys, and a business district that mixes retail, office and residential uses like a mini-downtown.

"It is a little bit more like the traditional neighborhoods around downtown," Treanor said.

Treanor said he would like to start moving dirt for the project in late fall, with construction beginning in early 2008. Treanor has touted the project to city leaders for the last three years. The project received the necessary rezoning approval in January 2006, but it has been slow moving because potential retail tenants wanted to know whether Wal-Mart would be on the opposite corner, Treanor said.

"We had to have an answer to that question," Treanor said.

The project, though, is tentatively scheduled to go before city commissioners again on Aug. 14. Treanor will be asking commissioners to allow for more retail space than previously approved and to lift conditions that prohibit liquor stores and businesses that sell liquor-by-the-drink.

Treanor wants commissioners to allow 72,000 square feet of retail space in the development, up from 62,000 square feet that has been approved. Treanor said the intersection can handle the additional retail because the proposed Wal-Mart store is significantly smaller than what traffic designers previously planned for.

On the liquor issues, Treanor said that he saw no reason to prohibit liquor stores or restaurants that sell liquor from the development. The conditions were placed on the plan by a previous Planning Commission as a last-minute addition, Treanor said, presumably because of its proximity to Free State High School.

Planning staff members are recommending approval of the liquor changes. The development meets the state liquor requirements for being the necessary distance away from schools.

"Any liquor store operator in that location is going to be more cognizant of young people rather than less cognizant," Treanor said. "If you're going to have a neighborhood, we just feel you should have a place to go walk to and buy a bottle of wine."

Planning commissioners already have recommended approval of the liquor changes and the increase in retail space.

"I think this is probably the most exciting real estate development I've seen in about a half century of living here," said Planning Commissioner Joe Harkins. "I would like to do whatever I can, within reason, to help it succeed."

Comments

Rightytighty 7 years, 5 months ago

Two thumbs down! Traffic is going to be outrageous!

bluerose 7 years, 5 months ago

""It is a little bit more like the traditional neighborhoods around downtown," Treanor said."

wow! sign me up!! i have always wanted to live in an old fashioned neighborhood on a busy dangerous intersection!! and across from a Walmart and MickeyD's!!?? yeehaw!!

snort.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 5 months ago

With the new Wal-Mart moving in, wouldn't a trailer park be more appropriate?

nut_case 7 years, 5 months ago

I really hate to see such a big retail center in such a nice area of town. The worst part will be when the Wal-Mart gets the go-ahead, but has to have a reduced amount of retail space. You still have all the retail development, but - just like Home Depot and Best Buy now - the stores are so small that they never have (or are out of) the one item you do want.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 5 months ago

" The worst part will be when the Wal-Mart gets the go-ahead, but has to have a reduced amount of retail space."

I predict that within 5 years, Wal-Mart will be back with a proposal (demand?) to dramatically increase the size of that store. That will be the worst part.

SettingTheRecordStraight 7 years, 5 months ago

"With the new Wal-Mart moving in, wouldn't a trailer park be more appropriate?"

That's bigoted, Bozo.

bmw 7 years, 5 months ago

It's bigoted because you are being condescendingly judgmental.

Mkh 7 years, 5 months ago

This would actually be an Incredible idea if there was Not a second Walmart being built next to it. Instead of putting up the Walmart they should just expand this project over the entire site. New Urbanism neighborhoods are critical to the future of city planning in order to recreate towns and cities that are based on walking communities and not suburban sprawl that relies on automobiles.

New Urbanism is a critical element of how we can start to prepare ourselves for the transition of Peak Oil. These small village concept will have to be implemented to allow folks to rely less on automotive means of transportation. Also New Urbanism is one of the few things that individual communites can do to combat Peak Oil.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 5 months ago

"It's bigoted because you are being condescendingly judgmental."

How so?

Keith 7 years, 5 months ago

Please hurry up and build this. The current downtown is overstocked with panhandlers right now, and this will give them room in which to expand.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 5 months ago

Wal-Mart caters to the low end of the socio-economic scale. So do trailer parks.

yourworstnightmare 7 years, 5 months ago

I'm sure a Walmart and 6th and Wakarusa would attarct shoppers from the eastern part of Topeka.

SettingTheRecordStraight 7 years, 5 months ago

Sheesh, Bozo. You're a total and complete elitist. It's disgusting.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 5 months ago

I'm merely stating an obvious fact. No elitism involved at all.

curiousdre 7 years, 5 months ago

Wait...I'm confused...how many Wal-Marts are going up in/around this intersection? This one AND another one? Or just one near 6th and Wak?

yourworstnightmare 7 years, 5 months ago

"Wal-Mart caters to the low end of the socio-economic scale. So do trailer parks."

I really don't see what is elitist about this statement. It is simply the truth.

Then again, maybe the truth is part of a vast, elitist, left-wing conspiracy, along with the media, public schools, and universities.

yourworstnightmare 7 years, 5 months ago

"A walmart on every corner".

A modern-day "A chicken in every pot and a car in every garage".

Alia Ahmed 7 years, 5 months ago

In defense of Bozo, there are currently two mobile home parks within near proximity of the current Walmart. Also, Walmart tends to employ lower wage earners so it might be more convenient to recruit employees if the store is located in a low to middle income neighborhood. Just a thought.

Alia Ahmed 7 years, 5 months ago

I would assume that Home Depot, Target, On the Border, Long Horn Steakhouse, etc. also pay lower wages, at least for entry level positions.

Richard Heckler 7 years, 5 months ago

If and when all of this new retail actually is built what's going to happen to all of the older retail at 31st and Iowa? Who are the tenants in this so called "New Urbanism"? New Urbanism and Traditional Neighborhood Design are not the same as far as I can tell. For one thing TDN is about "row housing" and narrow streets. Narrow streets are traffic calmers according to what I heard. TDN is also a lot about infill not sprawl.

Some say build it and they will come. That may be true about roadways but not about retail dollars of which are in limited supply in this town of about 85,000...sometimes that is. Not only that I read Sunday that the housing market in general is still up for a very rough time for a few years. Foreclosures are up in a big way.

SettingTheRecordStraight 7 years, 5 months ago

"'Wal-Mart caters to the low end of the socio-economic scale. So do trailer parks.'

I really don't see what is elitist about this statement. It is simply the truth."

Whether or not it's true, bozo is a snob for so arrogantly stating it. Defending elitism puts you in the same category, Nightmare.

Michael Capra 7 years, 5 months ago

MERRIL why is everything doom and gloom with you not just one day a week but 24/7 you need a gun

yourworstnightmare 7 years, 5 months ago

"Whether or not it's true, bozo is a snob for so arrogantly stating it."

What about his post was arrogant?: "With the new Wal-Mart moving in, wouldn't a trailer park be more appropriate?"

I am not arguing that Bozo (and I) are not elitists. I am simply arguing that this comment does not point to any elitism, only the truth.

Don Zimmer 7 years, 5 months ago

Bozo- definition #5

Here is the Washington Post's Mensa Invitational, which once again

asked readers to take any word from the dictionary, alter it by adding, subtracting, or changing one letter, and supply a new definition.

Seems like a better use of your time than playing Sukudo.

The 2006 Winners are: 1. Cashtration (n.): The act of buying (or building) a house, which renders the subject financially impotent for an indefinite period of time.

  1. Ignoranus: A person who's both stupid and an a-----e.

  2. Intaxication: Euphoria at getting a tax refund, which lasts until you realize that it was your money to start with.

  3. Reintarnation: Coming back to life as a hillbilly.

  4. Bozone (n.): The substance surrounding stupid people that stops bright ideas from penetrating. The bozone layer, unfortunately, shows little sign of breaking down in the near future.

Baille 7 years, 5 months ago

When I lived in a trailer, I STILL didn't shop at Wal-Mart. Of course, I was always more more partial to cinder blocks, 2X10s, and "borrowed" milk crates rather than the plastic Chinese crap peddled by Sam.

Anyway, this new urbanism scheme would be a lot more credible if it was used to revitalize our dying city center (say around East Heights or along the student ghetto) rather than increase the cancerous spread of unsustainable sprawl.

Mkh 7 years, 5 months ago

Merril, For someone who is terribly scared of global warming...you should embrace concepts of New Urbanism.

Richard Heckler 7 years, 5 months ago

"458casul (Anonymous) says: MERRIL why is everything doom and gloom with you not just one day a week but 24/7 you need a gun"

I am concerned for the retailers in this town who have spent their money and provided jobs only to watch Lawrence city government show its' appreciation with a "whatever happens" attitude. Now after being affected by this or observing from elsewhere would you want to locate a business in Lawrence? knowing that city,county and local chamber cater to the development industry? knowing there is no support for the efforts in a community that is designated as over saturated in retail by 30% and over built in residential? Small business people cannot afford this. Larger corporations will only provide downsized stores with limited selections.

How stupid does anyone think the real world is?

Richard Heckler 7 years, 5 months ago

"Baille (Anonymous) says: When I lived in a trailer, I STILL didn't shop at Wal-Mart. Of course, I was always more more partial to cinder blocks, 2X10s, and "borrowed" milk crates rather than the plastic Chinese crap peddled by Sam."

Resourceful and practical....

Roadkill_Rob 7 years, 5 months ago

In my experience with trailer parks (mainly Kansas small towns), I've witnessed racist, crank heads who live off the government b/c they can't support their 5 kids who are all one year apart. These people also shop at Wal-Mart b/c of the cheap goods and the fact that Wal-Mart crushed all the competition in town so there are no choices.

If not wanting to associate with these people makes me an elitist, so be it.

Baille 7 years, 5 months ago

"So, if I like to smoke a little meth, congregate with caucasians, live in a trailer park and buy cheap wares at Wal-Mart, that makes me lesser of an American?"

Guess that would depend on who you were comparing yourself to, wouldn't it?

I would say that it would make you a better American than say, Sean "You're-a-great-American-all-my-corporate-sponsors-need-is-three-hours-a-day-every-day" Hannity, but beyond that I would have to wait and see.

Baille 7 years, 5 months ago

Dunno, RT. While a social safety net and recognition of addiction as a public health issue inures to all our benefit whether you as an individual will benefit and achieve "full functionality" is a combined question of qualities inherent to the individual, the scope and nature of the self-destruction, available formal and informal social support systems, and...chance.

Frankly the suggestion that only liberals think they know what is best for others is facetious at best. While everyone in a social collective has a right and responsibility to help define and shape the forces that impact our lives, I have found it is most often the self-labeled conservatives that seek to define and shape the forces that have no direct impact on anyone but the individuals being constrained.

In other words (to descend for a moment into the quagmire of gross generalizations), while the liberals want to meddle in the boardrooms and backrooms of corporations and local government and they want to regulate the activities of the individual that necessarily impact the community, it is the conservatives that want to meddle in the bedrooms and bathrooms of the individual and regulate activities that impact only the individual.

yourworstnightmare 7 years, 5 months ago

Of course those who live in trailer parks are inferior. It is simple free-market capitalism. If those in trailer homes were smart and motivated, they would get better jobs, make more money, and move into a big old house out on 6th and Wakarusa.

As most good conservatives realize, there are inherent differences between individuals, and the free market places individuals in society by their intelligence and talent.

It is the way of the world. Accept your position in it.

Baille 7 years, 5 months ago

"say I become a meth addict who starts masturbating 15 times a day "

Becomes?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 5 months ago

You're too busy mastrubating on this forum for anything like that to happen, RT.

lunacydetector 7 years, 5 months ago

correct me if i'm wrong, but wasn't treanor a big supporter of our former progressive commissioners who kept out walmart?

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