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Archive for Sunday, October 30, 2011

25 years ago: Developers release plans for downtown shopping mall

October 30, 2011

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From the Lawrence Daily Journal-World for Oct. 30, 1986:

Developers had recently presented preliminary design plans to Lawrence's Urban Renewal Authority for a proposed 360,000-square-foot mall to be built in the 600 block of downtown. The plans included space for three major department stores as well as smaller mall shops, a food court, and 1,450 parking spaces. Dillard's had previously given a verbal commitment to be part of the mall; the names of the other two potential department stores had not yet been revealed. The 13.5-acre area set aside for the development was bounded by Kentucky Street, Sixth Street, Seventh Street, and the alley between New Hampshire and Massachusetts streets. Compared to that area in 2011, the only buildings that would have remained were Liberty Hall, the Journal-World building on New Hampshire, and the old post office (then belonging to Kansas University and now the Journal-World News Center) on the corner of Seventh and New Hampshire. Journal-World general manager Ralph Gage expressed surprise that the new footprint would eliminate the Santa Fe rail spur, which the newspaper depended on for delivery of supplies and which had been the precise reason for the company having located at its present site in 1954. While stressing that the company was in favor of developments that would improve Lawrence, Gage said that as recently as the previous day, he had been assured by city representatives that the rail spur was not jeopardized by the project.

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