To the editor:
As a licensed contractor by the city of Lawrence - currently working in Leavenworth - the Sunday headline in the Journal-World, "Building bust," comes as no surprise. I have built over 600 single-family units and multi-family units in Lawrence over the last 37 years. I've always attempted to build "affordable" housing. Can't do it anymore.
If you take a $40,000 lot (if you can find one) and build a 1,600-square-foot house at $100/square foot, you're at $200,000. Add on 6 percent for the Realtor and 10 percent for the builder (if he's lucky) and you're at $225,000. I sold the same thing 15 years ago for $89,900 and made money. What's going on? We've lost our way. Dorothy, we're not in Kansas anymore!
I've got an idea. Lawrence needs inexpensive single-family lots. Jes Santaularia wants to put in a business park. The fairgrounds wants to expand. The county wants to buy the Farmland property and turn it into a business park. The Pine family wants to sell their agricultural ground.
OK, let's see. County buys Farmland ground from bankruptcy court. County sells ground to Santaularia. County takes proceeds and buys Pine ground and moves fairgrounds. Access to I-70 and all kinds of new ideas abound. County sells fairgrounds land to local developers who proceed to put in affordable housing. County builds new fairgrounds with everything they want. Santaularia builds a business park. Most of the infrastructure is already in place. Seems like everyone would win, but again, this is Lawrence: