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Archive for Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Abe and Jakes Landing space on sale for $1.3 million

Abe & Jake's Landing, 8 East Sixth Street, is for sale for $1.3 million.

Abe & Jake's Landing, 8 East Sixth Street, is for sale for $1.3 million.

January 5, 2011

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A prominent building along the banks of the Kansas River can be yours to use for $1.3 million.

The operator of the Abe & Jakes Landing building — which is just east of City Hall, 6 E. Sixth St., and just west of the former Riverfront Mall — is looking for someone to take over his long-term lease after he spent about 10 years renovating the building that used to house a barbed-wire factory in Lawrence’s early days.

“I don’t live in Lawrence anymore and it is just really hard to maintain an active business there because of that,” said former Lawrence businessman Mike Elwell, who now lives in Florida.

Technically, the city owns the 24,000-square-foot building and the real estate along the south banks of the Kaw. But Elwell has a low-cost lease with the city that allows him to operate businesses out of the building until 2087. That lease is what’s for sale.

Elwell has operated a college-oriented nightclub out of the building for years, but he said the nightclub is now only open about one night per week. He said most of the business’ revenue comes from wedding receptions and other private party rentals.

He hopes some type of similar use can be found for the building in the future, but he said he hasn’t yet had a large number of inquires.

“We’ve had a couple of inquires, but I can’t say that we’ve had anybody who has been really serious at this point,” Elwell said. “The economy has put everybody in a holding pattern.”

Elwell said he will continue to operate the business until he finds a buyer. He also said any deal will be structured in a way to honor contracts Abe & Jakes has with people who have booked the facility for a wedding reception or other event.

Elwell said he’s open to working out a deal for the city to take over the building. The city currently leases office space at several location around the city — including for Municipal Court, parks and recreation, and the development services division.

While City Manager David Corliss said he’s aware of the building’s availability and likes its location, he is not in any active discussions with Elwell about it. Although the city owns the building, it would still need to pay Elwell to transfer the lease because Elwell is not interested in walking away from the agreement. Corliss also said costs to renovate the building for office use could be significant.

The building does have several unique features, including 50-foot high ceilings in most places. Elwell began working on the building in 1991 after securing a deal with the city to lease the building in exchange for making it habitable again. The lease does require Elwell to pay the city $4,800 per year for parking considerations in the city parking garage that is adjacent to the building. He completed work on the building in about 2002.

“It took a lot longer to finish than I initially thought,” Elwell said. “When we started, there were a couple of raccoons living in it, 400 pigeons and I don’t know how many derelicts crawling in and out of it.”

Elwell estimated he spent more than $2 million on the renovation.

Comments

Kontum1972 3 years, 3 months ago

mb we can have some fraternity buy it..then they can dive off the banks instead of rubber pools in their driveway....the H2O is deeper.

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coolmarv 3 years, 3 months ago

I see they are auctioning the contents this Saturday. Pool tables, bronze sculptures, animal heads and all. Should be quite interesting.

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greenworld 3 years, 3 months ago

Ill give them 1 million but im not going to budge on the 1.3. Thats just to high.

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Jimo 3 years, 3 months ago

Riverfront condos? (made possible by tax rebates)

An Islamic prayer center? (made possible by a secret foreign benefactor)

Office space for our new Chinese overlords? (made possible by tax cut fueled deficits)

John Brown museum (with a special exhibit: 100 things wrong with Missouri)? (made possible by passing around a hat at Allen Fieldhouse)

A library annex? (made possible by issuing special gov't bonds)

Bio-solid energy demonstration site? (made possible by stimulus spending)

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Dixie Jones 3 years, 3 months ago

not enough parking for a casino folks. sorry

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irvan moore 3 years, 3 months ago

it's a great lease for the holder but it should have never been made. as far as breaking it goes people break leases all the time on both sides. i can't imagine a city attorney being dumb enough to sign off on a lease like that without making provisions for the city to get it back in circumstances like this. oh, wait, i just remembered who the city attorney was.

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eotw33 3 years, 3 months ago

Thats only $1500/month, how is that a bad lease for that building? I would live there for that if I could

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candyapplered 3 years, 3 months ago

Please explain to me how it makes any financial sense at all to pay someone $1.3M to get them out of a bad, long-term lease that they want out of because they're losing or have lost their A$$. He should be paying the city to LET HIM out of his dumb lease.

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oneeye_wilbur 3 years, 3 months ago

ONe good flood and it will be part of history. However, it is on the Santa Fe line. Why can't it be the new Amtrak Station?

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LawrenceBoy 3 years, 3 months ago

I'm glad to see that space go. I hope that the city inspectors do their job and find the space to be a hazard. Imagine uneven floors, sharp edges, pointy objects, inadequate lighting, more inadequate lighting, unsupervised water hazard. Add to all that alcohol and you have the recipe for injury, or even death. Is there a safety engineer in the house?

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oneeye_wilbur 3 years, 3 months ago

Schumm will make money available for small businesses to stay in Lawrence. He wants to give away tax dollars to help with their rent and taxes and whatever else it takes to continue the welfare state of downtown.

Mr. Schumm should obtain a list of the past 10 years of all the businesses who have located or used Lawrence as an adddress for a Small Business Loan and then explain why more tax dollars are needed to prop up losing businesses.

Abe and Jake's, why $10,000 a month isn't much. After all, it would be to obtain a wonderful building for a burlesque house/theater and whatever. It's only $300 a day rent. The city gives away money alll of the time. So with Schumm's plan, just subsidize the rent and the new proprietor would only have to pay $150 a day. Surely, an innnovative business person can create $150 a day after expenses. If $10,000 is too much then cut it to $5,000. Do the math. 2087 is only 76 years away.

Who dreamed up that lease anyway? Does anyone at City Hall have the guts to come forward?

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irvan moore 3 years, 3 months ago

maybe the city should hire an attorney to break the lease, settle with Elwell and give him a couple of hundred grand and send him on his way. i like Mike but the city should buy back the Mall and take the whole space for city and public use. heck, they could turn it into a library that has parking. there is something seriously wrong with a commission that won't look at getting back this prime piece of real estate. i'm thinking there is a private development plan for this spot a few years down the road.

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CorkyHundley 3 years, 3 months ago

It can't be. Not another dead space in the Conscience of Kansas. It can't be true.

The Fetish people of Larryville will figure out how to get passersby to get off the troll road to visit their beloved village. Maybe if they PAID them to visit......hmmm I may have something there.

I always thought the abandoned organ factory would make a good place for a "Spaghette Factory". But who would visit it from out of town.

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BruceWayne 3 years, 3 months ago

CoreLess is worried about the cost to renovate? Seems like a small amount compared to the millions he is spending out at the city owned toxic waste dump on K-10. Time for CoreLess to move on down the road.

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Jeteras 3 years, 3 months ago

Its on the river HELLO!! RIVERBOAT CASINO! lawrence and douglas county budget problems = GONE! hell vegas style shows by KU theatre department? I dont see the problem here?

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irvan moore 3 years, 3 months ago

it sucks that the city gave Elwell a sweetheart deal and now he's going to cash out and the city gets screwed one more time on a real estate deal. wasn't anybody there smart enough to have a clause that when Elwell walks it reverts back to the city? was Corliss involved in this deal some way back when it was made?

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Kat Christian 3 years, 3 months ago

It was a wonderful concept of Mike Elwell when he opened this building, but I hated that it turned into a 'nightclub' and ruining the nuance of it. I'd like to see it stay in the arts and in some public venue, instead of private offices. I wish I had 1.3 million I'd turn it into a theater. Can you imagine the productions you could have on that stage? I hope it goes to a worthy person.

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tomatogrower 3 years, 3 months ago

Well the new Wyldewood wine store downtown, shut their doors in the Legends and moved here. They must have not found it to be too unfriendly. Businesses come and go everywhere, except in little towns. They close because they can't stand the competition, or the owner wants to retire. There are plenty of successful places in town. We just have too much retail and too many restaurants. It's a risky business. You may want the government to take out the risk, but maybe the business owners and investors need to take the risk. If they lose, well that's true capitalism, isn't it. Down with corporate welfare.

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Scott Morgan 3 years, 3 months ago

Perhaps Lawrence should consider becoming more private business friendly. Right! like that will happen.

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KU_cynic 3 years, 3 months ago

The number and variety of vacant commercial real estate properties -- especially restaurant properties -- in Lawrence is staggering:

Abe & Jakes Hereford House (soon to be Famous Dave's) Don's Steakhouse Tanner's Stone Creek Old Chicago I-70 outlet mall Out buildings near Home Depot Masonic Lodge on Mass.

... for laughs and giggles add to the list.

Meanwhile, I see new properties -- e.g, near 6th and Wakarusa -- and I wonder, "Who the heck is going to shop/eat there?"

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The_Original_Bob 3 years, 3 months ago

Find a way to make that Indian land and open a cassino. That idea has been around forever.

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oneeye_wilbur 3 years, 3 months ago

the city may as well buy the lease and then sub lease the property. If the city bought the lease and then subleased the property back at $10,000 a month the 1.3 million would be recouped way before 2087. Personallly, I don't think anyone at city hall is smart enough to figure out how to make money, but rather only how to SPEND money.

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BruceWayne 3 years, 3 months ago

" The lease does require Elwell to pay the city $4,800 per year for parking considerations in the city parking garage" for how many spaces? how much is Drug Compton paying for his?

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hurlehey_boy 3 years, 3 months ago

So the building's not for sale, what you get is rights to a lease for three times the amount of the current lease plus you have to still pay rent. This is equal to buying someones leased car for more $$ then they make payments for but still having to make the payments and in the end, still returning the car to it's owner. Nice.

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hurlehey_boy 3 years, 3 months ago

So the building's not for, what you get is rights to a lease for three times the amount of the current lease plus you have to still pay rent. This is equal to buying someones leased car for more $$ then they make payments for but still having to make the payments and in the end, still returning the car to it's owner. Nice.

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glb1110 3 years, 3 months ago

hmmm!!!! didn't Old Chicago just close down???? Seems like a good place for the beerfests!!!!!

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