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Archive for Monday, August 3, 2009

Lawrence developer wins auction of former house owned by KU

Lawrence developer Tom Fritzel won an auction on Saturday for a three-story building at 1043 Ind., a Kansas University official said. The winning bid was $375,000.

August 3, 2009

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Lawrence developer Tom Fritzel won an auction on Saturday for a three-story building at 1043 Ind., a Kansas University official said. The winning bid was $375,000.

Theresa Gordzica, KU’s chief financial officer, said Fritzel beat out a small handful of other bidders to earn the right to purchase the former Varsity House building owned by KU.

She said the university will use the money to address its ongoing deferred maintenance backlog.

KU had decided to sell the property at the request of the surrounding neighborhood and after mounting repair costs made the building cost-prohibitive to rehabilitate.

Comments

Kufan1988 1 year, 4 months ago

Why don't you people talk about something you know about! If you take a look at anything Thomas Fritzel builds you would know that the bad things people say about him are far from the truth!!!!! Thomas Fritzel keeps 50+ people working all the time and is a super nice guy.

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Menazort 4 years, 8 months ago

I'm confident in concluding that Seamus is clearly the most intelligent poster on this thread/story. His arguments are rational, based on the true reality of matters.

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Marion Lynn 4 years, 8 months ago

MeAndFannieLou (Anonymous) says…

Is it just me, or does $375,000.00 seem like a lot to pay for a “former house”?"

Marion writes:

I hate to be repetitive but it is the "LAND" , not the shack.

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logrithmic 4 years, 8 months ago

Hmmm... someone's comment was deleted. Now isn't that a shame? I guess you shouldn't print lies on the forum!

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papakeno 4 years, 8 months ago

ah friendships, gotta love em. you take care puddleglum, i assume we'll take a break, true?

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puddleglum 4 years, 8 months ago

pkeno-not angry, still your pal

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tumbilweed 4 years, 8 months ago

JR: Hell, if I remember right, the developers were building there before the city even had the infrastructure in place!

@ Hutton Farms: They were framing the first units while everything was still covered in ice, and all the Mexican laborers were up there. Lots of Mexicans, everywhere, framing. Didn't matter if the wood was straight. There was only two port-a-johns for the whole area & how many laborers? So much more I remember, but it was while I was working there that I could see that as fast as things could be built (craftsmanship was discouraged--), it was never fast enough for Thomas. He also has had a hard time paying people he rightfully owed money to. With all that money and his wife's money, makes you wonder why, its as if he is above it. And you might drown in lawyering before you see a penny.

The only problem is, those rich folk up there where he lives (Fall Creek) have money to spend, and in this economy, any work is good if you are in the trades.

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papakeno 4 years, 8 months ago

Oh puddleglum, cute nic btw, why so angry and righteous?

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Practicality 4 years, 8 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

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bronze 4 years, 8 months ago

yes, barry it is too bad that LPA or someone didn't buy the house.

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gl0ck0wn3r 4 years, 8 months ago

"logrithmic (Anonymous) says…Schlockowner doesn't get it. It's not about him/her. It's about everyone. Daddy obviously laid a golden egg on him/her. That's the only reason he/she has no debt."

Right. Evidence?

Congratulations on purchasing land. It is good to see at least one person uses their money to further their ideological agenda instead of simply whining about it here.

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barrypenders 4 years, 8 months ago

Its too bad one of the developer haters didn't buy the building. It would have been an outstanding progressive move. They could have built some sort of retreat for the people without homes and everyone would have been so happy at the heartfelt stimulus for their progressive love for others and mankind in general.

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thelonious 4 years, 8 months ago

logrithmic says -

"Also if you look at the McMansions that dot the hillsides along Fall Creek Road, you almost have a scene right out of Midevil Europe, with the wealthy Lords, housed in castles on the hillside while the groveling peasantry are housed in huts in the valley."

That is such a good comparison. It's kind of scary when you think about it.

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puddleglum 4 years, 8 months ago

log jackripper seamus jayhawkfromMN thlonious all have very valid points I thank glockowner for helping

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logrithmic 4 years, 8 months ago

The entire area from the turnpike to Peterson is a travesty.


Couldn't agree more. Also if you look at the McMansions that dot the hillsides along Fall Creek Road, you almost have a scene right out of Midevil Europe, with the wealthy Lords, housed in castles on the hillside while the groveling peasantry are housed in huts in the valley. The only time the Lords called on the peasants was for either taxes or to conscript them for military adventures against neighboring Lords. Nothings changed has it?

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logrithmic 4 years, 8 months ago

If you dislike how developments appear, have you purchased any land and developed it to your standards or left it as green space?


Have and left as green space. I plan to acquire more acerage over time. It will remain undeveloped.

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logrithmic 4 years, 8 months ago

Jack,

Schlockowner doesn't get it. It's not about him/her. It's about everyone. Daddy obviously laid a golden egg on him/her. That's the only reason he/she has no debt.

And it's why he/she can look down his/her nose at the rest of America and its struggles. Cuz he/she has a feathered nest.

And Schlock - if you don't like my punctuation and spelling, don't read my posts. Sure I have typos. So WTF? Now go wrap your mitts around your tiny little trigger and pretend the world isn't changing.

God bless all God blesses!

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gl0ck0wn3r 4 years, 8 months ago

"MeAndFannieLou (Anonymous) says…Is it just me, or does $375,000.00 seem like a lot to pay for a “former house”?"

It's just you. It explains why you aren't in the real estate business.

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JackRipper 4 years, 8 months ago

What would it matter when your friends work the city to use city taxes to pay for all the infrastructure and expenses maintaining down the road? As was discussed above, the crap was built cheap and we all will be dealing with it down the road as it becomes the next blight area because we never fix things in this country, just move to the next virgin land and destroy it. I'm hoping this economy permanently ruins the house as an investment plan for good and people are a little more concerned about what they buy to live in when it means living there for the long term. And you don't think part of a citizen is concern about the community as a whole and when crap is built and ruins what was once beautiful that the city as a whole is hurt? Or is it all about saving money for those ding dongs? Hell, if I remember right, the developers were building there before the city even had the infrastructure in place! At least they made their profits while the poor slacky paying the mortgage that is worth much more than their house holds the bag.

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MeAndFannieLou 4 years, 8 months ago

Is it just me, or does $375,000.00 seem like a lot to pay for a "former house"?

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gl0ck0wn3r 4 years, 8 months ago

"JackRipper (Anonymous) says…Well glock since things are good with you I guess everything else going on in this country is just imaginary."

Yeah, because that's exactly what I said in my post. Scrolling up, it seems that your friend was the one who took a break from the Godwin-ish rant to bring up my finances.

Speaking of, did you bid at the auction? If you dislike how developments appear, have you purchased any land and developed it to your standards or left it as green space? I assume if you feel as strongly as you do that you've done these things.

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JackRipper 4 years, 8 months ago

Well glock since things are good with you I guess everything else going on in this country is just imaginary.

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JackRipper 4 years, 8 months ago

The entire area from the turnpike to Peterson is a travesty. That was a beautiful area and someone might have been able to do something tasteful but no the city came in and covered the hill with hodge podge roads so the developers could make their next fortune with absolutely no regard to complimenting the natural beauty, not with slash and burn development. It is the perfect poster material for what has been wrong in the developing world in Lawrence. If the city makes it possible to develop a piece of land shouldn't they have the ability to determine if it is going to depreciate the property and stop thinking about their tax dollars all the time, tax dollars that are proving not to be too effective anymore when the game was changed. But we still get to live with the long term damage.

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gl0ck0wn3r 4 years, 8 months ago

"logrithmic (Anonymous) says… Yep, glockownr is typical of ignorant American slaves. They continue to pay off debt, debt that is now being racheted up by credit card companies to three times prime. Meanwhile they are thrown out of there homes - thousands every week. And this worm thinks its a good thing."

A) I have no debt - at all - for anything. B) When calling someone else ignorant, you might want to use there/they're/their properly.

Try again.

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JayhawkfromMN 4 years, 8 months ago

That shabby development out at Kasold and Peterson is a sub-standard housing suit waiting to happen, in addition to a bonified racket.

I lived there the year it opened. To say that the Fritzels used the cheapest building materials possible doesn't do them justice. The best we could determine the drywall was 1/8 inch thick. It was impossible to get the upstairs below 80 in the summer without downstairs being in the 50s. My room, on the 2nd floor, had a 3x3 square area where there was no substance beneath the carpet - you simply sunk in. I didn't rip it up to see what was underneath, but you can only imagine. That is just off the top of my head.

Furthermore, when we moved out they literally did not show up for the walkthrough. I called them and re-scheduled for the next day, and they didn't show up then either. I waited for an aggregate of 6-7 hours over 2 days. They are legally required to notify renters within a month or so if they are not going to return your deposit, and if so, why. We never heard anything at all from them, about ANYTHING. In retrospect I should have staged a hunger strike until they came out and did the walkthrough because...

Over 2 1/2 years after we moved out, my two roomates' parents received demand letters from Hutton's law firm, stating that we owed in the neighborhood of $2,000 in damages. After completely ignoring more than several phone messages left with them (their law firm, for whatever reason, doesn't answer the phone during business hours, or return messages) we were finally able to ask them to substantiate their claims.

Let me tell you that place was immaculate when we left. They responded with a full page list of the things they claim to have had to repair and replace in our unit. All but 2 or 3 were complete fabrications with unbelievably inflated price-tags to boot. They charged me $100 to clean the chimney, though we never had a fire, and the place was brand new when we moved in. They charged us for 'missing blinds', as if we stole the blinds off of one of the windows (we didn't, for the record, although in retrospect..). They even charged us $25 to 'take down a sign in the garage' (no idea on that one). I could go on....

They are just going fishing. They know that most people do not understand their legal rights, and they also know that for most people to even engage counsel over a $2,000 claim would be counterproductive - you'd spend more on the lawyer to fight it than it would cost you to just pay them. That leaves them in a position to fabricate demands, which I cannot concretely disprove because there was no exit walkthrough (weird, huh?), and basically compel me to pay (unless I am willing to pay counsel, or have access to free legal advice, which luckily I do).

That is fraud, in my opinion, and they ought to be publicly shamed, fined, and sanctioned. I don't care if Fritzel isn't involved in the management company (but I betcha he's got a stake), they are crooks.

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Steve Miller 4 years, 8 months ago

It;s a good tax write off for them.. The rich get richer, the poor get poorer.

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logrithmic 4 years, 8 months ago

Thanks Thelonius for speaking truth to power.

And yes, Jack, we are in for a real doo doo sandwich when the effects of peak oil are realized. All those ATVs and jet skis will be the first to hit the junk pile, followed by those Escalades/Expeditions/Hummers that the rightwing auto industry continues to hawk.

God so bless God!

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puddleglum 4 years, 8 months ago

papa keno, go back to your oven-or memory?

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thelonious 4 years, 8 months ago

I'll tell you what's wrong with a certain developer's "methods". They ruined the foundation of my house on Stetson Drive a few years ago with blasting for phase 2 of Fall Creek Farms (they could have done the work without the blasting but blasting was "easier" and "cheaper"). It cost me $15,000 to fix the foundation on a $160,000 existing house so that a developer of $500,000 houses can put in infrastructure "cheaper". To heck with the existing homeowners of modest means.

On top of the $15k I was out, I had to sell the house at an additional $10k loss last fall when we moved due to my wife's job change.

So this was essentially a direct subsidy of at least $15,000 from me to this developer and their wealthy clients. Rob the middle class and give it to the rich - this is what is wrong with their "methods".

And no, I have not tried to get reimbursed - good luck with that. They could outspend me in legal bills forever - basically, I would bankrupt myself trying to prove that their blasting caused this damage. I tend to avoid tilting at windmills. But I can speak truth to power, and the truth is, all these developers care about is their own wallet.

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JackRipper 4 years, 8 months ago

Don't forget log that with peak oil energy will be priced far beyond anyone living in suburbia will be able to afford to do all that mandatory driving to get to everything. If people continue to ignore what is very factually based and recognize the energy future is going to take us back to before we had cheap oil because so much depends on it. We have to stop drooling over the ding dongs in all the pretty commercials and recognize we are in deep doo doo and sadly the answer to this shouldn't have been helping people buy more cars.

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logrithmic 4 years, 8 months ago

Yep, glockownr is typical of ignorant American slaves. They continue to pay off debt, debt that is now being racheted up by credit card companies to three times prime. Meanwhile they are thrown out of there homes - thousands every week. And this worm thinks its a good thing.

The fact is, as Seamus points out, we taxpayers (from Susie waitress to Joe Janitor) are having to pick up the bill for developturds - highways, police, ems, schools, phones, water lines, electricity... you name it. None of these costs are born by the developturd. For example, if electricity was needed for a development, the electricity company could bring its power lines across your land through the power of eminent domain, and supply the electricity to the developturd. The developturd makes a lot of money and your property is devalued. Plus you pay the taxes for all the infrastructure necessary to furnish this development, including an increase in your electric rates in order to finance the line that now goes across your devalued property.

This is what passes as justice and fairness in America today. It is why we are rapidly devolving into a two tiered system (this has been going on since the 80s but accelerated under Fuhrer Bush with his false war on terror and trumped up invasions of the Persian Gulf nations). We will in the next two decades become increasingly like a third world country, with a quarter of the population - if not more - living in poverty - many homeless. Most of the upper 50% will be frightened that they to could end up destitute - no healthcare, no property, on the street - due to a job loss (technological obsolesence or worse, Chinese labor, will accelerate this). The U.S. will increasingly be unable to afford its infrastructure and oil bill without massive borrowing from abroad, leading to a collapse of the dollar. Believe me, there are wealthy investors betting on this happening, perhaps sooner than later. And when the dollar collapses, what is left of the 50% will revert to an upper 10%, with the top 1% making out like the bandits they are. These are facts people. Want to see what a society is like that functions like this? Head to Brazil.

God bless!

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JackRipper 4 years, 8 months ago

gl0ck0wn3r (Anonymous) says… "You are correct, citizen. Once the proles realize the bourgeoisie have forced them to purchase overpriced housing in sprawl areas, the proles will rise up and destroy the bourgeoisie and the elites will be driven from town."

Yes, and that wasn't hard to do was it glock when the developers, city, bankers, did what they could to sell the idea that we could make developing houses for people who don't really create anything real into our main means of creating wealth. It was great, just keeping buying a house that is bigger, you'll always make money, come on, here are sweet loans that we'll package immediately and resale to wall street so you'll never know who really owns the loan. And the gov will jump in to build the bypass that doesn't go anywhere so land could be developed and the city always thinking that if they can develop land the taxes would continue to go on forever. Yes, glock there are many factors involved in how citizens became consumers only with no concern for the community, just as long as they have their suv and power boat paid for with money in the future. What is really great about all this is how we all get to pay for it now. What a wonderful game that even those who didn't play get to help clean up.

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not_holroyd 4 years, 8 months ago

Don't pay any attention to one-eyed Wilbur.

He was probably at the auction. He complains about the low price. He could have entered the bidding too.

He is just torqued because he thought the value of the property should have been 3x what it went for. Why?

Because that way, he could sell his place on Louisiana Street on the other side of the Oread Hotel to the Fritzels for a lot more. He dreams about that transaction every night.

His house is still under-appraised, and under-taxed. But One-eyed isn't complaining about that.

He just complains about everything else. As usual. Old one-percent one-eye.

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Linda and Bill Houghton 4 years, 8 months ago

Gene Fritzel seems to be a nice person, but I don't know him well--we were LMHS class of 1953. Apparently, he was able to build a lot of high-end houses by adding artistic touches that the rich liked.

He lives down near Kasold and Peterson as do D. Manning, J. Hadl, and a few others with money.

I don't know much about his children.

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gl0ck0wn3r 4 years, 8 months ago

"Seamus (Anonymous) says…I only hate the wealthy who have the means to make our communities ugly. No one has the “right” to ruin a place just because they have the money to do so. "

You are correct, citizen. Once the proles realize the bourgeoisie have forced them to purchase overpriced housing in sprawl areas, the proles will rise up and destroy the bourgeoisie and the elites will be driven from town.

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oneeye_wilbur 4 years, 8 months ago

forget about the fritzels, the bigger question which Dolph should pursue in a Saturday column, is that the property, only a 1/2 bock from a 38 million dollar hotel can only atract 3 viable bidders? What does that say about Lawrence? Maybe Big Prune is always on target, money does not want to invest in Lawrence.

Moreso, what does it say avout the state selling a supposed asset for less than the county's value? Is the state a good steward of money, But the biggest laugh in the article is that now, there will be $375,000 to use toward maintenace of University buildings.

How long will that last when the city of Lawrence wants to spend almost that much on a study for a rec center.

Lawrence is on the downhill slide and certainly the house auctioned was on the downhill as well.

Lawrence is "special", so special it could attract only 3 bidders, all three local.

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bronze 4 years, 8 months ago

suburban sprawl- Bill McKibben's book 'Deep Economy' (2007) excerpt: "the dirty secret of the American economy was that it was no longer about anything except the creation of suburban sprawl and the furnishing, accessorizing, and financing of it."

exaggeration?

we now occupy about 8 times more land per resident than 80 years ago.

the US Census average density of 1920 cities was about 10 persons per acre. by 1990 it had dropped to 4 persons per acre even as the population of the country doubled.

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papakeno 4 years, 8 months ago

puddleglum knows building structures and pizza...i love this guy!!

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Seamus 4 years, 8 months ago

Just a quick question for those slavishly-devoted to the rich-- do you suppose the Fritzells would have become as rich as they are if they had to pay for the infrastructure leading out to their new sprawl developments? The idea that these people did everything on by their little ol' selves is nonsense. Society socialized the upfront costs while the developers reaped the rewards.

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Flap Doodle 4 years, 8 months ago

Psst, loggie, you forgot to use the phrase "running dogs of imperialism" in your screed. You'll never get that Order of Lenin at this rate.

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Seamus 4 years, 8 months ago

log-- it's all about privatizing the gains while socializing the risks. It's a new kind of "capitalism." The Fritzells were once just humble home-builders but now people like them (and Doug Compton) have the ability to change the town in any manner the see fit. A democracy simply can't abide by wealth being concentrated in the hands of a few oligarchs, locally or nationally.

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logrithmic 4 years, 8 months ago

kmcd,

If earning money means selling your soul and destroying your community, then by all means. Some of us have core principals that prevent us from being predatory capitalists. The rightwing complains about the government's deficit, but says nothing about the huge ripoffs of the public by the banksters and their insurance companies. So when they steal from the public, they expect the public to bail them out. This is an example of predatory capitalism and why normal Americans should be concerned about concentrations of wealth. Without the concentration of wealth in Goldman Sachs and other rightwing corporations, these companies would not have been able to force Congress via Fuhter Bush and now Obomba to bail them out.

We need less role models such as the Fritzels and less bootlicking worshipers like you advocating their lifestyle and "success." After all, someone is paying a price for their money. In the case of developturds, it's the land, other species, agriculture, and the taxpayer.

God bless!

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Seamus 4 years, 8 months ago

Wrong, wrong, wrong. A recent study in a pediatric medical journal concluded that sprawl and car-dependence makes kids fat. Additional studies have demonstrated that New Yorkers (where walking 5-6 miles a day is the norm-- out of necessity) are less obese and healthier than Houstonians (who walk less than a mile per day on average.) Walkable communities promote better health, period.

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FarneyMac 4 years, 8 months ago

Sprawl doesn't make anyone fat. Sprawl gives you someone to blame for being fat. Big difference.

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Seamus 4 years, 8 months ago

OldEnuf-- I only hate the wealthy who have the means to make our communities ugly. No one has the "right" to ruin a place just because they have the money to do so.

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Seamus 4 years, 8 months ago

The Fritzells probably are fine people but they've made their fortune propagating sprawl for which scorn is well-deserved. Sprawl is a disease: it makes us fat because we end up having to drive to all of life's necessities, it makes us dependent on foreign oil sources which leads to war (like the one in Iraq) and it has degraded our environment to the point where we don't have very many places worth caring about. It doesn't matter how it is rationalized-- Alvamar will never be as nice as the historic district of Savannah, for example. The new crap development along 151st St. in JoCo will never compared to Georgetown. It's about beauty and the Fritzells have done their part to wreck the landscape.

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Marion Lynn 4 years, 8 months ago

It's the value of the land, not the old falling down shack that sits on it.

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OldEnuf2BYurDad 4 years, 8 months ago

We hate the rich, the popular and the beautiful because they have what we want. Boo-hoo. Ya'll need to restrict your personal attacks to the stuff you KNOW someone has done instead of suggesting that this family makes money by committing fraud.

They buy low and sell high and make money doing it. Give them a break.

What I find confusing is why they would spend so much for a house not worth re-habbing. They'll soon have $.5M in this house. Sounds like a bad deal.

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puddleglum 4 years, 8 months ago

or, they are being put down because of the really crappy sub-par development out at Kasold and Peterson.. just ask d. manning

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think_about_it 4 years, 8 months ago

Please elaborate for us beo.

What methods specifically have Thomas Fritzel used to get his money that you disapprove of?

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beobachter 4 years, 8 months ago

They are not being put down because they have money, they are being put down because of methods used to get this money.

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DaREEKKU 4 years, 8 months ago

Didn't his company build that really crappy sub-par development out at Kasold and Peterson? The one with the overpriced shoddily built townhomes?

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kmcd028 4 years, 8 months ago

I am so sick of everyone on this site putting anyone down because they have money. The Fritzel's are a VERY NICE FAMILY! Quit complaining and go earn the money you are complaining about!

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swan_diver 4 years, 8 months ago

Will the latest incarnation of the Oread Neighborhood Association, or the Lawrence Preservation Alliance move to save this context-laden structure from demolition? Don't hold your breath.

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bronze 4 years, 8 months ago

maybe they will donate to LAN, Lawrence Area Neighborhoods for a meeting place, or to LPA - The Lawrence Preservation Alliance as a new main headquarters.

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Beer Guy 4 years, 8 months ago

I saw that auction in person, there were alot of local "fat cats" there.

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George_Braziller 4 years, 8 months ago

Fritzel does not equal good. Within two years that property will be a parking lot.

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sundancewierdo 4 years, 8 months ago

Doesn't hurt that he's involved building the new eldridge on campus. Hope he does something great with that building..

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tumbilweed 4 years, 8 months ago

Dad's rich.

Wife's rich.

Nice guy?

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vegetablegirl 4 years, 8 months ago

Gene Fritzel's son.... married to Drew Stewart. Less like a marriage, more like a merger.

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Multidisciplinary 4 years, 8 months ago

Step four, someone floods basement of new building. Step five, local complaining arch. gets giant wrench at party to commemorate his achievement!

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beobachter 4 years, 8 months ago

Step one, unexplained fire. Step two, total new site plan After all, the damage was too great to not totally demolish the existing building.

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Multidisciplinary 4 years, 8 months ago

Help me out..just who is "Tom" Fritzel.

I hadn't heard that one.

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Machiavelli_mania 4 years, 8 months ago

Of course it was a developer. Bet they were really the only ones allowed to bid.

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