Archive for Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Town Talk: Mystery development meeting planned with eastern Lawrence neighborhoods; financial numbers for Plastikon project

November 2, 2010


News and notes from around town:

• News of a mystery meeting is making its way through several Lawrence neighborhood associations. Lawrence attorney Jim Kaup has asked members of the Barker, Breezedale, Brook Creek, Centennial, East Lawrence and Oread neighborhood associations to attend a meeting at 6:30 p.m. Monday at Central Junior High, 1400 Mass., to discuss a development project that would be of interest to all the associations.

Kaup said he was representing an existing Lawrence business that plans to propose the development. But he said he could not yet release details about the development. Representatives from the project are expected to be at the Monday evening meeting.

An official with the Lawrence-Douglas County Planning Department said no plans from Kaup have been filed with the department. Several members of the local development community also said they had not heard information about a proposed project, although some noted that Dillon’s previously has expressed interest in purchasing property near its store at 1740 Mass. for possible improvements.

• A new report is out measuring the potential financial benefits of a proposal by Plastikon Industries to locate a manufacturing facility in the East Hills Business Park. Roger Zalneraitis, economic development coordinator for the city, is estimating that Plastikon’s proposed manufacturing plant will generate anywhere from $2.5 million to $3 million in new revenue for the city, county and Lawrence school district during the next 15 years.

The range in the estimate is because the taxable value of the property Plastikon is purchasing for the manufacturing facility actually may go down after the deal. Plastikon plans to purchase the former Serologicals facility, which was one of the higher valued pieces of industrial property in the city. Its most recent appraised value was $11.5 million, but that likely will go down because Plastikon is only paying $2.5 million for the property. Zalneraitis’ lower estimate takes that possible drop in appraised value into consideration. Both of the estimates also discount the estimates based on the impact of inflation.

The report will be presented to the city’s Public Incentives Review Commission at 4 p.m. on Wednesday at City Hall.

The project — which would add 126 jobs with an average wage of $58,531 — is receiving a positive recommendation from Zalneraitis. He notes that even if the taxable value of the building declines, the economic benefits to local governments are great because the company is not seeking a property tax abatement. Instead, the company is asking for $63,000 job training grant that would be paid by the city and the county over a five-year period. It also is asking the city to issue $7 million worth of Industrial Revenue Bonds, which would allow for the project to be financed at a lower interest rate, but would not financially obligate the city to pay off the bonds.

• Figuring out how to restore an old home and be environmentally friendly in the process will be the topic of a Nov. 11 meeting. The city, the Lawrence Preservation Alliance and the Kansas Preservation Alliance are hosting a presentation from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Nov. 11 at the Lawrence Union Pacific Depot, 402 N. Second St.

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Fred Whitehead Jr. 7 years, 6 months ago

Question 1:

How long will it be until this company finds that operating in Lawrence, Kansas is a black hole, that the city government is oppositional to any growth and job opportunities, and decide to relocate (or even originally locate) and any of hundreds of communities that are amenible to having a good job provider in their communities?

There is a long history in Lawrence of companies that were going to provide many jobs and that have fallen flat due to a number of factors created by various community organizations and forwarded by clueless city government in Lawrence, Kansas.

grimpeur 7 years, 6 months ago

How about you list a half dozen of these, with company name and the reason things didn't work out? Thanks in advance for your info.

Steve Jacob 7 years, 6 months ago

The Cracker Barrel would have been closed by now.

irvan moore 7 years, 6 months ago

i hope they realize the neighborhood associations don't really represent the neighborhoods, just a small percentage usually. i know i sure don't want my neighborhood association speaking for me.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 6 months ago

Neighborhood associations primarily represent those who show up. I take it that you don't show up.

gl0ck0wn3r 7 years, 6 months ago

Some people have jobs and other productive things that keep them busy. No doubt this is an unfamiliar concept for some people on this board.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 6 months ago

Some people like to make blanket assertions (those involved in neighborhood associations are all unemployed and unproductive) about people they've never met. And let me guess-- you've never been to one of these meetings yourself.

gatekeeper 7 years, 6 months ago

If they can improve the smell of the store, that would be great.

Richard Heckler 7 years, 6 months ago

Dillions could be ready to move on this project. I've been hearing this from employees. Dillions might have purchased all of the property necessary at this point.

What may go is that small apartment building to the north on the west side of New Hampshire facing east.

There is also a 9 story Hilton being talked about next to the arts center. Who would stay there? There is another hotel being talked about in the Hallmark area. Apparently this industry can get away not making money.

gl0ck0wn3r 7 years, 6 months ago

Given your extensive experience with mowing lawns, your expertise in city management, library sciences, road safety, traffic management, education policy, micro and macro economics and city planning, I suppose it shouldn't come as a surprise that you are also an expert on hotel management... could you please explain to us why the hotel industry doesn't need to make money? What is the business model that allows for that sort of management? I know I'm not nearly as smart as you, but - without pasting - I've noticed that the large publicly owned hotels make profits based on their corporate reporting. Hilton is a private corporation and thus numbers aren't as good, but industry average would suggest they also make money. Please, please answer this so I'll know to fight against these potential jobs. THANKS MERRILL!!!!

gl0ck0wn3r 7 years, 6 months ago


Your accusation is sad, at best. This user has a long history of advocating things with which I disagree. He also happens to be one of the most vocal (if least creative) users on this - and other - forums. I respond to other threads and users and, unlike Merrill, actually engage in discussion instead of simply spamming forums. As the owners have seen fit to give Merrill a forum for his views, I believe they have also given me a forum to question those views and other views with which I disagree. It isn't my fault he is unable to engage in any useful discussion (see above).

Chad Lawhorn 7 years, 6 months ago

FYI. The talk about a hotel near the Hallmark Cards plant has moved past speculation. We reported on the deal several weeks ago. A Comfort Inn is slated for the area.

Chad Lawhorn Journal-World

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