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Archive for Thursday, November 18, 2010

Work begins on new apartment, retail building at Ninth and New Hampshire streets

November 18, 2010

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Construction crews on Thursday were starting ground work on a new apartment and retail complex going up on the southwest corner of Ninth and New Hampshire streets.

Construction crews on Thursday were starting ground work on a new apartment and retail complex going up on the southwest corner of Ninth and New Hampshire streets.

In 12 to 14 months, the US Bank Tower will have company up there in the blue sky of Downtown Lawrence.

Construction crews started work Thursday on a seven-story, $10 million mixed-use building at the southwest corner of Ninth and New Hampshire streets that will rival the height of downtown’s tallest building.

Lawrence businessman Doug Compton, who is the lead developer on the project, said construction will be completed by late 2011 or early 2012.

“We believe in the future of downtown and this really furthers our commitment to downtown,” Compton said.

Area leaders gathered for a ground-breaking ceremony Thursday morning and praised the project.

“It is going to change our view,” said Matt Hoy, the chair of the Lawrence Chamber of Commerce and an attorney in the adjacent Bank Tower, “but I think it will be a better view.”

Downtown leaders said they were most excited about the apartment component of the project. The top five floors of the building will be a mixture of studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartment units.

“This is a big deal for Downtown Lawrence,” said Mayor Mike Amyx, who also owns a downtown barber shop. “As somebody who is in the service business downtown, I know I’m excited about new residential coming to downtown.”

Compton, who owns multiple properties both on and off Massachusetts Street, said the residential component was the driving force for him as well.

“Every healthy downtown I’ve seen lately has quite a bit of housing in it,” Compton said.

The bottom two floors of the project will contain a mix of office and retail space. Compton plans to move the corporate headquarters for his business, First Management Inc., to the second floor. That move would bring about 40 employees to downtown.

On the ground floor, he said a lease for a 9,000-square-foot fitness center is being finalized. A wine bar also is slated for the ground floor.

Although construction is underway, a portion of the project is still working its way through City Hall. The development group has sought financial incentives from the city to improve the project. Specifically, the group wants to have 65 parking spaces reserved in the adjacent public parking garage, and is seeking about $280,000 in city funding to pay for several upgrades to public infrastructure.

Compton said the project obviously isn’t contingent upon the incentives, but he thinks the incentives are appropriate because they’re consistent with what the city envisioned when the garage was first proposed in 2000.

“The garage can clearly handle what we’re asking for, and the garage was built here to spur development in this block,” Compton said. “That’s what it is doing, even if it is a few years later than people expected.”

City staff members currently are analyzing the request for incentives and will present a report to commissioners in the coming weeks.

The project will have an impact on pedestrian traffic. Sidewalks along the site have been closed. The city several weeks ago also moved its bus stop to accommodate the project. The stop for routes 1, 3, 4 and 7 is now on the east side of New Hampshire Street, north of Ninth Street. The stop for routes 6, 10 and 11 is on the north side of Ninth street east of New Hampshire Street.

Comments

onaclearday 3 years, 4 months ago

“We believe in the future of downtown and this really furthers our commitment to downtown,” Compton said.

Google:

doug compton section eight housing failure to pay taxes topeka kansas

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somedude20 3 years, 4 months ago

Maybe the Compster can offer a reduced rate if his tenants will use the new parking garage that will come with the library (that tax dollars will pay for as well). Heck, bet that pads will cost so much that the tenants would not be able to afford a car

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missmagoo 3 years, 4 months ago

SWEET! Great news! I've been looking for a new place for my hot dog cart!!!

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blindrabbit 3 years, 4 months ago

None2. I'm not a Compton supporter but, the Masonic Building will be a tough renovation without destroying the character of the building. Can you imagine the bellyaching from the public if Compton were to tear (it) down or destroy it's historic nature. What are your design concepts???; maybe we need a conceptual design contest! Also, Compton is in the process of renovating the old Wild Oats building that has become an eyesore on Vermont Street.

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none2 3 years, 4 months ago

He is building new buildings when he won't even develop the old Masonic Lodge building that he already has?

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michaelclayton 3 years, 4 months ago

Doug has some twisted logic. How man decades of property taxes will it take for his project to pay for a new parking garage? There is no way the city of Lawrence comes out ahead on this deal. Doug would, but certainly not the citizens of Lawrence. The same rules that apply to every other downtown business should apply to doug. if doug wants reserved parking, let him build it at his own cost.

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cadillac 3 years, 4 months ago

They can pak in our new parking garage for the library,,, OH wait,, did we vote for a new library or a new garage?

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ksjayhawk74 3 years, 4 months ago

We're going to need another parking garage soon, not just for more cars to park but also for another place to project free movies on to.

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Eride 3 years, 4 months ago

The use of the parking garage is a huge incentive. That is ridiculous. How much money was spent building that parking garage? How much more money would it cost to build an underground parking garage? 1, 2, or 3 million dollars? That is the size of the incentive of giving him those parking spaces.

What happens if/when the amount of people wanting to park in that area goes up in the future and half of the spaces are locked into long-term leases with First Management? The city has to pony up several more million to build another parking garage.

The free lunches for Compton need to stop.

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nomorebush 3 years, 4 months ago

Maybe the cellphone towers will be taller than the Oreads.Or is that still ih development?

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woodscolt 3 years, 4 months ago

“The garage can clearly handle what we’re asking for, and the garage was built here to spur development in this block,” Compton said. “That’s what it is doing, even if it is a few years later than people expected.”

Thats right dougy, its all the parking garages fault that you have to build this building. The parking garage is there. First come first serve, except for you. Saint doug. Every business downtown has to deal with the parking situation.Oh, except you. Saint doug. What ever happened to the private investments over government handouts that this paper is plastered with every day. If you can't make it without government help, don't build it. I'm sure the main reason for building this building is self serving. Serving Saint doug.

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Ward 3 years, 4 months ago

What was the City Commission discussion of the project's request for incentives? Do any city or county commissioners have a thumb in this pie? The original proposal on this site was for a different landowner/developer and project in a completely different economic climate. Add the cost of the parking to the cost of the units. Easy.

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overthemoon 3 years, 4 months ago

And this is good because the Hobb's lofts are all fully leased or sold now, right? And it looks exactly like Hobbs Taylor empty space.

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BigPrune 3 years, 4 months ago

$10,000,000 new development, like sized US Bank county valuation $2,756,900

Why such a big difference? Will US Bank continue at their cheap fare next year?

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oneeye_wilbur 3 years, 5 months ago

few stalls for a free years? lots of free parking downtown at night, give it all away, it's good business sense. buy land high park for free

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no_thanks 3 years, 5 months ago

And, oh by the way, the project is receiving no tax abatements (at least that I've heard of) and it only costs $192 for an annual lease for one of the parking stalls, whereas the Oread did. The net gain from the enhancement in property taxes will far outweigh the cost of a few free stalls for two years.

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LivedinLawrence4Life 3 years, 5 months ago

All the property owners within a mile or so of that parking garage are paying special taxes every year for that parking garage and those property owners certainly would not have agreed to pay extra taxes for ten years in order to help Doug Compton have parking for another one of his apartment complexes. If you own property anywhere near that project, check your property tax statement to see how much money you are paying toward that parking garage every year. Compton should provide his own underground parking like The Oread did. At a very minimum, Compton should pay a hefty monthly fee for the parking and those paying special taxes for that parking garage should be refunded their money.

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blindrabbit 3 years, 5 months ago

Ditto gccs14r: Why no underground parking requirement for this, similar to Hobbs Tower???

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gccs14r 3 years, 5 months ago

They should keep digging until they have room for two levels of below-grade parking. If they have their residents and employees take up half the parking garage, where are the would-be shoppers supposed to park?

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BruceWayne 3 years, 5 months ago

amazed Mike could comment, his mouth all full and all.

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