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Archive for Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Oread Inn wins approval from city

February 13, 2008

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A large-scale hotel is far better than a large-scale apartment complex being built on the edge of the Kansas University campus, city commissioners agreed Tuesday.

Commissioners at their weekly meeting unanimously approved the Oread Inn project - a seven-story, $37 million hotel project slated for the area near 12th and Indiana streets.

The project received nearly an hour's worth of public comment - including strong support from the business community but concerns from historic preservationists. In the end, though, commissioners approved the project after determining it would improve the prospects of the adjacent Oread neighborhood.

"What is probable if this (hotel) project doesn't happen is a high-density residential apartment development," City Commissioner Rob Chestnut said of the site that was the former home of The Crossing bar and a Yello Sub restaurant. "I think that would be the absolute worst-case scenario for the neighborhood. It would exacerbate a problem that the neighborhood has already told us they are worried about."

Commissioners also unanimously said they were comfortable with allowing the project to use future tax revenues generated by the project to help pay for parking, street improvements and other infrastructure projects in the area. Commissioners approved the use of tax increment financing and a transportation development district after being assured by a city-hired consultant that the city does not face any financial risk if the project did not live up to financial projections.

"There's a lot of risk there, but the developers are shouldering the risk and you have to give them some credit for that," David MacGillivray, a consultant with the Springsted financial consulting group, told the city.

Under the deal that commissioners were briefed Tuesday, the development group - which is led by members of the Gene Fritzel Construction Co. - would privately finance the entire $37 million project, including about $11 million in costs for parking and public infrastructure improvements.

The development group then would be repaid - potentially - for the $11 million in parking and infrastructure improvements through new sales and property taxes generated by the hotel project. The deal also would allow the developers to be repaid for their interest costs on the $11 million worth of improvements.

But the city consultants estimate that the tax revenues won't come close to paying for the full $11 million worth of projects. Instead, the consultants estimate the tax revenues only will pay for about $6 million of the cost. The remaining $5 million and interest costs would be paid for by the developer.

The project - expected to have 92 hotel rooms and 14 condominium units - received large scale support from business leaders in the Lawrence Chamber of Commerce who told commissioners that the project would be a valuable addition to the community during tough economic times.

"This is the most significant infill development in the community in years, and it is great that it is locally driven," said Cindy Yulich of Emprise Bank, a member of the chamber's board of directors.

The project is expected to employ about 200 people and pay about $40 million in wages during a 20 year period, developers said. A large part of its business plan is to attract new conferences and other events that want to be close to the Kansas University campus.

Historic preservationists, though, said the design of the building was flawed. Some said it didn't do enough to fit in with the historic neighborhood. Dennis Domer, a faculty member of KU's School of Architecture, said the design of the building - based on 1700s English architecture - isn't appropriate for what will be a landmark building in the city.

"We deserve architecture that would stand the test of time," Domer said. "That would call for a contemporary building."

Tuesday's approval was a major step for the project, but county commissioners and school board members now have 30 days to veto the project's use of tax increment financing.

Comments

Kookamooka 6 years, 10 months ago

In all honesty, Lawrence doesn't have enough hotel rooms to support really big events. There are also not enough cool venues for wedding receptions and/or conventions. Having a hotel close to campus will make it possible for the University to host conferences and conventions that are more than one day long.

It also kind of resembles OLD Frasier Hall, which is nice.

As long as there is an underground bar called the Crossing that invites college students in to drink regularly, I'm all for it!

Richard Heckler 6 years, 10 months ago

Locally owned is good. Bank letter of credit is good.

Landscaping can make all of the difference in the world as to how this blends with the surroundings. The Fritzel people are not afraid of landscaping so likely will come out looking quite beautiful.

Historic Preservation is worth money to communities like Lawrence.

If Lawrence does not want to lose existing hotels/motels then Lawrence must promote Lawrence tourism. Tourism is more appealing than an overstock of industrial property and housing that might further promote economic displacement. Lawrence may as well promote that which we know works rather than spend milions upon millons for new structures. Lawrence should be able to attract vistors from Topeka,Leavenworth County and KCMO/JOCO to some of our events. Lawrence KNOWS people do come here for our downtown.

  • Art Fairs do good .... let's have more only on Mass Street. Make the artwalk a bigger deal so as to attract the KCMO/JOCO crowd. Plenty of Lawrence faces show up at First Friday in the KCMO Crossroads area. Add some outdoor music. From what I read art fairs have been a strong revenue generator in college towns and this is one area that Lawrence receives mention so why not capitalize. Last I looked Lawrence came in at # 17.

  • Cycling competition does good... let's have more. Cyclists like Lawrence,the terrain and the proximity of our town to the rest of the country so they said on radio news.

  • Try to convince the Chancellor to keep all KU home games in Lawrence,Kansas

  • How about bringing the car shows to Mass Street?

  • How about a 2 day spring and fall Farmers Market and Garden Show on Mass Street?

  • How about swimming competition. Lawrence has a decent selection of pools.

*Build a $17.5 million dollar library across the street from the New Hampshire parking garage(saves 10 million) and make use of the parking garage

*THEN convert the existing library building into a convention center which could save millions upon millions. Lawrence does not need an extravagant new building. Clean it up,do some remodel and landscape,landscape,landscape... we're set to go. Two large meeting spaces(one downstairs) and two existing smaller places in the current space. The Holidome and Springhill Suites also have space so why not become a team rather than put anyone out of the business. Topeka and KCMO/JOCO will always be powerful competition.

*Build the east Lawrence hike and bike trail

*Develop an exciting public transporation system accompanied with an appropriate maintenance facility.

*Investing in existing infrastructure pays back and is good for business.

Joshua Montgomery 6 years, 10 months ago

We are hoping that the Freenet-Kids project receives the same consideration. Freenet-Kids has been developed to serve every child in the community and is revenue neutral to the City of Lawrence.

Learn More: http://kids.lawrencefreenet.org

vegetablegirl 6 years, 10 months ago

Josh-that would be nice.. but your last name is not Fritzel, Compton etc... These big names get big things. People like you and your group are trying to do something for SOMEONE, not your wallet. Keep it up! Good things will come to your group.

rumor_man 6 years, 10 months ago

Where's Cool?......................(crickets).........................

leftylucky 6 years, 10 months ago

The crossing aka (rock chalk cafe) should have been considered a historical site. Vern Miller closed the Rock Chalk and forbid that the name Rock Chalk be used for that building. Where else is there a building as notorious and historical as the Rock Chalk.

rumor_man 6 years, 10 months ago

Cool,

You weren't even at the commission meeting last night to protest this. I was.

Please stop the fight on this forum before you make things even worse for the opposition of the hotel.

........wait a minute....I take that back...keep talking.....as you were.....

Jayhawker1 6 years, 10 months ago

Well sven,

Looks like it's time for plan B. Get your smurf sleeping bag and go squat in the old yellow sub!

Looks like one misinformed man in a forum can't stop something that is actually good for the City, economy, and neighborhood.

If everyone gets it but YOU...then who is wrong?

BTW... wish you were there at the meeting last night so I could watch Sue Hack tell you to sit down and shut up! But you weren't.... good of you to back up your words with actions!

Keep up the fight! You make your opposition look more intelligent with every post!

Later BUD!

Marcy McGuffie 6 years, 10 months ago

Kookamooka (Anonymous) says: In all honesty, Lawrence doesn't have enough hotel rooms to support really big events. There are also not enough cool venues for wedding receptions and/or conventions. Having a hotel close to campus will make it possible for the University to host conferences and conventions that are more than one day long.


In all honesty, if you expect this hotel to host big events...it ain't going to happen. This is only going to be a 92 room hotel. Small conferences - yes. Conventions...not so much.

As far as wedding venues, I beg to differ. When planning my wedding 2 years ago, I was overwhelmed with all the choices of places to hold my reception. There are plenty of cool venues - it just comes down to the fact that they are all hella expensive!!! I was surprised that Liberty Hall was actually reasonably priced compared to some of the other venues I considered...

Anyway, not a shocker that the commission passed it. I just hate the fact that we may reimburse the developers up to $11 million for something the general public doesn't benefit from...

KU_Dude 6 years, 10 months ago

Still no mention of the motel having hourly rates. I guess I'll have to take my business elsewhere.

Marcy McGuffie 6 years, 10 months ago

Oh gawd....we definitely don't need to be another Johnson County! shudders

Lol @KU_Dude - not to mention you have to pay to use the publicly funded parking garage!

Godot 6 years, 10 months ago

Wow, this business will not have to pay property or sales tax for 20 years.

Then, 20 years from now the building will be in disrepair and the infrastructure will be crumbling and the new owners (whoever the current owners' heirs sell it to) will be back demanding another tax break in order to keep the hotel from closing.

Compy 6 years, 10 months ago

Joshua Montgomery:

I use Freenet myself, so I am in support of your cause here, but I thought I might warn you from "constant linking" to your site from ljw comment sections...apparently against TOS. I have recently been reprimanded for this over at lawrence.com:

KU_cynic 6 years, 10 months ago

To my eye the commissioners and staff were swept away in boosterism for the Oread Project and neglected their obligations as stewards of the taxpayers.

The key question is not "Is this hotel a good idea?" -- many people seem to think it is. The key question is "But for TIF, would it occur?" The answer to this question swings on the consultant's report of some summary internal rate of return (IRR) measures, calculated on the basis of developer-provided data that is not examinable, and premised on assumptions that were never carefully examined or "unpacked," so to speak. The city seems prepared to take the summary IRR information at face value and move on from there without any critical thought. I don't think it's too wonkish for me to think that they should have to work and think a little harder and a little longer, especially since this is the city's first foray into TIF and the project is being billed as historic for the city.

I didn't enjoy seeing the TIF policy sausage being made, and as a taxpayer I certainly won't enjoy eating it.

Godot 6 years, 10 months ago

Thanks, Max1, for clearing that up. I'm glad to see private business pay its own way.

Jayhawker1 6 years, 10 months ago

logic -

  1. Tell me how leaving the site as is will produce more tax revenue for the City than the proposed development. Have you stayed in a Hotel lately? The tax rates are tremendous! So as the Council said last night "this is good for the City".

Economics 101: Any business that generates more tax revenue than what was previously there is good for the City.

Plus the City DOES benefit from the TIF infrastructure improvements. New streets, waterlines, much improved traffic flow, and safer paths for the crowds of students that cross the street daily in that area. Why is it so hard for people to accept a win/win situation?

TIF is a tool to use future gains in taxes to finance the current improvements that will create those gains. When a public project such as a road, school, or hazardous waste cleanup is carried out, there is an increase in the value of surrounding real estate, and often new investment (new or rehabilitated buildings, for example). This increased site value and investment creates more taxable property, which increases tax revenues. The increased tax revenues are the "tax increment." Tax Increment Financing dedicates that increased revenue to finance debt issued to pay for the project. TIF is designed to channel funding toward improvements in distressed or underdeveloped areas where development would not otherwise occur.

"your taxes" are not being spent on this project.

  1. Do you want more apartments? Do you want the site to remain as is? Or would you prefer our university guests to see a NICE structure at the end of Oread? When they leave campus now...what impression do they get from the surroundng area north of campus? Old run down businesses and apartments... Maybe this will bring more new QUALITY development to the area! Perhaps a microscale of what has happened with the speedway? That was the best thing to EVER happen in the DOT. Good for the economy.

  2. The good people in the neighborhood want to see something GOOD happen there! Blight breeds crime, and cleaning up the neighborhood with a proposal such as this brings more traffic and exposure to the area. When you turn on the lights the cockroaches scurry away. Plus, dont you think an upscale hotel will help their property values? Blight and apartments dont! I don't blame them for wanting a better neighborhood. Good for the neighborhood.

Marcy McGuffie 6 years, 10 months ago

max1 (Anonymous) says: The world is full of old fashioned people with outdated opinions, no matter what their age, but the fact is - vertical infill in existing neighborhoods is the most sensible of all "smart growth" principles.


Dude, I know I've misinterpreted your comments before (my bad) - but, if you're referring to me as old fashioned with outdated opinions, you don't really know me at all. I just have a severe distaste for the stereotypical Johnsoncountiantype. My comment was made in a joking/sarcastic manner...

And frankly, this "smart growth" stuff doesn't seem applicable at this time. Anyone who follows economics at all, knows things aren't looking that bright for our nation right now. I AM glad that we (the City of Lawrence) aren't providing TIF upfront though, otherwise...it would be us taking the hard hit in the longrun. Great - build the hotel. Like I've stated a million times, if the developers want to take that financial burden upon themselves...that's all fine and dandy. It's just the reimbursement crap I have trouble swallowing. There's nothing "smart" about it...

And, I'm no expert, but I don't see this as being a great financial windfall for the city in the long run.

thelonious 6 years, 10 months ago

Read the last paragraph of the story. The county and school board now have 30 days to veto the TIF financing, presumably because they get to have some say as to whether to give away their share of these tax dollars for 20 years. The county will roll right along with this, but it is hard to see how this hotel will benefit the school district. I suggest we flood our schoold board members with requests to veto the TIF - after all, the schoold board is getting ready to ask us with one hand for a tax increase, all while potentially giving away with the other hand 20 years of tax revenues to the Fritzels. Do you think I am going to vote for a tax increase on myself only to have it given to the Fritzels? NO WAY! And neither should you. Hit your school board members up about this.

A school board veto of the TIF may be the last line of defense against this travesty. Shame on the Fritzels for lining their pockets with public money. If the hotel works without public money, then build it, but if not, then don't. This is WRONG, WRONG, WRONG!

geniusmannumber1 6 years, 10 months ago

"Are we expecting more visitors because of this hotel? Are we taking business away from other hotels during the times of the year that there isn't a game or graduation?"

Who cares? It is not the city's job to guess whether we "need" another hotel, or to concern itself with the effect on other hotels.

geniusmannumber1 6 years, 10 months ago

JackRipper-- I can't tell if you're being ironic, but taking the risk that you're not...

I think a more sensible solution would be to provide to nobody. I'm not against tax rebates, TIF, and other similar inducements per se, if the city (or more accurately, its residents) are likely to see a benefit--a significant number of high paying jobs with benefits, off the top of my head. I agree that this project seems a woefully inappropriate use of such benefits. But whether such benefits are "fair" to other existing businesses should not enter into it. The applicant's ability to provide a compelling need, and ability to provide a compelling case as to how the city will benefit should be (very generally speaking of course), the only criteria considered.

Again, unless I'm missing something, that's not the case here--the city freely admits that the TIF benefits will not pay for the improvements, so we're essentially giving a free ride for nothing. It's too bad; I think it's a neat project, minus this one (glaringly serious) factor.

geniusmannumber1 6 years, 10 months ago

On a related note, is there any middle ground for electing leaders in this city? Someone who falls between the rubber-stamp commission we have now and the woefully incompetent one we got rid of last election? Anybody? Suggestions?

Jayhawker1 6 years, 10 months ago

JackRipper-

*What about the business it takes from other hotels? What about all those other condos in town, are they losing business? If this is so great why don't we build one on every corner.

I'm sure the super eight is not going to take a big hit from this hotel. It's great because it is an infill project that makes good use of existing blighted property. Lawrence is bloated with apartments and townhomes...

*Making the street wider is going to be better for foot traffic? A hotel/convention center is going to make less traffic, especially if 5 stories of underground parking is required?!

Actually, if you were paying attention, the street is getting narrower. The foot traffic will have better defined paths to take across the street. Since the parking will be contained within the site, you'll not have the on-street parking mess that existed with the old businesses. You really haven't thought much about this have you?

*Oh yeah, the crime is horrible! LOL I'm sure if west Lawrence is an example it seemed to draw more crime because I'm sure the thiefs would rather have a Benz then a beat up Cavilier.

Since you're uninformed I will help you out. One Oread neighborhood homeowner during a past City commission meeting was regailing the attendees of her property being robbed multiple times (I think it was 5 times) by some of the fine citizens in her neighborhood... so tell me...does this happen on the west side of town?

*Who cares what people think when they visit, ever been to some of the most prestiges colleges and the neighborhoods they are in? Some people are here for an education. Increase the value of the properties? And I'd hardly say the area is blighted, you must be from some pretty snazzy area of JOCO. Yeah, lets drive up property values so the taxes can go up and run the students out of the most intelligent place for them to be in the first place! I see the smart in planning is again losing to the fast buck artist.

College recruits care what they see when they leave campus. Not just athletes but potential students looking for a nice city to live in while they're in college. First impressions are huge! Quality attracts quality! So you're telling me when you drive down Indiana Street and you look on the west side all the houses and apartments are in tip top shape? Must be some serious bong hits going on where you are!

Baille 6 years, 10 months ago

"We deserve architecture that would stand the test of time," Domer said. "That would call for a contemporary building."

That's a scary phrase. Weren't the turquoise monstrosities on campus and Wescoe once considered contemporary masterpieces? Yuk.

Jayhawker1 6 years, 10 months ago

*Actually I live near the area and go through it all the time. Much of the "crime" is college related and anyone who has moved there in the last 40 years should have been aware of it. Read about what it was like in the early 70's.

So you're saying anyone living near campus should expect to be a victim of crime? Yeah, that makes sense.

*So you really believe the Johnson County mentality is the only one that exists? That we move college kids out, the few left who still walk to school so we can impress some big wigs by building this as though it was just a fence or something. You are the one that said after this happens traffic will increase so whether they do anything to the streets it is still going to be crazier then it already is.

Not sure why you keep harping on the "JOCO" mentality. There are a plethora of apartment/dorm/residence hall/boarding house options in that area. The project seems not to be entirely about impressing people but providing services closer to campus. Who exactly is being displaced? A small fraction? And there's nothing wrong with being excited about a neat building being erected where there is currently crap!

*I do drive down Indiana frequently. No it isn't college boulevard but why should it be, does everything have to be sanitized to death for you? Do you live in the area? If you do did you not notice the character of the place before moving there? If not do you really think you speak for everybody there? Are you really that paranoid that until all the strange looking people are moved out and we have a palace you will be shivering in your boots? It would make more sense to build a youth hostel there then a freakin upscale hotel. The fact it won't fly without special benefits makes me wonder if it will work. And if it does why don't other hoteliers get such a nice deal?

I'm not like sven. I don't claim to represent anyone from the neighborhood.

You're trying to make this an issue of class when it is clearly not. I'll not engage you in conversations of moving people out because of how they look. You clearly have missed the point and must have some personal appearance issues yourself. I'm sorry if you've been a victim of predjudice based on your appearance...that's not my problem and not why I'm discussing issues here.

Good day to you.

Write2Know 6 years, 10 months ago

Ron Prince has already reserved a room on the top floor so he can film KU's football practices. I really have to question the location of those new practice fields.

Jayhawker1 6 years, 10 months ago

It all depends on your point of view.
You guys can spin this however you want.
BTW I didn't win anything, not part of the group. Just tired of people in this town whining and crying when progress steps in. Same ol' song and dance... It's been explained to you people numerous times and all you can see is the Fritzels getting over on you. Congrats, you've worn me out and I no longer care to discuss this with you. It has been passed, it will look good, the campus area will be a more aesthetically pleasing place because of it. There's nothing wrong with that.

Call it stupid pride, but I want the area to look nicer for pride's sake. Not interested in making the whole fricken town look like JOCO, Not interested in displacing the "weird looking" students... just happy to see that someone cares enough about the area to make it look nicer. The Fritzels could have built the thing anywhere...but saw a need and are intent on filling it. I applaud them! Bring on a nicer Lawrence!

It will generate it's own tax benefit and I don't have a problem with that. You guys should care more about the housing mortgage crisis and people not being able to afford their mortgages and property taxes..that has a much more significant impact on "your taxes" than does a self generating hotel TIF.

I'm out!

rumor_man 6 years, 10 months ago

If I wasn't already married I'd marry jayhawker1.

A voice of reason on this topic.....

Bradley Kemp 6 years, 10 months ago

Baille:

Domer is right -- it would be much better for the building to have a modern design than this sort of ersatz Georgian revival schmaltz.

I don't know what the "turquoise monstrosities on campus" were, but I assure you that no one ever thought of Wescoe Hall as a contemporary masterpiece. (And this coming from someone who actually thinks Wescoe is a better looking building than most do.)

johnwoods 6 years, 10 months ago

Lived on Ohio street for 14 years with the only crime committed against me was spray painting vandalism of my car window (unless you want to count public urination which was also witnessed!).

Moved west of Iowa Street and experienced property theft from within a fenced area and mail box also vandalized on another occasion.

Crime happens everywhere.

rumor_man 6 years, 10 months ago

logicsound04 (Anonymous) says:

And it is obvious from this comment that you didn't read a damn thing in my last post.


Wishful thinking on my part but........I sure hope that was your "last post".

johnwoods 6 years, 10 months ago

Today's mobile JoCo students are choosing to move away from campus so they can have amenities such as swimming pools and places to park their SUVs.

Jayhawker07 6 years, 10 months ago

Comment from Jayhawker1

"Actually, if you were paying attention, the street is getting narrower. The foot traffic will have better defined paths to take across the street. Since the parking will be contained within the site, you'll not have the on-street parking mess that existed with the old businesses. You really haven't thought much about this have you?"

Where are the 200 employees going to park? Will they be parking on the property or on the streets?

rumor_man 6 years, 10 months ago

logicsound04 (Anonymous) says:

"Wishful thinking on my part but::..I sure hope that was your "last post"."

Then don't antagonize me like a sniveling little troll.


I made that comment, not Jayhawker1.

I'm not a sniveling little troll either.

grimpeur 6 years, 10 months ago

I'm looking forward to my parking space beneath this beautiful foam building. Perhaps (in addition to the parking space I'll surely receive for my contribution) the public will be invited to embed sharp objects in the fake outside of this building, much like the one that houses Charbucks and those other distinctive shops in the 600 block of Mass. Oh, joy!

Yes, the design should be modern and creative and not...this.

For every new parking spot that is not made available to the public, $2500 should be contributed by hotel or developer to improving public transportation in Lawrence. $2500 is only 1/6th of the cost of each space in the downtown garage.

Baille 6 years, 10 months ago

There are several buildings on campus that have the turquoise panels. Snow and the stuff down behind the architecture building. Ugly - but once contemporary.

Ragingbear 6 years, 10 months ago

~~A large-scale hotel is far better than a large-scale apartment complex being built on the edge of the Kansas University campus, city commissioners agreed Tuesday.~~

Besides, you can easily convert a hotel into an apartment complex. All it takes is...wait. What does it take again?

Crossfire 6 years, 10 months ago

A large-turd is far better than a "really" large-turd being built on the edge of the Kansas University campus, city commissioners agreed Tuesday.

pace 6 years, 10 months ago

Well, I feel like it will be great. I liked the idea of a hotel there. I wonder how the traffic will be handled but that corner has not been up to the traffic it gets for a long time. I hope they give coupons for stays to local charity auctions. Good luck to them, I hope we don't find out Sue has a "forgotten" interest in the deal.

justaword 6 years, 10 months ago

Let's do some math. $40,000,000.00 divided by 20 years is $2,000,000.00 Just dividing this $2,000,000.00 by the 200 employees supposedly to be hired leaves a base salary of $10,000.00 Is this a benefit to our community?

johnwoods 6 years, 10 months ago

Not trying to defend Longhurst, by a long shot, but I am sure many of those employees will be part-time student labor. Still, no employee will get rich...and in 20 years that 10,000 dollars will be worth about 4,000.

I am not against the project, only the use of any city subsidy. I do think they still could have made the structure slightly lower with a little creativity. The hotel is not a bad idea, the university could use one nearby within walking distance. But this is definitely not a convention hotel with only 92 rooms. That only accomodates a small conference.

And it is scary that David Longhurst is involved...not that good of track record when it comes to predicting what the city of Lawrence needs when you look at what happen to the downtown mall.

not_dolph 6 years, 10 months ago

Actually, cool, the folks who operate the Yellow Sub/Planet Sub (same thing) are indeed trying to offload several stores to generate cash...because they are broke. Again, you talk about stuff of which you have no clue.

Can't wait to purchase my top floor condo...

thelonious 6 years, 10 months ago

Sent my e-mail to the school board arguing for a school board veto of the TIF. There are seven board members - have only heard back from two. No surprise, Scott Morgan and Linda Robinson are in favor of the TIF (rationale - all of this increase in property value will lower our mill levies!). Right. Have not heard from the rest - I suspect there will be some sympathy for arguments against the TIF, but probably not enough to sway the board. So let the school board members know! The CIty Commission is obviously a lost cause (I hope you will all vote them out of office at the earliest opportunity), so we need to work on the school board. Probably futile, but the more people they hear from, the more they may think about what they are doing.

Also, vote NO for the school tax increse! My wife is a teacher, and I would normally support this, but not when the money is being handed to our local royal family, the Fritzels!

Has anyone ever heard a Fritzel say "let them eat cake"?

In the "Old" days, when the king starting stealing from the treasury, the peasants revolted. What is wrong with everyone? All of you opposed to this TIF need to flood your City Commissioners and School Board Members with e-mails stating yoru opposition. If they hear from enough of you, it may carry the day. Posting here is fine, but get in their face! Just do it professionally so that they will not dismiss you out of hand.

Flap Doodle 6 years, 10 months ago

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Baille 6 years, 10 months ago

"how ironic is it that Potroff is a personal injury law firm specializing in Truck Accidents ?"

That's wrong. He specializes in RR cases.

toefungus 6 years, 10 months ago

I think this hotel will be perfect, and it will have trouble making a go of it, too. Underground parking is a real lug on revenues. There is enormous costs in excavation, steel, and concrete for space you cannot rent out. This is a fixed cost that is hard to recover. Room rates can, at this point, only be guessed, as will occupancy. No business starts out to fail, but you can close your eyes, spin around, and point to a location that contained a failed business. In the end, I see the University also having to subsidize this project. Still, it will look good there.

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Jayhawker1 6 years, 10 months ago

Return the innocense to Oread? That is Laughable! Bring back all the puppies and kittens that are being displaced by tearing down the crappy unmaintained buildings... booo hooo.....

The dramatic ruin of the character imparted on the neighborhood by a brand new well designed, well built hotel will be devistating to the beauty of the 60's era ORANGE BRICK ECU bldg, the multitude of apartments, and boading houses.... and the parking garage...

Really sven... you're such a drama queen. Why don't you put your money where your mouth is and you and the 7 other people that read this forum (including your other aliases) can sue the City as you propose?

thunderd 6 years, 9 months ago

It seems to me this is one of the few spots in Lawrence where a multi-storied hotel would be reasonable. Within three minutes walking distance from the site is Frasier, the Memorial Union, Blake Hall, and Strong Hall.

I also believe that this is also a case where the love-hate relationship between Lawrencians and the University can be affecting attitudes. It is futile to argue whether KU throws its weight around too often in city affairs; would Lawrence be half the town it is without KU? It is not hard to imagine Lawrence being another De Soto without KU. Thus the demands of a nationally-recognized research institution should be given due consideration.

Lawrence is a special town with a distinct feel. If a company were proposing to build this hotel at 14th & Kentucky, I would be up in arms with the rest. However, there is a real need for visiting faculty and families to have accommodations convenient to campus. The recently opened International House is a significant step in the right direction. The sort of scrutiny this project has received is good and has gone a long way towards the forging of a decent compromise.

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