Advertisement

Archive for Saturday, June 23, 2007

Business park near airport proposed

Developer says area well suited for industrial growth

June 23, 2007

Advertisement

Rick Bryant discusses how the city's airport could impact future economic development

Hear Rick Bryant, chair of the city's Aviation Advisory Board, discuss how the Lawrence Municipal Airport could play into future economic development efforts in the city.

New traffic could be developing near the airport

A Lawrence developer filed proposals with county planners to convert 900 acres near the Lawrence Municipal Airport into a hub for distribution centers, warehouses, light manufacturing plants, and offices. Enlarge video

A Lawrence developer wants to build a 900-acre business park near the Lawrence Municipal Airport.

Jes Santaularia and his real estate company, Diversified Concepts, are filing proposals with Lawrence-Douglas County planners to convert the area south, east and west of the airport into a hub for distribution centers, warehouses, light manufacturing plants and offices.

"This will be the employment center for Lawrence, Kansas, for the next 25 years," Santaularia said.

Santaularia said he anticipated it would take more than two decades to fully develop the park, but it eventually would house 10,000 employees.

His company hopes to start construction on the first phase of the development by the end of the year. Santaularia has entered into a partnership with the Roger Pine family to develop about 140 acres around the intersection of U.S. Highway 24-40 and North Seventh Street. That property, which is just southwest of the airport, would house both industrial and neighborhood commercial uses such as restaurants, gasoline stations, dry cleaners and other businesses designed to draw business from North Lawrence residents.

Pine, whose family has been farming in the North Lawrence area since 1868, said he plans to relocate his company's sod farm operations if plans for the industrial development are approved. Pine, who is a state senator, said deciding to redevelop the property was difficult.

"We've been on the edge of the city for 15 to 20 years now," Pine said. "We felt like they city was going to come see us one way or another. We felt like it would be better to make that choice ourselves, and really try to do something with the land that we thought would be beneficial to the entire community."

Santaularia hopes that the Lawrence-Douglas County Planning Commission will consider the first phase of the plan in late July. The proposal ultimately will need approval from the City Commission. Santaularia also said he likely would request some financial assistance from the city and county to extend infrastructure - mainly sewer service - to the site.

Debbie Van Saun, assistant city manager, said previous estimates to extend city sewer service to the airport have been about $2 million.

Economic development leaders are urging city and county commissioners to invest in the project, despite tight budget times. Chamber president and Chief Executive Officer Lavern Squier said the community has been missing out on potential jobs because the city doesn't have the large industrial lots that businesses are seeking.

"We're seeing interest from large development," Squier said. "We need to have the capability to respond to these requests for 100-acre sites or larger."

The small supply of industrial sites in the county is what sparked Santaularia's interest. Anthony Santaularia - Jes' son and a member of the development team - said he's grown tired of watching companies bypass Lawrence for other nearby communities. He noted the Target Distribution Center that went to Topeka, and a recent announcement by Hills Pet Food to build a new plant in Emporia.

"They didn't even consider Lawrence because we didn't have a site to offer them," Anthony Santaularia said. "But they're going to make a $100 million investment in Lawrence. That is something we just totally missed out on."

Jes Santaularia said the new park would offer something unique. He calls it a "lifestyle park" that would feature an extensive trail system and large amounts of green space. He said the site is well suited for industrial development because it is adjacent to the Kansas Turnpike, U.S. Highway 59 and can take advantage of air transportation options.

Santaularia's company has secured all property necessary to move forward with the 140-acre, phase one development. But he only has about one-third of the total 900 acres needed for the entire business park he envisions. His company is in a partnership for 300 acres of land owned by the Pine family. Another 300 acres is controlled by the Kansas University Endowment Association, which has property just east of the airport. The remaining 300 acres is owned by 12 to 15 other landowners.

The eastern edge of the project would stretch to Grant School Road, also known as East 1600 Road. The western edge would stop just east of the KOA Campground near the Tee Pee Junction. Neither the Tee Pee Junction nor the Airport Motel - two longtime businesses in the area - would be forced to relocate as part of the project, Anthony Santaularia said.

The Santaularias have been working to build support for the project in the area. He's touting to North Lawrence leaders that the development would include some small-scale commercial areas to make shopping more convenient. He's also included a site for a fire station in the development, and has committed to build an extensive stormwater detention area that would attempt to divert a significant amount of drainage that runs through North Lawrence.

The project, though, is sure to spur numerous questions from residents in the area. Ronald Schneider is a Lawrence lawyer who lives just north and east of the airport. He's carefully watched previous attempts to develop near the airport. He said there are significant amounts of environmentally sensitive lands in the area. Schneider said he wants to learn much more about the project.

"This just sounds so ambitious that it seems like it would have tremendous financial and environmental implications," Schneider said. "It needs to be thoroughly studied."

Pine said he's sure that several of his neighbors will have concerns too.

"I'm sure not everybody will be on board with all the changes, and I can certainly understand that," Pine said. "For many years I would not have been excited about doing it either. I make no bones about that.

"But we just think change is coming to this area one way or another. We wanted to be part of the decision-making process rather than being concerned about what was coming our way."

Comments

spywell 6 years, 10 months ago

Who will use the Lawrence airport anyway, Lawrence's rich and famous. Make them pay for it.

0

hawkperchedatriverfront 6 years, 10 months ago

merrill speaks of Rosedale,hmmm? the real Rosedale started on SW Blvd and the city hall was the fire station at Mission Rd and now I 35 and the post office was across from Whitmore grade school which is now a park. SW Blvd was K10 , merriam lane right on into Merriam and Shawnee.

Lesson to be learned, once the major highway was diverted, the decline started, just like ellsworth kansas and Dryden pottery. Read about Dryden.

As far as the Med center, the development around it has been going on for 45 years plus. After the post office moved to Rainbow st from SW blvd, the motel to the north was taken over by the med center, Macko jacky grade school was bulldozed for expansion, not to mention the area to the north of 39th street. The med center bought the American Legion building on 43rd, later sold it, now a laundromat the last time I looked. The story goes on and on.

New homes/condos being built south of Strasser's hdwe.

The Blvd however has been left disregared and will be because I 35 cut a big swath though the neighborhood and it has been left to rot just like most of Lawrence east of Iowa.

Turkey creek couldn't handle the drainage from JO Co and Ks City didn't have the foresight to clean up the creek to the river just like Lawrence with the big drainage ditch and the lacking of improvements east to the river in Lawrence.

Oh the story goes on and on .

The Med center will in time own Rosedale High school just as in probably the next 25 years , Lawrence High will be part of KU. It is in the works.

0

lunacydetector 6 years, 10 months ago

...and merrill, your 30% retail vacancy argument doesn't apply since the new smart code took effect. it no longer allows people to rent vacant space because most places don't have big enough parking lots anymore. i got an earful about it one day. raised my blood pressure. pretty smart, huh? nope, just typical unfriendly to business b.s.

0

lunacydetector 6 years, 10 months ago

hey reality check, shouldn't it be for ANY business? after all, rumor has it a car dealership wanted to build on west 6th street but the city wouldn't let them unless they sold hybrids. kind of like an italian restaurant could be allowed somewhere but only if they had spinach and fetta cheese pizzas on their menu. sounds like typical lawrence b.s. bad for business is bad for business.

0

Bobbi Reid 6 years, 10 months ago

I like the idea, but I worry about the increased traffic on North 7th street. People already have no regard for the posted speed limit, and I can only see this problem getting worse.

0

Reality_Check 6 years, 10 months ago

My gut tells me they should focus this business park on a specialty: Aerospace, alternative transportation, biotec, green power, etc. and it will have a better chance of success. And, as I said above, they need to tell us where such a project has recently "worked" in one of our peer cities.

0

Reality_Check 6 years, 10 months ago

Yes, we need to have a big national conversation about what Americans will be doing for a living in the future. One question I have, that I have yet to see answered, is: What's Japan doing? They have a higher standard of living and better health care than we do. They are also older, demographically, than we. Are they outsourcing all their jobs to China? Is their middle class declining like ours? Do they still make "stuff?"

I don't know the answers, but I'd sure like to. Anyone have any info for me? If so, don't post it without posting a link to the source so I know you're not just BS'ing.

0

Reality_Check 6 years, 10 months ago

"If Hillary, the self appointed mayor of Punjab, has anything to say about it, none will."

Really? I hadn't heard that she support job outsourcing. Could you please cite the source for this?

Oh, wait, you can't, because you lied.

I'm no fan of Hilary, and won't vote for her, but I just don't get the whole "Hilary Hater" thing that has infested the Right for the last 15 years. And, we all know NO politician is dumb enough to support outsourcing of American jobs. And say what you want about Hilary, but no one who has been paying attention for the last 15 years can say she's dumb or politically suicidal.

0

kcwarpony 6 years, 10 months ago

"The Delaware Tribe was the best bet Lawrence had going for that side of the river."

hawk, you may not have heard but the Delawares lost their federal recognition in 2005. The tribe had to let go most of their staff, closed its clinic and other federally funded programs and sold its headquarters building in Bartlesville. Any gaming operations would have had to be closed down. Lawrence dodged a bullet on this one.

0

Richard Heckler 6 years, 10 months ago

There is a lot of interest in the Kansas City,Kansas Rosedale neighborhood area about some very big bucks that the KU Med Center is investing in that area. The Med Center is purchasing "existing office space" throughout the neighborhood which borders Mission.

Real Estate investors are beginning to pour rehab money into "existing" condos and other residential in that immediate area with the idea that larger salaries and human resources will be relocating. The rehabilitated condos are expected to sell for $180,000 up. Mayors and respective commissioners are expecting real estate values to rise. "Existing resources" are about to create new economic growth.

0

gccs14r 6 years, 10 months ago

Godot,

Immigrants, illegal and otherwise, fill many of those jobs, often under the table. Unless they're made to do otherwise, employers in the underground economy are not going to suddenly hire Americans and have to pay the minimum wage, taxes and unemployment insurance and have to abide by OSHA regs.

0

Stain 6 years, 10 months ago

Godot said, Geez, the middle class of the future is the middle class of our past, doing the same jobs our parents did. The difference is, our parents were not looked down on for doing those jobs, and no one ever said they were "underemployed."

Those jobs paid a lot better then compared to the cost of living. Our whole economy is so different now that a comparison makes no sense.

0

Godot 6 years, 10 months ago

"what's the middle-class future then? Binder says America needs to increase jobs that have to be done in person so they can't be outsourced jobs like doctors and police officers".........

and electricians, carpenters, hvac contractors, plumbers, sheet metal workers, roofers, landscapers, factory workers, toll booth attendants, hair dressers, barbers, glaziers, flatwork contractors, house cleaners, nannies, gardeners, nurses, taxi drivers, bus drivers, truck drivers, street sweepers.....

Geez, the middle class of the future is the middle class of our past, doing the same jobs our parents did. The difference is, our parents were not looked down on for doing those jobs, and no one ever said they were "underemployed."

0

Godot 6 years, 10 months ago

"What companies will still be employing americans? "

If Hillary, the self appointed mayor of Punjab, has anything to say about it, none will.

0

Richard Heckler 6 years, 10 months ago

What companies will still be employing americans? It is said the green collar industry cannot be outsourced. Perhaps that is what could be kept in mind?

Maybe you've noticed that America's call-center jobs are largely being outsourced to India. Well, you say, I'm more skilled than that, so I can't worry about it. Then you note that our accounting jobs, legal research, and architectural drafting work is being taken to India, too but, hey, you do sophisticated stuff, so you can't sweat those losses. Lately though, you've also seen that our country's high-tech computer jobs are being shipped to India and uh-oh, that's getting close to what you do. Still, you say, I'm a professional, by gollies, so I'm okay.

Well... good luck. The latest surge of jobs heading to India might well include yours. Such outfits as Citigroup, Boeing, and Eli Lilly are now moving out the work of white-collar elites including investment banking, aircraft design, and the clinical testing of drugs. "High-end outsourcing" is the new wave, and it's pulling away the professional work of well-educated Americans who've been enjoying six-figure salaries, nice homes, and the good life.

Economist Alan Binder, a former top official at the Federal Reserve, says: "We have, so far, barely seen the tip of the offshoring iceberg, the eventual dimensions of which may be staggering." How staggering? Binder says that up to 42 million American workers about one-third of us are looking at a rude awakening.

What's the middle-class future then? Binder says America needs to increase jobs that have to be done in person so they can't be outsourced jobs like doctors and police officers. Yeah, well, I'm thinking we'll need lots of police officers to contain everyone who can't be a doctor! And... how exactly, are the rest of us to pay for seeing the doctor?

It used to be "them" who had to worry about outsourcing. Now it's "us." Our politicians have got to quit pretending that this is not a problem and start developing policies to revitalize American's middle-class.

"India's Edge Goes Beyond Outsourcing," New York Times, April 4, 2007.

0

hk45 6 years, 10 months ago

The proposal appears well thought out and hopefully it will be received well. I believe an industry park by the airport would serve another area the K-10 corridor cannot serve; with direct access to I-70, an airport with potential to grow, easy access to KCK, MCI, etc...I think this could have much more possibilities than any K-10 development for Lawrence.

I vote "yes"!!!

0

Mkh 6 years, 10 months ago

"That said, keep in mind that the Kaw Valley has some of the finest agricultural land in America, and each time we pave over a bit more, there is no recovering it. As fuel prices increase, food production will become more localized:we may not always be able to justify bringing in heads of lettuce from California by truck. Thus good farmland shouldn't be quickly discounted."

Excellent point Reality Check, very important to keep in mind.

0

Mkh 6 years, 10 months ago

This is very interesting proposal. I agree that extensive research needs to be conducted before this goes forward, especially concerning environmental impacts of building in the flood plain. The taxpayer cannot be expected to subsidize this project. I'll admit that the thought of attracting 10,000 jobs is extremely appealing. But there must be extensive research and many questions answered before such a large proposal is approved by anyone.

0

Reality_Check 6 years, 10 months ago

About the ONLY heavy industry growing in America and doing well is aviation/aerospace. Lots of new and old aviation companies have been bringing high-paying jobs to places like New Mexico, Minnesota, and even Oklahoma. Wichita's loss has been the gain of other cities. No reason Lawrence can't be one, too, because we have one thing going for us those towns didn't: A leading aerospace engineering program at our university.

Remember how we lost out on the Cessna plant to Independence in the early 90s? That town had plenty of cheap industrial land around its airport and spent liberally to attract those high-paying manufacturing jobs. Best thing that ever happened to them.

I have said for 21 years that the best place for an industrial park would be near the airport because it is also near the Interstate and a busy rail line. It just makes sense. (And I projected that the East Hills Park would not live up to its billing.) But now that we don't appear to build anything in our country other than airplanes, I don't see spending a ton of money trying to attract dying industries...we need to concentrate on attracting those that are actually growing.

That said, keep in mind that the Kaw Valley has some of the finest agricultural land in America, and each time we pave over a bit more, there is no recovering it. As fuel prices increase, food production will become more localized...we may not always be able to justify bringing in heads of lettuce from California by truck. Thus good farmland shouldn't be quickly discounted.

I support the idea that the airport is a good choice for an industrial and office park, but Merrill is partly right in that a lot more questions need to be answered first, in detailed economic and environmental studies, before proceeding. The main questions are: What kind of industries really are growing in our country, and will this development attract them? And in which of our peer cities (college towns) have similar developments succeeded?

0

hawkperchedatriverfront 6 years, 10 months ago

10,000 jobs require 10,000 employees? Would that be the 10,000 unemployable and homeless in Lawrence maybe? There are already 10,000 in the school district as learning children. There are 10,.000 in the nursing and retirement facilities. There are 10,000 who commute daily in and out to elsewhere, With the newly employed 10,000 we are now at 40,000 and that leaves 10,000 who are too old and are retired and now we have 30,000 employed by the city, county, school district.

Jess is going to fly these 10,000 new people in. The will get on a commuter flight where 435 intersects with I-70 and buzz them over to Lawrence for work. They will come right up from Mexico on interstate 35, stop off at the Legends for a movie and work in Lawrence and live in Tonganoxie and points east.

Pine Family is figuring out to get a jump on being taken into the city and what to do with their land. Wish Roger Pine had entertained the Delaware Tribe on some of that newly grown sod and maybe the sewer would already be in and Pine would already have a deal for his 300 acres. I'm still waiting to see what happens when the public finds out about the fairgrounds and what is to happen there, if anyone really cares. Ever look out to the east from the horse barn and see that hillside of junk cars. Only in Lawrence and Douglas county would that disgrace happen. Most communitys treasure their fairgrounds.

0

hawkperchedatriverfront 6 years, 10 months ago

Godot? Where are the dollars generated by the East Hills business park? Who are the private partners? Who has received the benefit of tax dollars generated by the park? Crap, the park was so poorly designed for highway access, it still is a nightmare?

Again, 10,000 jobs Jess says the airport park will create? Is he going to fly these people in and out each day? North second won't take any more cars, 24/40 to Tongoxie is unable and with a new turnpike entrance to the East of Lawrence , the airport park sounds like a "fly by nite" deal to this old bird.

If KU cannot even give up some land on 19th street in town to widen the street from Naismith to Iowa, to at least four lanes, you think they goin' to let some local folks mess around with their 300 acres?

The Delaware Tribe was the best bet Lawrence had going for that side of the river. How many lots are left in the "industrial park" that was built in the hopes to move come folks from the county to the county? You know, where Capitol Concrete is, that moved from east 15th in town.

Yeah, maybe Jones had Farmland in mind, but by the time anything happens there, Jones will be getting ready for the arbor at Brandon Woods or just hanging out downtown with a bunch of aging residents from Hobbs Taylor who are waiting for the grocery store that merrill speaks of, what store is about to happen due to Pacemakers> must have missed that golden apple story.

0

compmd 6 years, 10 months ago

hey kneejerk,

Kalscott Engineering, Kohlman Systems Research, Viking Aerospace, Alligator, Inc. are FOUR. There are more. Learn your city.

0

cowboy 6 years, 10 months ago

see the local no crowd has weighed in , if the city wants to annex everybody , control the growth in the entire county , and control the water supply then they need to put up or shut up on extending sewer and infrastructure .

Just a note , in the last election the lawn mowers , dadas and bozos were soundly defeated , your inane requirements for growth and polyannish knowledge of business is tiring to read. If you like socialist government you might want to consider a future home is say Cuba , Nicaragua ,

0

Keith 6 years, 10 months ago

A large manufacturer will consider Lawrence when we are earning Chinese wages, until then China is the place to go.

0

kneejerkreaction 6 years, 10 months ago

none2, all good thoughts except for the fact that Lawrence City of does little to get to the bottom line of attracting businesses, except talk about it. I can't remember the last serious large manufacturer that considered Lawrence. A build it and they will come doesn't work unless somewhere in the middle there is a plan. Ideas like B. Hibarger's fascination with Lawrence becoming a bioscience mecca is a pipe dream or our City Administrator spending $9,000 expenses to get Lawrence voted in some silly city ranking is nothing more than personal stroking....and we didn't even win stroking rights.

Nope, we don't need a North, South, West or East Hills Business Park without some kind of aggressive plan to fill them up.

0

Tom Shewmon 6 years, 10 months ago

I do believe lunacydetector (chuckle everytime I see his handle) wrapped it up pretty good in his 3:06. What a freaking joke. Loooooooooooney Tuuuuuuuuuuuuuuney.

0

none2 6 years, 10 months ago

Godot, was basically correct that two years ago the survey showed that all recommendations would cost $41 million dollars. Two million dollars is less than 5% of that amount.

Likewise, lots of parking lots will gives us lots less surface area to absorb the water from the north. Some of that perhaps could be mitigated if they insisted that all industrial buildings be multistory as well as all parking be in multilevel parking garages. Of course, that adds a lot to the cost of construction. Furthermore, they really DO need to consider an eastern bypass to run somewhere from near the East Lawrence Industrial Park to the airport. It is just silly how the existing industrial park was located without easy access to the airport. Likewise, a North Lawrence industral park really needs access to K-10.

On the good side, finally North Lawrence wouldn't be ignored as seems to be with the progressives that want to ignore older parts of town unless it is downtown. Though I have a white collar job, I'm not a bigot. As long as a job pays a good salary, what difference does it make if the worker uses his body as well as his mind? We cannot expect to continue to be a prosperous nation if we ship all our industrial jobs off to China or other far corners of the world. We also do need retail in north Lawrence. Sure downtown is nice, but it is just too pricey. Having affordable retail in North Lawrence might also help to increase ridership on the T in this part of town. There would be some where to actually go in this area.

I think it would be best if we could use the old Tanger for the retail. I would agree that it makes no sense to build another retail space when we have one that is practically empty. It is just too bad that we cannot convince Walmart to change their minds. It would be great if they decided to put the second store into North Lawrence.

0

kneejerkreaction 6 years, 10 months ago

"compmd (Anonymous) says:....there are a whole bunch of aerospace companies in Lawrence that would have no use existing in East Hills but would be very happy to have operations on the Lawrence Airport."

Name one.

0

compmd 6 years, 10 months ago

"That is, why would someone locate to the Airport Bus. Park tomorrow when they can locate to one of the many vacancies in the East Hills Bus Park today?"

Because there are a whole bunch of aerospace companies in Lawrence that would have no use existing in East Hills but would be very happy to have operations on the Lawrence Airport.

0

lunacydetector 6 years, 10 months ago

the reason other companies bypass lawrence is because lawrence is a PAIN IN THE *SS to get anything done. too much red tape and too many adversaries - plus the killer - the "living wage" law.

nope, it isn't because lawrence doesn't have 100 acre industrial lots, it's the weirdos who poo-poo everything. the kansas department of commerce (a state agency mind you), doesn't even bring up lawrence to industry looking for places. American Eagle Outfitters, American Eagle Outfitters.....American Eagle Outfitters. i'm sure there are enough Hill's Pet Foods people who live in lawrence and know lawrence - that led to lawrence being bypassed. did i just mention "bypass?" another example of the B.S. put out by the fringe of our community.

lawrence is stigmatized at the behest of the old hippie anti-corporate America control freak crowd.

0

4th_grade_education 6 years, 10 months ago

Or... we spend the $2,000,000 on fixing the roads...

0

nell 6 years, 10 months ago

So we have an industrial area planned on a floodplain. What a great way to get industrial chemicals into our water system.

Of course, this could probably be prevented if appropriate zoning and safety ordinances were in place, but this is unlikely to happen if we keep putting the cement mixer before the impact studies.

0

nell 6 years, 10 months ago

Aren't those 10,000 jobs on the 20-year plan? The plan for which the developer has 1/3 of the floodplain acreage so far... and for which we've heard no strategies for mitigating the host of drainage problems that will be exacerbated by the type of development proposed. All we've heard about is beauty and bike paths and little stores.

The $2M is the developer's estimate of what his infrastructure request will cost, but he's not requesting funds, he's requesting results. Remember the flack, and subsequent cost, in the 90's (?) about west Lawrence storm water problems in areas developed unthoughtfully on wetlands without properly considering drainage impact?

Sounds to me like the project is going to take a lot longer to realize city benefits and cost citizens a lot more than the developers think (or at least what they say they think.) Doesn't mean it shouldn't be done; it just shouldn't be done without thoughtful, conservative planning.

I'm tired of the attitude that developers should barge ahead and apologize later (or not) when the city has to deal with unanticipated consequences.

0

kneejerkreaction 6 years, 10 months ago

erod0723, let's just demand that all building be done in a way using someone's brain and not a shot in the dark using our tax dollars.

Could anyone tell me the chances for success that a new business park at Lawrence International Airputz will have that the East Hills Business Park didn't have? That is, why would someone locate to the Airport Bus. Park tomorrow when they can locate to one of the many vacancies in the East Hills Bus Park today? Maybe we need a business failure on the North end to balance out the one on the South end. As I stated, that's jes fin Les, but don't ask for taxpayers' money.

0

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 10 months ago

Ooh, Godot is now asking questions, too-- does that mean you "oppose" this thing, just like Merrill?

0

erod0723 6 years, 10 months ago

"All building in the Kaw valley should be prohibited. Everything currently in the valley will eventually end up in the Gulf of Mexico. It's stupid to build out there." I wouldn't go that far, but any building should be done in an environmentally sensitive way.

0

gccs14r 6 years, 10 months ago

All building in the Kaw valley should be prohibited. Everything currently in the valley will eventually end up in the Gulf of Mexico. It's stupid to build out there.

0

Godot 6 years, 10 months ago

hawk, I did not tie this together with the economic development Jones had in mind for the county mill increase. My guess is the county mill is for the Farmland deal. But, maybe you are on to something here. I would not favor it if it meant a mill levy increase. The North Lawrence sewer thing was talked about last summer, to the tune of millions and millions of dollars - wasn't it $40,000,000? Wouldn't an industrial park generate some dollars to help pay for that?

0

hawkperchedatriverfront 6 years, 10 months ago

Well, isn't this interesting. A group of "private" developers want to build an industrial park but only a few days ago, Commissioner Jones was wanting a mill levy increase to fund "economic development" opportunities. Why would a mill levy increase be necessary if there are truly private developers? Or are they really private anymore than the public/private partnership that started East Hills, which the public has never been told who the private partners are?

You don't suppose that this airport park thing has been in the works and thus the idea of the Delaware Tribe's proposal for a casino was scalped? The tribe would have paid for sewer improvements.

Ok, another new scheme with another mill levy increase.

An industrial park with North second hardly able to handle the present traffic. What are these guys smoking in the evenings at the Bird?

Better get Union Pacific involved and move the train tracks to north of the airport and KDOT to start buidling the highway from Williamstown to Tonganoxie. Chicks in the Sticks will then be in the sticks.

Sounds great Jess, but who are your investors and how much are they willing to spend? 10,000 jobs.Will these employees ride the T to the park or drive 10,000 cars each day into it?

Please bartender, another budwhysir and put some valium in it, double dose with a touch of rasberry flavoring. This whole idea presented today in the J/W needs some sweetning to it.

0

erod0723 6 years, 10 months ago

I thought this day would never come, but I think I understand what Merrill is saying. Both an economic and environmental impact study are needed to determine: a) if there is sufficient demand for proposed business park; b) if the business park will provide additional revenue streams to the city and county; c) how the proposed business park will affect the environment. At risk of sounding like a hippy, it is important to study how area surrounding the proposed business park will be impacted. This includes not only the ecology of the area, but also the geology of the area. The stability of the ground needs to be determined. Also that needs to be taken into account in an impact study is how anticipated traffic will affect the area. This is vitally important because the roads may begin to degrade at a rapid pace, or the area around the proposed business park may become highly congested and undesirable for both current and future occupants of the area.

0

Richard Heckler 6 years, 10 months ago

The SLT is in a flood plain and this is in a flood plain. What is the developers attraction to construction in flood plains? The developers create problems for themselves.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/17579886/

http://www.ci.lawrence.ks.us/planning/documents/floodplainregs_final.pdf

0

kneejerkreaction 6 years, 10 months ago

Jes,

Maybe you can get the old business plan to East Hills Business Park. Then just do the opposite of whatever they came up with and you might have a chance of this working. All we need is another silent business park.

Please don't ask taxpayers to help out.

0

Sigmund 6 years, 10 months ago

Putting in and maintaining basic infrastructure is what governments are supposed to do. Micro management of the economy and every single breath that any citizen takes is not the function of governments, at least non-fascist ones. Allow the merrill's and bozo's in this community to control your lives and pocket books and you are voluntarily subjecting yourself local home grown totalitarianism, but totalitarianism nonetheless. Even benevolent dictatorships are dictatorships.

0

deec 6 years, 10 months ago

They may "attempt" to alleviate drainage issues in north Lawrence. However, if you are paving an open area which often has standing water, you will also cause more flooding downstream. Most of the fields in the area have old goosenecks and low areas. It seems nonsensical to attempt to alleviate current flooding issues by creating more opportunities for runoff.

0

Godot 6 years, 10 months ago

deec and Merrill should re-read the article, having missed this:

"The Santalaurias.....committed to build an extensive stormwater detention area that would attempt to divert a significant amount of drainage that runs through North Lawrence."

Sounds to me like Merrill wants to turn this into another SLT fiasco.

0

Godot 6 years, 10 months ago

"Godot simplistic worldview summed pretty succinctly- all the city has to do is provide a $2 million sewer upgrade, and, voila, 10,000 new jobs."

Providing sewer service is one of the few things that city government is expected to do. $2 million in sewer service plus millions and millions in private money and private expertise, with no involvement by the city other than to make sure the project meets code; no city hired architects, no city hired consultants, no city hired administrator, and no advisory board to screw up the project.

Here are citizens who are willing to take a risk, put up their own money, and, utilizing their own brain power and experience, do something that will help the community, as well as help themselves. I hope this works, I hope it goes well, and good luck to them.

0

Sigmund 6 years, 10 months ago

The 30% over built retail number WAS the desired result. It offered a political cover to oppose Wal-Mart or any business that might compete with Les Merc (3 PLC Kommissioners) or downtown Lawrence (the 2 remaining Kommissioners). It was a waste of money no matter who supported it. The problem is that the "results" of these studies are easily manipulated to come to any conclusion desired by the funder of the study.

They are like "expert witnesses" in court trials, pay enough money and hired guns will come to any conclusion you want. These "experts" are not dispassionate scientists who attempt to put their biases aside, they are ideological advocates who will spin their selected facts, ignoring evidence to the contrary, to come to recommendations that fit their existing ideology.

0

Richard Heckler 6 years, 10 months ago

deec (Anonymous) says: That whole area is on a flood plain. How will development affect the residents in North Lawrence?

Good question! a detailed environmental impact study(FEIS) should accompany this project.

0

erod0723 6 years, 10 months ago

"Santaularia also said he likely would request some financial assistance from the city and county to extend infrastructure - mainly sewer service - to the site." If you want to build this business park, do it without City or County money. The city should not be subsidizing your business risk.

0

deec 6 years, 10 months ago

That whole area is on a flood plain. How will development affect the residents in North Lawrence?

0

Richard Heckler 6 years, 10 months ago

The entire city commission supported the study and Placemakers was at the request of Mayor Hack. I believe the 30% over saturation number simply because negative reports are seldom the desired result. Residential received an over built rating as well. Overall this group earned their money and left behind some very good ideas. You now see a downtown grocery store about to bloom before your very eyes.

The $67,000 study performed for PLAY probably returned a negative. Impact studies are reasonable tools to apply whether it be environmental,traffic,retail/economic or residential.

0

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 10 months ago

Will they pull a rabbit out of their hat, too, Sigmund? Or will that cost another $2 million?

0

Sigmund 6 years, 10 months ago

$2,000,000 in sewer upgrades in exchange for a potential 10,000 jobs is better than anything I have seen from any of the Smart Growth crowd. Nobody is going to voluntarily invest any significant capital in North Lawrence without sewer upgrades, unless merrill and PlaceMakers have a taxpayer funded urban planning study for Venice style gondola friendly residential caves that I am unaware of.

Sewer upgrades for North Lawrence will benefit North Lawrence regardless of the current business park plan. This improvement to the infrastructure will help to attract other private investors to North Lawrence. Without it North Lawrence will continue to experience "Smart Growth," also known as economic stagnation.

0

Sigmund 6 years, 10 months ago

I was unaware that the idiotic $250,000 PlaceMaker study, which believes a downtown grocery was feasible based upon a failed downtown Portland model, was not a taxpayer funded study. http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2007/feb...

0

Sigmund 6 years, 10 months ago

Were residential pedestrian friendly caves also a "hot issue" at your planning conference?

0

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 10 months ago

"$2,000,000 in sewer upgrades in exchange for a potential 10,000 jobs."

Godot simplistic worldview summed pretty succinctly-- all the city has to do is provide a $2 million sewer upgrade, and, voila, 10,000 new jobs.

0

Sigmund 6 years, 10 months ago

How do I know what recent retail sales are in Lawrence, Olathe and Topeka? By looking at what those entities reported as their sales tax revenues.

http://www.topeka.org/pdfs/06Revenue_Estimation.pdf http://www.olatheks.org/Egov/docs/06_budget/Introduction.pdf http://www.lawrenceks.org/budget2007/cityoflawrenceks2007budget.pdf

0

Richard Heckler 6 years, 10 months ago

It is my belief that caves are energy efficient...

0

Sigmund 6 years, 10 months ago

The future, being non-linear and unpredictable, always has more questions than answers. The chaotic and complex nature of the future is exactly why expensive studies are limited in their predictive ability and their usefulness are invariably outweighed by their costs. Requiring every possible question be answered before anything gets approval, the hallmark of inefficient bureaucracies everywhere, is a recipe for doing nothing new, ever. Progress requires risk taking and it is only AFTER the fact that experts can successfully pompously proclaim how the success or failure of a new project "was inevitable."

I continue to be amazed that anyone would try and do anything in this community when so many do-nothing-know-it-alls can prevent even the smallest bit of growth, competition to existing businesses, or threat to the status quo. If it had been up to merrill and his kind humans would still be living in caves.

0

Richard Heckler 6 years, 10 months ago

"Sigmund (Anonymous) says: "Merrill is completely insane. " Perhaps...

"Lawrence is NOT 30% over saturated in retail, Lawrence is losing retail sales to Topeka and KC. Both of those areas are seeing increased rates of retail sales taxes and Lawrence a decrease."

How do you know Lawrence is experiencing a decrease in sales taxes?

"With every post it should be more and more obvious to Lawrencian's that he and his socialist buddies have successfully stunted Lawrence growth"

When has Lawrence not experienced growth? in the last 25 years? Perhaps it has not been tax revenue generating growth(housing) however growth has been approved each year.

"How many taxpayer funded studies"

Actually the developer/ applicants should fund the studies as is normal procedure in other communities. One retail/economic impact study is typical per new development as it should be. Thinking that all new development is good is a myth so I read.

I would bet that Lawrence shoppers have been shopping Topeka and KCMO metro for fifty years. Lawrence cannot be Topeka and KCMO retail for the retail dollars are not here thus selection and pricing cannot be the same. Lawrence should probably encourage sales tax for online sales to help increase revenue.

Yesterday I viewed a process for a rehab project in Rosedale(KCK) in which connecting towns/neighborhoods have much input into the process. Not only that must meet a host of city ordinances. This gathering had 3 mayors and several elected neighborhood commissioners each supporting future plans of their respective communities such as pedestrian friendliness. Pedestrian friendliness seems like a very hot issue. This project will be on the table for months before final approval will be granted. In fact the rehab applicant/property owner must return with some new options plus far more details before it ever gets to the planning board and then to the final approval process of the ultimate governing body who also can make demands.

0

Tom Shewmon 6 years, 10 months ago

'He didn't say he was against it."- bozo

It has an "I'm against it" tone.

0

Godot 6 years, 10 months ago

$2,000,000 in sewer upgrades in exchange for a potential 10,000 jobs. Not bad. We spend more than that every year on the T, and the only jobs it creates is T drivers and one very expensive administrator.

Of course, Merrill and Bozo will argue that if 10,000 jobs are created, that will cause a need for more housing and more infrastructure, and those jobs might be (gasp!) Blue Collar, causing irreparable damage to the esoteric cultural mix of Lawrence.

0

b3 6 years, 10 months ago

This sounds like a very good idea to bring some decent jobs to Lawrence.

0

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 10 months ago

Merrill is right-- there are more questions than answers with this proposal-- and anyone with minimal reading comprehension could see that that is all he said. He didn't say he was against it.

If this goes through, I say sell them the airport.

0

Tom Shewmon 6 years, 10 months ago

Will this meet the fate of Wal-Mart at the hands of the crowd Sigmund referenced? This is a good thing---build it.

0

Dambudzo 6 years, 10 months ago

We need the area to grow corn.

0

Sigmund 6 years, 10 months ago

Merrill is completely insane. Lawrence is NOT 30% over saturated in retail, Lawrence is losing retail sales to Topeka and KC. Both of those areas are seeing INCREASED rates of retail sales taxes and Lawrence a DECREASE. Even merrill's bankrupt ex-mayor ex-Kommissioner grocery clerk buddy has better sense than to open a grocery store in North Lawrence or downtown, yet he continues to whine.

Merrill is opposed to anything that has the Prospect to benefit anyone except himself, Le Merc, or his East Lawrence neighborhood. With every post it should be more and more obvious to Lawrencian's that he and his socialist buddies have successfully stunted Lawrence growth to their benefit and harming the rest of Lawrence in the process.

How large must our budget deficits grow, how potholed must our streets become, how many million dollar roundabouts must we navigate, how many empTy buses polluting our air, how many shelters full of homeless, how many taxpayer funded studies before Lawrence realize his extremist ideology is really nothing more than narcissistic selfishness bordering on insanity?

0

Richard Heckler 6 years, 10 months ago

Like the tax increase proposals this lacks details.

0

Godot 6 years, 10 months ago

I just left the breakfast table, telling spouse, "I've got to see who is coming down on the negative side of this project."

Needless to say, I am not surprised. Merrill's short-sigtedness is breathtaking, i.e., suffocating.

0

Richard Heckler 6 years, 10 months ago

Before Lawrence decides to spend two million dollars for new infrastructure taxpayers need facts.

  • Lawrence does not need more lower income jobs so what has been researched. Light "Green Collar" industrial is where the money is so I read. Lawrence needs skilled and white collar "Green Collar" industry type jobs. A detailed economic impact study is necessary to discover what's in it for the taxpayers and to get a feel for what exactly is being brought on line. Who will be the tenants? The Lawrence area is still 30% over saturated in retail no matter where new retail wants to be built therefore very careful selections must be made. Where is the market?
  • As more or less suggested a detailed environmental impact study should accompany this project
  • This will increase the Cost of Community Services to all taxpayers
  • North Lawrence has been requesting a grocery store and a hardware store not mention Tanger Mall is still not helping local taxpayers much. There are gas stations in North Lawrence.
  • 25 years of expanding the tax base has mostly be done on a whim without necessary studies that provide economic facts and taxes have been raised all along the way mostly through inflated property values.
  • Empty buildings do not pay off for the taxpayers.
  • A new fire station will be billed to taxpayers
0

Reality_Check 6 years, 10 months ago

Great idea. I proposed it to the airport advisory board 21 years ago and they looked at me with a blank stare.

Would like to see a rail spur off the UP tracks added to the mix if possible. Reason being that, as diesel fuel gets more and more expensive, OTR trucking won't make sense for distances greater than 150 mi. and America will be forced to return to rail shipping for the vast amount of its goods.

0

Commenting has been disabled for this item.