Archive for Monday, May 10, 2010

Investor has plans for former outlet mall

Part of shopping center may become mini-storage

May 10, 2010


There’s a new vision on tap for the area that once was counted on to be Lawrence’s hot retail area.

Plans have been filed at City Hall to convert large portions of the former Tanger Factory Outlet Mall in North Lawrence into indoor mini-storage units.

“We’re just trying to do something to encourage some more business activity over in North Lawrence,” said Topeka investor Kent Lindemuth, who has signed a contract to purchase the roughly 100,000-square-foot shopping center along Interstate 70 near the East Lawrence interchange.

Lindemuth said he may convert up to 40,000 square feet of the center to mini-storage units. He said switching to the mini-storage business would not prompt any modifications to facades of the buildings. Customers would access units from the rear of the buildings.

The project will require the entire center to be rezoned from a planned commercial development district to more traditional commercial strip zoning.

The rezoning could open up some possibilities beyond mini-storage. Sandra Day, a planner with Lawrence-Douglas County Planning Department, said the current zoning places restrictions on the number and size of bars and restaurants that can locate in the center. The new zoning would expand those uses.

Lindemuth said he’s open to a variety of development options in the center, but he doesn’t envision it returning to a mall-like setting anytime soon.

“We’ll try to encourage of mix of retail and office over there,” Lindemuth said. “We think the storage business will give people an opportunity to come over to an area of town that they may not be doing business in right now.”

Tanger Factory Outlets were built in 1993 and once housed upward of 25 stores. But by 1998, the property was up for sale. By 2003, the last of the mall’s original retailers had closed, and the focus had changed to attracting office users.

Lindemuth — who owns about 100 commercial properties across northeast Kansas — said he wants to keep the current tenants in the center, which include the corporate headquarters for the security firm Protection One, the local Kansas driver’s license office and a customer service center for a national home oxygen business.

Lindemuth is purchasing the property from I-70 Business Center LLC, a local group led by Lawrence businessman Bo Harris, according to filings with the Kansas Secretary of State’s office. Terms of the pending deal were not disclosed.


YouPeopleAreCrazy 7 years, 11 months ago

Nothing says progress like mini-storage units!

puddleglum 7 years, 11 months ago

as long as they are progressive liberal mini-storage units, then I can live with that.

georgiahawk 7 years, 11 months ago

'Yes', but so far, I have not 'found' your 'answers' to be 'worth' the 'effort' to 'figure out' what all of the ' ' ' 'mean'. Are they some sort of a perverse sexual wink wink nod nod thing?

50YearResident 7 years, 11 months ago

I don't think I would like to have a storage box on the dark side of that mall, next to the RR tracks. It may not be safe even during daylight hours and certainly not after dark.

Lee Saylor 7 years, 11 months ago

For those of you that think a storage business is a no-go, you should check the current storage facilities in town. Most of them are at 90% or greater capacity. This is a business that has guaranteed income, which is better than the empty storefronts that are there now.

geekin_topekan 7 years, 11 months ago

Or that behemoth for a hotel on the hill? It looks like a coal fired power plant from the highway.

Michael Throop 7 years, 11 months ago

and YOUR development plan is..............................................................................................

matthewjherbert 7 years, 11 months ago

the headline of that article needs to be outwardly pessimistic so the reader knows exactly what to expect upon entering. There is NOTHING optimistic about a giant storage facility development in our town. I'll take an empty shopping mall over a storage facility.

Kirk Larson 7 years, 11 months ago

So we built a mall to buy cheap cr@p and got a place to store all the cheap cr@p we really didn't need in the first place. Is that progress?

Mark Thompson 7 years, 11 months ago

Before you go singing this "developer's" praises, you might want to look into his business dealings in Topeka.

bad_dog 7 years, 11 months ago

Indeed, he has a reputation for involvement in a lot of controversial business dealings/practices. I've been told he brings in equipment to move traffic barriers on disputed property lines to more favorable locations in the middle of the night, uses trucks/trailers to block ingress/egress to parking lots, removed awnings from the facade of businesses he rents retail space to w/o discussing with the tenant first, etc. Just go to the CJonline website and search his name.

easyliving 7 years, 11 months ago

Kent has a lot of irons in the fire, but he is trying new things in Topeka. He has good ideas and plans in place for many of his properties.
I'm not sure if mini storage is the answer for that property in Lawrence...but I don't see a line of people wanting to purchase the property with plans for a retail outlet either. Worse case scenario: It becomes a vacant mini storage facility.

napoleon969 7 years, 11 months ago

Before Lawrence gets too excited that Kent Lindemuth is coming to the rescue it would be a good idea for your city fathers to check into how far and how much Mr. Lindemuth is behind on this taxes in Topeka. The man has BIG plans but I don't think those plans include paying his taxes in a timely manner.

Kontum1972 7 years, 11 months ago

Boooooooooooooooo......!....lets make it one BIG nightclub/texting bar.


Boston_Corbett 7 years, 11 months ago

With such great access to I-70, the drug smugglers would be stupid to not utilize. The climate controls will be good for the inventory.

bad_dog 7 years, 11 months ago

Not as of the last I heard. I believe they have litigation over the length of the lease-but again, just what I heard-haven't seen the pleadings.

Another commenter above mentioned the outstanding tax issue-I saw an article in the Topeka paper about a month ago on that topic. He apparently utilizes a lot of holding company type operations and has the authorities scratching their heads trying to determine who owes what.

geekyhost 7 years, 11 months ago

He can build whatever mini storage he wants to build, so long as he doesn't get any tax breaks for doing it.

matthewjherbert 7 years, 11 months ago

here are the facts: he owes more than $2 million on over 200 properties. He owns 3 tax delinquent holding companies. His quote when asked why he hasn't paid...."We are just holding our own little tea party".

Thanks Lawrence, this is JUST the guy we need!

Richard Heckler 7 years, 11 months ago

mini storage = warehousing

Guess we better keep an eye on this project to be sure taxes are getting paid.

Otherwise city hall will want to raise taxes and user fees top cover what developers and property managers are NOT paying.

parrothead8 7 years, 11 months ago

“We think the storage business will give people an opportunity to come over to an area of town that they may not be doing business in right now.”

To do what? Hang out at Protection One? Wait in line at the drivers' license office? Look at the outside of other people's storage units?

Commenting has been disabled for this item.