Already a CVS drugstore and a Taco Bell are close to opening at the new Bauer Farm development at Sixth Street and Wakarusa Drive.
But the development — along Sixth between Wakarusa and Folks — may be a small step closer to landing a marquee tenant of a different type: The Lawrence Community Theatre.
Mary Doveton, the executive director of the community theater, confirmed Friday that her organization has raised a significant amount of money during the “quiet phase” of a major fundraising campaign.
“We’re really making progress, and it is still definitely our goal to make the move,” Doveton said.
Doveton declined to say how much money has been raised or how much the group needs to make the move to northwest Lawrence. She said she anticipates formally kicking off a public fundraising campaign in the next couple of months.
The theater has been in a former east Lawrence church building at 15th and New Hampshire streets since 1984. The development group for Bauer Farms has donated an approximately three-acre lot in the center of the development for the theater.
Doveton has hopes of building a theater that would approximately double the seating capacity of the current facility, which can accommodate about 150 spectators.
“It just looks like it is going to be a wonderful opportunity,” Doveton said. “It looks like an opportunity where the neighborhood, the businesses and the arts can come together and really play off one another.”
The development has been proposed as a type of live-work-and-play project — one that features mixed-used buildings where homes, offices and retail space all are within walking distance.
Developers, though, are currently focusing on filling more traditional retail space along Sixth Street, said Bill Fleming, a member of the development group.
In addition to the CVS and the Taco Bell, the group recently filed plans for a 10,000 square foot retail building that will front Sixth Street. Fleming said preliminary deals have been struck with a wireless telephone store, a restaurant and an ice cream shop to fill part of the building.
The development group also is seeking approval for an automated “tunnel” car wash. City commissioners at their Tuesday evening meeting will consider a request to change the plans to allow for the car wash, which would be north of the CVS store.
Also north of the CVS store, a quick-lube automotive shop already has been approved.
The project includes about a half-dozen other lots along Sixth Street that developers are seeking tenants for. Fleming said the company is working to find restaurants. He said the group has had discussions with businesses similar to Panera Bread and Einstein Bros. Bagels, but no deals have been reached.
“Those are the types of businesses we would love to have,” Fleming said. “Sandwich and soup type of shops would work great out there.”
Larger restaurants also are under consideration. There’s been some speculation that The Olive Garden is looking at the corner. Fleming said his group wasn’t currently in discussions with the restaurant, but “would love to have them.”