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Archive for Friday, November 9, 2007

Oread Inn developers have eye on ECM

Owner of building has no plans to sell just yet

November 9, 2007

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Businessmen behind Oread Inn desire another property purchase

The businessmen behind the proposed Oread Inn want to purchase another piece of property at 12th St. and Oread Ave. Enlarge video

KU students pass by the Ecumenical Christian Ministries building, 1204 Oread Ave., Thursday. The group that is planning the Oread Inn at 12th and Oread Avenue would like to buy the ECM building. At far left in foreground is one of eight Lawrence Peace Poles.

KU students pass by the Ecumenical Christian Ministries building, 1204 Oread Ave., Thursday. The group that is planning the Oread Inn at 12th and Oread Avenue would like to buy the ECM building. At far left in foreground is one of eight Lawrence Peace Poles.

The businessmen behind the proposed Oread Inn would like to purchase another piece of property at the intersection of 12th Street and Oread Avenue.

This time, they have their sights on the Ecumenical Christian Ministries building.

For now, however, ECM is committed to renovating its building. "We're not selling or relocating yet," said campus minister Thad Holcombe. "We know we're not going to relocate. We're leaning toward renovations and bringing the building up to modern standards."

Holcombe said the building needs about $700,000 worth of work, including new kitchens, new bathrooms and, possibly, new windows. The building also needs air conditioning.

"We're fitted for air conditioning, but the compressor is from the 1960s," Holcombe said. "It's a museum piece. It looks like a nuclear bomb. There's no way we can fix that."

He said ECM would rely on funding from sponsor congregations and regional organizations, as well as donations from community members. Grants could also be available. Holcombe said renovations probably wouldn't start for five years.

Should the renovation option fall through - or if there are more repairs than ECM can handle - the Gene Fritzel Co. has offered to buy ECM's land. The development company would construct a new building on the ECM tract, and ECM could move into that building. It's unclear how large that building would be and whether ECM would be the only occupant. But, Holcombe said, that would decrease the space from about 18,000 square feet to 7,000 square feet.

"This isn't just a building," Holcombe said. "Our board feels very strongly that this is a community here."

Seven students live in the ECM basement.

Holcombe said it was his understanding the development company was interested in the ECM property for two reasons.

One, the hotel plan calls for realigning Oread Avenue so it and 12th Street intersect at a 90-degree angle, rather than diagonally. The plan also calls for taking some right of way in front of the houses and Oread Apartments opposite the ECM. Also, he speculated, the ECM's 1960s-style architecture won't fit with the Oread Inn's architecture.

Comments

Laura Watkins 6 years, 5 months ago

ihatejohntravolta (Anonymous) says: cool (Anonymous) says: ECM is not part of the proposed redevelopment at this time. where did this story come from ?

cool, fritzel has attended board meetings for the ECM to propose this development. he instigated this.

Tom Fritzel told me this morning in a meeting with LAN that he had not gone to ECM that they had approached him.

--- well, then tom fritzel is lying to you.

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Wilbur_Nether 6 years, 5 months ago

cool, please don't feed the trolls.

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Richard Heckler 6 years, 5 months ago

The problem is in City Hall and the Chamber of Commerce. That's where the approval takes place ..... get rid of the city commissioners and their special interest groups. Demand resignations due to back door deals. Recall petitiions may well be in order.

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FormerCentralKansan 6 years, 5 months ago

From what I've heard, the University is going to stay out of this for the most part. They absolutely love the idea of a nice hotel so close to campus. Football game traffic, conferences at the Kansas Union, and just having visitors staying so close to campus is good news for them. Bad news for everyone else though. The more I live around this area, the more I realize how everything for Lawrence is "for sale" if you have enough money. History means nothing and the voting public doesn't mean squat either.

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cool 6 years, 5 months ago

WHO is this ding-ding ?

hawkperchedatriverfront (Anonymous) says: But where is the neighborhood commercial area now in the area? NONE! What neighborhood commercial would you want? Do put any in, there would have to be rezoning which would only be fought by the likes of cool and gang:..

I say, bulldoze the whole side of the hill, east west, north and south and rebuild something really interesting. Time for God to strike his/her wrath with mother nature. This fixation of saving these old "historic"houses has gone beyond common sense!

NO ONE has mentioned saving the houses as a reason to stop the hotel/condo block. Mount Oread Historic Trust has mentioned that the new proposal has less retail & commercial space than the total of the existing buildings being removed from the site.

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spywell 6 years, 5 months ago

These old homes have been here for 130 to 150 years. Everything thats built today will be torn down in 40 years. These new house in west Lawrence are showing signs of foundation cracking after three years.

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hawkperchedatriverfront 6 years, 5 months ago

Francisco supports the hotel as do many of the few owners in the area because they have figured out that the current status quo is going to lead to further decline. The whole hill from the top to 9th to Mass to 19th to Iowa needs reborn. Sewage flows downhill and the best place is to start at the top and remove the waste. Do not let it clog up the drains downhill. roto rooter please!!!!!!1

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hawkperchedatriverfront 6 years, 5 months ago

But where is the neighborhood commercial area now in the area? NONE! What neighborhood commercial would you want? Do put any in, there would have to be rezoning which would only be fought by the likes of cool and gang.....

I say, bulldoze the whole side of the hill, east west, north and south and rebuild something really interesting. Time for God to strike his/her wrath with mother nature. This fixation of saving these old "historic"houses has gone beyond common sense!

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toefungus 6 years, 5 months ago

Swan, you are correct. I feel all to often I am standing around watching something burn when I should be doing something about it. Did we just wear out in the 60's and 70's, or did we allow consumerism to creep into our lives? I think we should nick name this new building the The Great Gatsby Inn.

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swan_diver 6 years, 5 months ago

Where the hell is the voice of ONE so-called community leader or elected official in Douglas County, in regard to this patently vulgar whites-only hotel / condo / bar proposal? I note that State Senator Francisco has signed off on it quite publicly, ostensibly on behalf of her KU bosses. But where are our political leaders hiding, when such a destructive project is being shopped around for public subsidies, for private profit?

There's not even a single square foot of neighborhood commercial space proposed for this sorry structure -- supported by the Oread Neighborhood Association? It's all about wealthy absentee KU alumni -- and the corporate pirates they swing with.

Lawrence is a community that is in a very sharp economic and cultural decline. There's no better evidence of this fact than the range of scandals and scams emanating from 'city hall' and their private clients -- and the absolute silence of the sorry pack of losers we've all elected to public office in Douglas County.

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blackwalnut 6 years, 5 months ago

All deals should be off and all plans halted until a thorough investigation of Hack and the Deciphera deal has been completed.

It seems certain Hack is not the only corrupt apple on the city commission.

I do not trust these commissioners with Lawrence's planning, laws or money.

Recall Hack, and investigate the others too.

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cool 6 years, 5 months ago

Garden City ? well "at least you can smell the money there ! " a favorite quote of my late great uncle Art Parrish from Garden City by the way.

so are planning on buying a condo in the hotel ?

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its_getting_warmer 6 years, 5 months ago

Cool indicates he never worked on a GAP store in Denver. If I implied that, I apologize.

I know his GAP store was in that enclave of Colorado normality:... elitist Aspen. http://www.ecologicalarch.com/projects.p:

Cool probably fits in quite well in Lawrence, on second thought.

But if you get tired of the traffic, Cool, Garden City would welcome you. But a warning: the water and the electrical generation is much cleaner than you are used to in Colorado or Lawrence.

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cool 6 years, 5 months ago

ihatejohntravolta (Anonymous) says: cool (Anonymous) says: ECM is not part of the proposed redevelopment at this time. where did this story come from ?

cool, fritzel has attended board meetings for the ECM to propose this development. he instigated this.

Tom Fritzel told me this morning in a meeting with LAN that he had not gone to ECM that they had approached him.

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cool 6 years, 5 months ago

its_getting_warmer (Anonymous) says:

oops warm brain --- never worked on a GAP in Denver, so sorry.

Fritzel only plans two retail spaces in the HOTEL/CONDO block one about 1000 sq. ft. one 1800 sq. ft. both too small for GAP maybe you should talk to the Fritzels....about your suggestions.

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Laura Watkins 6 years, 5 months ago

cool (Anonymous) says: ECM is not part of the proposed redevelopment at this time. where did this story come from ?

cool, fritzel has attended board meetings for the ECM to propose this development. he instigated this.

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its_getting_warmer 6 years, 5 months ago

Cool, the elitist Aspen architect, who has done little professionally other than build Denver sprawl and GAP stores, now tells Lawrence how to do it right.

http://www.ecologicalarch.com/projects.php

Maybe we should have a GAP store in the new hotel?

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cool 6 years, 5 months ago

maybe a possible micro-brewery in the hotel could be part owned by ECM and have ECM Beer ?

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cool 6 years, 5 months ago

what about the new fire station at 19th & Iowa?

max1 (Anonymous) says: it is against the guidelines of the hysterical resources commission. Futuristic architecture is forbidden in the core of the city, and don't expect any futuristic architecture going up in Lawrence anywhere, because the kind of crap our braindead architects design for the city's outskirts, where there are no limits to a building's appearance, still looks like this: http://www2.ljworld.com/photos/2006/aug/:

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cool 6 years, 5 months ago

MAX 1: they may have had density but not this heighth !

the site of Yellow Sub & Crossing was CNI 35 ft/, neighborhood commercial the remainder of the 3/4 acre hotel was RM32 , 45ft. ht. ,now changed to high rise commercial and 95 ft. tall.

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max1 6 years, 5 months ago

"Does anyone really Consider this a residential neighborhood size hotel?"

http://www.lawrenceks.org/EServFiles/2001Minutes/072401.html Furthermore, most of the Oread neighborhood was zoned RD (Residential Dormitory) per the City of Lawrence Zoning Ordinance which allowed the highest density residential uses in the City.

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KU_Dude 6 years, 5 months ago

You're now comparing a multi-story hotel with a one story urban sprawl Wal-Mart. Classic.

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max1 6 years, 5 months ago

"It has never responded to height, scale or massing issues in a historic neighborhood" -cool

http://www2.ljworld.com/onthestreet/2007/nov/09/mos_wine/

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cool 6 years, 5 months ago

good news ?

would FREESTATE add a location ?

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cool 6 years, 5 months ago

parking garage is 200 spaces on 4 levels.

old zoning was CNI (neighborhood commercial) & RM32 medium density residential. with 35 and 45 ft. height limits respectively.

new zoning is PCD2 95 feet high above 12th, taller on north site boundary.

land area .749 acres / 32,604 sq. ft.

parking required 167 / provided is 200 bicycle rack required 5, provided 10 bikes (2 racks).

TIF funding will pay for approximate $6million garage. NO cost to city since owner is placing BOND for project financing etc. i cannot explain TIF / tax collection consequences.

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cool 6 years, 5 months ago

The top two full floors of condo remain as proposed. really there has been no response to the expressed concerns about this building by HRC. It has never responded to height, scale or massing issues in a historic neighborhood -- and remains essentially as Originally proposed, actually with a larger footprint to the north.

The room count has gone up to now approximately 92 or more rooms and an indeterminate number of condos on the two upper floors - the submittal indicates 14 condominiums....

The building is now 238 feet in length facing Indiana. and as before 95 ft tall above 12th. Does anyone really Consider this a residential neighborhood size hotel ?

The parking garage and hotel together actually total 216,000 sq. ft. This is the size of TWO WAL-MARTS ! But at 12th & Oread ? It's big folks!

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max1 6 years, 5 months ago

"It's not zoned single family, so registration is not required." -just_another_bozo_on_this_bus

Oh, I see -- not yet anyway.

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max1 6 years, 5 months ago

"how about redesigning the HOTEL to be more modern?" -cool

You of all people should know the answer to that -- it is against the guidelines of the hysterical resources commission. Futuristic architecture is forbidden in the core of the city, and don't expect any futuristic architecture going up in Lawrence anywhere, because the kind of crap our braindead architects design for the city's outskirts, where there are no limits to a building's appearance, still looks like this: http://www2.ljworld.com/photos/2006/a...

"does Candace Davis plan to have Thad register his rental units in the basement?" -hawkperchedatriverfront "It's not zoned single family, so registration is not required." -just_another_bozo_on_this_bus

Who said the proposed inspections were limited to "single family" zoning? There are entire stretches of the Oread Neighborhood that are zoned, commercial-residential dormitory. The zoning for the house shown in this picture is commercial-residential dormitory: http://www2.ljworld.com/photos/2007/mar/24/119956/ Candice Davis, Lawrence, is lobbying for a new rental registration program in the city. Davis, a landlord and member of the Lawrence Association of Neighborhoods, believes a rental registration program could have saved an Oread Neighborhood house like the one behind Davis at 1019 Ky., for which a demolition permit is being sought.

http://www.lawrenceks.org/EServFiles/2001Minutes/072401.html Furthermore, most of the Oread neighborhood was zoned RD (Residential Dormitory) per the City of Lawrence Zoning Ordinance which allowed the highest density residential uses in the City.

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spywell 6 years, 5 months ago

Bowhunter99:

"is it your property? no...so stop using the word 'we", 'us', ect when it comes to it. Mind your own business.

Well, Bowhunter99, its like this. I live near the project with in 250 feet. I'm, going to make it my business to stop this project one way or another. Fritz co, any of the investors, Marci Francisco, ONA, City Commission or planning crooks that are supporting the hotel project, are people of interest who should be investigated for coruption. However, their doing a really good job of defeating themself. Lol.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 5 months ago

"does Candace Davis plan to have Thad register his rental units in the basement?"

It's not zoned single family, so registration is not required.

"However, it has been a defunct operation for decades."

What does that mean?

"The noise ordinance is not enforced at that place when parties occur."

Yea, they really throw some wild parties up there.

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cool 6 years, 5 months ago

the ECM content of this story is in a way a distraction from the main issues of the HOTEL & CONDO block. it is really not a tower.

the community should ask rather:

is it too large and too much parking for this site & intersection ? since it did not meet HRC requirements should the design as proposed even continue to receive approvals ? or be built without being down-sized ? approximately 100 hotel rooms plus two floors of condominiums ?

THE TIF is also a distraction from the real issues of fitting appropriately to the site and neighborhood.

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cool 6 years, 5 months ago

ECM is not part of the proposed redevelopment at this time.

where did this story come from ?

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hawkperchedatriverfront 6 years, 5 months ago

Who really cares about whether there is a hotel or not and as far as ECM, does Candace Davis plan to have Thad register his rental units in the basement?

This whole thing is out of control and all because there are no leaders in the community. People with real money would just step in a pay to remodel ECM. However, it has been a defunct operation for decades. The noise ordinance is not enforced at that place when parties occur.

As for the design of the hotel, I have always been amazed that such an ugly design did result. This town is hung up on buildings looking like civil war relics. Could God strike this place just once with a tornado. Quantrill could never do what mother nature could do in one hour.

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thelonious 6 years, 5 months ago

Looks like "Don Corleone" Fritzel is at it again.....the Fritzel gang needs to be stopped. They are wreaking havoc all over town - trying to take the downtown post office site for their public/private new library proposal (looks to be dead for now, mercifully), running out Yellow Sub for a hotel project that isn't economically feasible (supposedly) without a tax break, now this. Lawrence citizens need to flood the city commission with complaints about how heavy-handed the Fritzel's are. Oh, and not to forget, they had all of that blasting done two years ago near Monterey and Stetson so they could develop the next phase of Fall Creek Farms (grand total of 1 house started in two years), after that I had to pay $12,000 this summer to fix my foundation, and three neighbors nearest the blasting had to replace their sewer connections, which had all mysteriously collapsed. There are also driveways buckling and heaving (even Stetson Drive itself in one spot) all up and down Stetson Drive, all of which happened within 18 months of the (unnecessary) blasting. Coincidence - I think not. That 12k I spent came right out of my pocket and went straight into Gene Fritzel's in the form of the $$$ he saved by blasting rather than breaking the rock manually. Makes perfect sense - he's a mutimillionaire and I am just a wage-earner.

I was "in his way" - and so are the downtown post office, Yellow Sub, ECM, a piece of a downtown parking lot that they "needed" for one of their buildings they were renovating, and who knows what else. This is just disgusting the way our city commission bows down to the Fritzel's - it is so bad, even Dolph Simons and the LJW have editorialized aginst their plans. Now that is something.

What I want to know is, what kind of hidden economic interest do any of our city commissioners have in any of the Fritzel companies? How about looking into that, LJW?

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offtotheright 6 years, 5 months ago

No that will not effect it!

All of you complainers should buy out the project, then YOU will be the owner and will be able to build what you would like!

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that_will_do_pig 6 years, 5 months ago

The Crossing is a beer-only establishment that has to close at midnight due to its proximity to the ECM. That's a good question I hadn't thought about, will that effect the hotel at all? Maybe that's another driving force in all of this... This project really is getting to be sadder and sadder.

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Jonathan Allison 6 years, 5 months ago

How did ECM affect hard liquor sales at The Crossing?

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KU_Dude 6 years, 5 months ago

cool (Anonymous) says:

how about redesigning the HOTEL to be more modern ?


Let me get this straight.

First you don't want the hotel because it would ruin the historic environs and now you would like the hotel to look more modern? It sounds to me like you're changing your stance on this whole area.

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Kat Christian 6 years, 5 months ago

This is getting out of control now. First it was the hotel and they took THAT corner now they want to take another corner. GREEDY

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cool 6 years, 5 months ago

how about redesigning the HOTEL to be more modern ?

maybe that is a way to make the hotel look better. ECM is harmless.

ECM is not the 800 lb gorilla ! it is a relatively small harmless building.

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cool 6 years, 5 months ago

certainly some parking for ECM could be made available in the HOTEL ?

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cool 6 years, 5 months ago

not sure how ECM affects hard liquor sales at the proposed HOTEL or CONDO tower ?

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cool 6 years, 5 months ago

hey hey hey instead of Gidieon Bibles in the hotel rooms maybe ECM could be part owner of the hotel as part of the negotiation ?

the top floor ? owned by ECM ? providing a permanent revenue stream for ECM as just compensation ?

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average 6 years, 5 months ago

Actually, the Oread Inn blends very nicely with the mishmash that is the union and "Parking Facility Number 2".

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newsreader 6 years, 5 months ago

The ECM doesn't fit with the Hotels architecture? Perhaps they should have matched the hotel to the ECM... it was there first...

are they going to tear down all the homes and apartments around the hotel too because it doesn't match?? The Union problably won't match either, best tear that down too...

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MacHeath 6 years, 5 months ago

Tell me what the hell on campus, or around it, does fit with the planned hotel architecture? Fritzel wants to buy it to help out the ECM? Want a self-serving, piece of magnanimity our boy Gene Fritzel is.

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Nick Combs 6 years, 5 months ago

A little funding for ECM might go a long way towards this being put to rest...yes, I'm looking at all of you that have attended ECM over the years...time to dig in your pockets and help support this program.

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Laura Watkins 6 years, 5 months ago

trust me, thad and the ECM are NOT relocating.

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Kam_Fong_as_Chin_Ho 6 years, 5 months ago

How will they pay for it? I thought they lacked funds for the Oread Inn and were looking to the taxpayers for help. Economics 101: If you can't afford it, don't try to buy it. Imagine walking into a Jaguar dealership with $200 in your pocket and trying to buy a car. Common sense says you'll be riding the bus back home.

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LogicMan 6 years, 5 months ago

I hope the KUEA is looking at that property too ... and the ones across the street. Or maybe they already have RoFRs?

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wysiwyg69 6 years, 5 months ago

sounds to me that thad just called out his relocating price. he will get a new church built on a friz owned piece of land for less than a remodle and current property value.

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Oracle_of_Rhode 6 years, 5 months ago

The ECM is a Lawrence treasure. These greedy developers want to stomp on Christians and spiritual students. Let's put an end to this nightmare on the Hill.

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Bowhunter99 6 years, 5 months ago

is it your property? no... so stop using the words 'we', 'us', etc when it comes to it. Mind your own business.

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spywell 6 years, 5 months ago

Don't sell the church, we need to stop this project now. Make them change there plans to a different location. There a half cocked group of developers and don't deserve any concession form the city or anyone in the neiborhood. We should fight this hotel project all the way into federal court.

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justtired 6 years, 5 months ago

leave this alone.it is bad enough they want the hill--leave the little people alone.

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