Archive for Saturday, October 22, 2011

New Ninth and New Hampshire building a sun-blocker for coffee shops

October 22, 2011


The new First Management building at the southwest corner of Ninth and New Hampshire, at right, rises so high it now blocks sunlight that used to warm the outdoor seating areas and inside spaces of popular coffee shops Z's Expresso, in photo at left, and the Bourgeois Pig, both on Ninth, between Massachusetts and New Hampshire streets.

The new First Management building at the southwest corner of Ninth and New Hampshire, at right, rises so high it now blocks sunlight that used to warm the outdoor seating areas and inside spaces of popular coffee shops Z's Expresso, in photo at left, and the Bourgeois Pig, both on Ninth, between Massachusetts and New Hampshire streets.

No matter what your feelings about the First Management construction project at Ninth and New Hampshire streets, the tower there has at least one incontrovertible role: light-blocker.

The project blocks the morning light that used to pour over the patios of the Bourgeois Pig, 6 E. Ninth St., and Z’s Divine Espresso, 10 E. Ninth St., like hot coffee.

The managers of the two businesses can’t pinpoint specific losses steeping from the months-long construction process, but when asked about the blocked light, regulars have a decidedly heated response.

“Yeah, it causes me to go back inside when normally I would stay and enjoy some beautiful weather,” Pig regular Chris Ortiz said. “It used to be warm enough (to sit outside), but it won’t be this year.”

On this little part of Ninth, between Massachusetts and N.H., frustration with the building has been brewing since the summer.

Ryan Shelton, who’s been a barista at Z’s for three months, said losing the sunlight was a drag, but the real “huge mess” came in the form of the dust that plagued the patio during the heavier exterior construction.

“We like the front of the building to look nice,” she said, “but it’s nearly impossible when dust and trash is always blowing this way.”

Construction is winding down and the building is here to stay — and so are most of the regulars, even if the reduced sunlight, noise, dust and mangled traffic and parking have gotten their tempers a little steamed.

No matter. Nicole Marshall, a regular at the Pig who had crossed over to Z’s on Friday, summed up the effect of the tower, for better or worse.

“It definitely changes the feeling of the street,” she said.


dontcallmedan 6 years, 4 months ago

Mr. Compton is indeed a dark cloud over Lawrence.

parco814 6 years, 4 months ago

If he doesn't, you have the opportunity to set up a blog on this site and face some stiff competition to become the dumbest blog ever. Give it all you've got!

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 4 months ago

The sun is pretty much overhead in summer, so the awnings that protect the patrons are perfectly sufficient to also block any heat gain from the summer sun. In warmer months, the shadow of the building will not fall on the north side of the street, anyway.

The loss of direct sunlight is therefore most acute during the months that it's most advantageous. From a libertarian perspective, this definitely qualifies as an uncompensated "taking." But the property rights over "solar gain" are not yet well-established.

fastwalker 6 years, 4 months ago

derpiest article ever. hipster doofuses, this building will eventually be reason for an increase in your customer base, all but guaranteeing your trashy establishments will remain in business.

midwestarts 6 years, 4 months ago

Let me ask you this...with the Hobbs Taylor building still half empty, the lofts next to the Replay still having available apartments, how can you say that this will increase anyone's business? There is no proof that there is a need for this apartment building. The "student ghetto" is still having for rent signs up and down Kentucky and Tenn. streets, as well as between 9th and 6th streets. And how can you say that a place where you get coffee is a trashy establishment? Have you ever been in there at all? Or are you the type who can only go to Starbucks?

fastwalker 6 years, 4 months ago

i can just imagine the wannabe socialist, hipster, 20-30 something adolescent man-babies and their female counterparts yelling and screaming at the construction workers and electricians that were building 9th and NH. where's the "solidarity" with the blue-collars trying to stay afloat? why can't your illuminated, superior intellectual faculties find something more substantial to focus on?

parrothead8 6 years, 4 months ago

The only place where ANY of what you described ever happened was in your imagination. Nobody from the coffee shops had a problem with the construction workers themselves. And if you think Zs or the Pig are "trashy," you've clearly never set foot inside either of them. You've shown very clearly that you have no problem making assertions about things with which you have no experience.

fastwalker 6 years, 4 months ago

i seem to have hit a nerve with you, parrot. you will observe in my second comment that i mentioned imagining the scenario. i retract my insinuating Z's as "trashy" (decent roasts) - but the pig can rot, as can its clientele.

pace 6 years, 4 months ago

You imagine you hit a nerve with your lie. I don't think you imagine it. A lot of people are tired and disgusted by your lies and the denigration of people rather than lucid argument.

midwestarts 6 years, 4 months ago

Hold on...I guess Fastwalker is just some ignorant poor old fool who doesn't realize that everyone from City Council Members to KU Professors to Lawyers and Doctors to local artist and Lawrence Art Center personal go to the Pig. So, if that is "trashy", then really, where do you spend your time and around who? By what you are saying really makes one question about your since of what "trashy" is and what it is not. If you feel that an establishment where some of the most influential people of this city go to for coffee is trashy, then that really does bring up questions about you personally.

fastwalker 6 years, 3 months ago

well, the snouty, squealing piglets and sows are out rooting for their sty full-force. you swine disgust me. you mob of porcine trash-eaters; you suilline, pot-bellied hambones!

fu7il3 6 years, 4 months ago

Not sure what the newsworthiness of this was, but okay.

BREAKING NEWS: Buildings Block Light

NEXT: You Make a Better Door than a Window

ljwhirled 6 years, 4 months ago

In New York this would be an issue. There are rules and regulations about neighbors throwing up buildings that block light or ocean/river/park views.

If you buy a property with a great view, or southern exposure for solar power/plants, then your neighbor ruins it, you are entitled to compensation.

fastwalker 6 years, 4 months ago

a second point? 9th and nh is nowhere near an ocean, a river, or a park.

Carol Bowen 6 years, 4 months ago

I think there are provisions in Horizon 2020 about skyline and impact on neighbors. I wonder why it wasn't discussed . . . Or maybe, just not reported.

kernal 6 years, 4 months ago

Sounds like someone needs to go for a walk in the sunshine this morning to get rid of the grumpies. Just sayin'... :>)

Mike Ford 6 years, 4 months ago

I see old men not hipsters when I drive by and I see non union scabs because the Union people are protesting on the east side of the street. Someone wasn't paying attention but in the tea party/troll logic facts don't matter.

George_Braziller 6 years, 4 months ago

The loss of light is a legitimate issue for people living and working in the immediate area when buildings of this height go in. When it happened to me I lost two hours of afternoon sun in the winter and saw my gas bill go up because I also lost those two hours of solar warmth.

Liberty275 6 years, 4 months ago

Without the light, how will I see the pretty baristas at Z's. I enjoy their breve lattes.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 4 months ago

Ir warmer months, It'll shade the alley and bank to the west in the morning, and the street and the vacant lot to the east in the afternoon. The bank may see somewhat lower cooling bills, but they'll probably be offset by somewhat higher heating bills due to loss of morning sun in the colder months.

gccs14r 6 years, 4 months ago

A couple of mirrors would fix the problem. Put one on the north side high enough to be in sunlight, and aim it at one installed on the new building that then reflects sunlight down to street level. They'd have to adjust to compensate for changes in the solar track throughout the year, but it'd work. Or just add several stories to the buildings on the north side and move both shops up to be in the sun.

littlexav 6 years, 3 months ago

i vote for elevated buildings, just like in the jetsons!

parco814 6 years, 4 months ago

Typical of some folks, don't bother dealing with the actual issues this article raises, just stick up for the beleaguered multimillionaire developers and indulge in name-calling when someone voices a few reasonable, legitimate concerns about changes in the downtown Lawrence culture.

"Wannabe socialist"= anyone who refuses to be a sheeplike follower of those with wealth and power.

Only someone with a pointed head could make the point that those coffee shops needed First Management to boost their business. Both BP and Z's do just fine and always have.

Robert Rauktis 6 years, 4 months ago

Put in a roundabout at 9th & New Hampshire and it will be o.k. as people can think themselves evolved Europeans. Better if you add "Le" to the shop names too. And art show and some demonstrators. Larryvillians love pretension.

kernal 6 years, 4 months ago

There used to be one - it was a large water fountain on a smaller scale than the Chi Omega fountain. As I recall, it was built during the horse and buggy days and was removed in the late '60's or early '70's because a traffic engineer saw it as a traffic interrupter. Now it would probably be considered an asset.

parco814 6 years, 4 months ago

Yesterday the LJW published a pro-Doug Compton story that was twice the length of this one, which is not an anti-Compton piece, just an attempt to have more voices heard. But that's a crying shame, for some folks. Some "Larryvillains" love submission to entities like First Management. To question their practices would be heretical in a land where capitalism is the secular religion.

jafs 6 years, 4 months ago

We'll see if this project attracts more tenants than Hobbs-Taylor.

I predict there will be many vacancies for quite a while - the apartments will likely be rather expensive, and I don't see that many folks who would want to live down there who have that kind of money.

Young single professionals (maybe some young couples without kids) and rich students (or students with rich parents) are the only demographics that come immediately to mind.

Personally, I don't like the change in the downtown atmosphere - every time I go past it I notice the loss of light/sky.

jafs 6 years, 4 months ago

I'm sorry to have to ask you to stop responding to my posts.

I've given you a number of chances to stop insulting me with your posts, and you have chosen not to stop doing that.

If you continue, I will report your violation of the tos to the moderators.

Cant_have_it_both_ways 6 years, 4 months ago

Glad you feel that way. I wish to extend to you the same thing. I now am asking you jafs, to stop responding to my posts or I will report you to the moderators.

irvan moore 6 years, 4 months ago

i hope the building has a doorman, i'd really like to get a job and being a doorman sounds like the best job ever

kernal 6 years, 4 months ago

Plus, you'd get a uniform so you wouldn't have to pay for a work wardrobe. Sounds like a winwin for you! LOL.

equalaccessprivacy 6 years, 4 months ago

Way too many sun-blockers in Lawrence, including many of the current posters.

blindrabbit 6 years, 4 months ago

Be happy about new neighbors; the construction noise and dust will soon be history. As for the sun being shaded, be happy here as well, I just finished up a couple of melanoma and basal cell skin cancer removals due to too much sun exposure.

pace 6 years, 4 months ago

I just hope the building doesn't catch on fire. I like the looks of the building.

beatrice 6 years, 4 months ago

Tall building blocks light? What next, will we learn that awnings block raindrops?

I guess the only real option other than relocating would be to change the zoning laws of Lawrence so there can be no tall buildings, like Santa Fe. Until then, bummer, but such is life in a city. On the bright side (pun intended), coffee shops and restaurants tend to do well when there is heavy foot traffic outside their doors. Hopefully all the office workers will be walking over and buying the lattes at the nearby shops. Once that happens, I doubt the owners will be moving their shops to less populated, sunny streets.

jafs 6 years, 4 months ago

We'll see how well he does with his rental space, both apartment and offices.

I predict many vacancies, just as with the Hobbs-Taylor project.

fastwalker 6 years, 3 months ago

i wipe my nose at the slumlords who take advantage of KU students by raping them pricewise in the tenn. and kent. ghettos; the snotty, snorting, dirty hippie commune that is the cadre of 'local business owners' of downtown lawrence; and, of course, the legion of zombies that perpetuate said ghetto and twilight zone by flushing the bowels of their wallets down both of these ever-hungry toilets.

the bizzaro fantasy land that is east lawrence. may the boars and sows of the pig grow pale from lack of sunlight forever!

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