A $2 million project to relocate the offices of Treanor Architects to downtown Lawrence will be up for discussion by city commissioners Tuesday, in addition to a proposal to renovate the former Poehler warehouse building in east Lawrence.
On a night full of development proposals at City Hall, commissioners will hear a plan from Lawrence-based Treanor Architects to renovate and expand a long-vacant building at 1040 Vt.
“We think it will be a great use,” said Bill Fleming, an attorney for Treanor. “We want to take an older building that needs some help and make it look nice.”
The project is asking for some incentives. The largest is use of the Neighborhood Revitalization Act. The act allows the city to rebate all or a portion of all new property taxes paid on a project for a 10-year period. Treanor’s group is seeking property tax rebates that start at 95 percent in the early part of the 10-year period and fall to 20 percent by the end of the period. Fleming estimates the average annual rebate would be about $49,000 a year.
The project is expected to bring about 70 jobs to downtown Lawrence. Currently, Treanor houses its 70 Lawrence employees in two offices outside of downtown.
Treanor also is asking that the city make it easier for the company’s employees to park in the adjacent two-hour city parking lot. Treanor is asking that the company’s employees be allowed to purchase an annual long-term parking permit from the city. But Treanor wants the permit to allow people to park in the two-hour lot for up to 10 hours at time. But Fleming said the company is not asking for any of the spaces in the public lot to be reserved for employees. The annual parking passes currently cost $195 per year. Treanor is seeking an agreement with the city that would hold that annual price steady for 10 years.
City commissioners aren’t being asked to approve the project Tuesday. Instead, City Manager David Corliss said commissioners will have a chance to ask questions about the development. Corliss said a likely next step would be to hold discussions with other businesses that use the parking lot.
In a separate project, developers are seeking turn the Poehler building at 619 E. Eighth St. into 40 apartments. A group led by the Kansas City area investment firm Krsnich Investment Group plans to spend $7 million to renovate the four-story, brick building. City commissioners on Tuesday are being asked to lend support to a historic tax credit application. Corliss said other incentives may be sought for the project in the future. The area is already part of a Neighborhood Revitalization district that was approved when Lawrence developer Bo Harris had planned improvements for the area. That project did not move forward.