Archive for Thursday, December 22, 2011

Town Talk: New Jersey company to move corporate HQ to Lawrence, add 17 jobs; so long downtown Pizza Hut; a new Town Talk feature, weekly land transfers

December 22, 2011


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News and notes from around town:

• Just in this morning, a nice win for the city’s economic development efforts. API Foils has announced it will relocate its corporate headquarters from New Jersey to Lawrence. The move will create 17 new jobs in Lawrence, and is expected to be completed by June.

API currently has a manufacturing plant in the East Hills Business Park that produces hot foil stamping for products such as greeting cards and various packages.

We’ll bring you more on this shortly.

• Ah, they’re just memories now. Like when I would walk up to the buffet and stack so many pieces of thin-and-crispy Meat Lovers pizza on my plate that I would proudly proclaim “Look at me. I have the Leaning Tower of Pizza.” Or when I would decide to get healthy and have salad for lunch. At least three or four pieces of nice iceberg lettuce, croutons, black olives, imitation bacon bits, more croutons and four or five ladles of ranch dressing. All I can say is, thank you Pizza Hut on Massachusetts Street for providing me a healthy alternative.

But, no more. The Pizza Hut at 934 Mass. has closed. An alert tipster emailed me yesterday that he saw the buffet being wheeled out of the restaurant. I had held out hope that it was just someone who was taking the all-you-can eat concept one step too far, but then I went and checked it out with my own eyes. The place is largely empty except for the artful red and green lamp shades that I assume someone will remove and preserve in a museum.

My understanding is that the Pizza Hut on 23rd Street will take over the delivery routes of the downtown store. But fear not, I’ll always remember the downtown Pizza Hut. Each night, before I go to bed, I will think of my time there — as I take my cholesterol medicine.

• Of course there are several other places you can get pizza in Downtown Lawrence. And not that I’m an expert on buffets or anything, but I’m certain there is at least one other pizza luncheon buffet in downtown. Pyramid Pizza, 1029 Mass., has begun offering a luncheon buffet in the last year or so. Maybe that had something to do with Pizza Hut’s decision. Also, if you are wondering what the yellow development sign in the window of the restaurant is about, I believe it is a sign that the restaurant is working through the process to add sidewalk dining to the location. Finally, one other change that I coincidentally noticed today. The 1029 Mass. building that houses Pyramid Pizza has sold. According to this week’s Douglas County land transfers, a group led by Lawrence businessman Doug Compton has sold the building to S&A; Properties LLC, a group that lists Lawrence businessman Asif Jiwani as its resident agent. Normally, I don’t report on such sales, but one of my goals for 2012 is to keep a closer eye on significant commercial real estate transactions, if you all are interested. In fact, click here if you want to see all the transactions recorded by the Douglas County Register of Deeds for the week of Dec. 13. Let me know if this is a feature you want to see continued.


Hooligan_016 6 years, 4 months ago

I like the idea on keeping an eye on significant commercial real estate transactions.

Lawrence Morgan 6 years, 4 months ago

I think you've got a great idea, to bring to the public information on commercial real estate transactions. Thank you.

LogicMan 6 years, 4 months ago

Wasn't that Mass Street Pizza Hut one of the chains oldest locations? The company was founded in Wichita, if I'm remembering correctly.

Laura Wilson 6 years, 4 months ago

It was founded in Wichita and the downtown location has been open at least 40 years. One more landmark from my childhood gone.

blindrabbit 6 years, 4 months ago

Am I missing something: don't see the "click here" feature; maybe a issue with my computer. Anyway, would like to see the commercial real estate transactions listed somewhere! I've lived in several other communities where all real estate transactions are listed along with selling prices; why not in Lawrence. Sure helps people when dealing with valuation issues and property tax assessments.

Clovis Sangrail 6 years, 4 months ago

"The place is largely empty except for the artful red and green lamp shades that I assume someone will remove and preserve in a museum."

That's pretty much what it looked like when it was open. The last few times I have eaten there, there were very few customers. Plus, the place had taken on that dying restaurant smell, the smell restaurants get when the staff has given up trying to keep the place clean and is just marking time until the place if officially pronounced dead.

Very sad. That Pizza Hut really has been there 40 years or so. I think it and the store to the north of it sprang up in the blank space left when the old Gamble's Dept. store burned to the waterline in about 1969. (Could be wrong on the specifics, but that is when the store went in there.)

Richard Heckler 6 years, 4 months ago

Pizza Hut at Kellogg and Bluff - Do Da aka Wichita is where it all began some 50 years ago if my memory serves me well.

Flap Doodle 6 years, 4 months ago

Are the API jobs "green" enough to earn the approval of the head GINO of this board?

bearded_gnome 6 years, 4 months ago

all right! somebody tell me: is Chad's obligatory Uxorial reference in the Pizza Hut part of the story???!

I sincerely hope it's not in the API-foils part ... lol.

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