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


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.


justtired 9 years ago

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

Oracle_of_Rhode 9 years 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.

wysiwyg69 9 years 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.

LogicMan 9 years ago

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

Kam_Fong_as_Chin_Ho 9 years 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.

Laura Watkins 9 years ago

trust me, thad and the ECM are NOT relocating.

Nick Combs 9 years 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.

newsreader 9 years 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...

average 9 years ago

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

Kat Christian 9 years 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

KU_Dude 9 years 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.

Jonathan Allison 9 years ago

How did ECM affect hard liquor sales at The Crossing?

that_will_do_pig 9 years 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.

thelonious 9 years 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?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 9 years 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.

KU_Dude 9 years ago

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

Laura Watkins 9 years 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.

blackwalnut 9 years 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.

toefungus 9 years 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.

FormerCentralKansan 9 years 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.

Wilbur_Nether 9 years ago

cool, please don't feed the trolls.

Richard Heckler 9 years 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.

Laura Watkins 9 years 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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