Archive for Monday, September 26, 2011

Town Talk: More apartments slated for Clinton Parkway area; Iowa Street to get unplanned repairs; roadwork coming to major entrance to KU; Lawrence to look pretty in pink

September 26, 2011


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News and notes from around Lawrence and Douglas County:

• We had an article last week that suggested the 2000s may have been the decade of the renter in Lawrence. Well, it looks like they are working to win this new decade as well. Just off the top of my head, I can think of six apartment projects that are either under construction or in the works right now: two corners of Ninth and New Hampshire; Sixth and Queens Road; the old Varsity House location in the Oread neighborhood; Northwind Apartments on North Michigan Street; and the Crossgate Casitas south of Clinton Parkway and Crossgate Drive. Now, you can add one more to the list, and it is near that Clinton Parkway and Crossgate Drive intersection. A local development group has filed plans to expand the existing Remington Square apartment complex along Clinton Parkway between Crossgate and Inverness. The group — led by Lawrence builder Tim Stultz — plans to add 136 new apartment units at the site, which will be just west of a new Hy-Vee convenience store that is proposed for the southwest corner of Clinton Parkway and Crossgate. This project, I believe, has all the zoning it needs to move forward.(UPDATE: Actually, the project doesn't have all the zoning it needs. The site is zoned for apartments but this development would require density designation. So, the bottomline is that city commissioners will have to approve a zoning change in order for this project to move forward as planned.) Neighbors near the large stretch of land between Crossgate and Inverness have expressed concerns to city commissioners that too many apartments have been allowed to develop in that area. City commissioners have responded by changing the long range plan that shows how that area may develop. Previously, that plan allowed the option of apartments developing at the intersections of both Crossgate and Inverness. Now, the plan allows for some neighborhood commercial to develop at both intersections. Hy-Vee’s convenience store already has spoken for the Crossgate corner. Walgreens once was interested in the Crossgate corner, but that was before city leaders changed the plans to allow for commercial development in the area. It will be interesting to see what ends up at the Inverness corner.

• Poor Iowa Street. It must feel like the Big 12 Conference — constantly in need of repair and often getting run over. The stretch of Iowa Street from Yale Road to the Irving Hill Overpass is scheduled to completely be rebuilt in 2013. But the road is having a hard time holding out that long. The city did an emergency repaving of that stretch last year, and now it looks like they’ll have to do some emergency paving work again. The northbound lanes of Iowa Street from Bob Billings Parkway to about 500 feet south of the intersection are experiencing significant deformation and distress. (A good motto for the Big 12 — leading college athletics in deformation and distress.) Even though that stretch was paved in March 2010, the base of the road is shot, and as a result, the pavement is subject to fail as quickly as at Texas/Texas A&M; family reunion. City commissioners are expected to approve an unplanned expenditure of $25,000 from the city’s infrastructure sales tax to repave the two northbound lanes. Look for the project to begin in a few weeks.

• Motorists who drive to Kansas University’s campus may also see some roadwork in the next few weeks. The city and Kansas University plan to team up on a project to repave West 14th Street from Tennessee Street to Jayhawk Boulevard. The city and university plan to equally split the estimated $50,000 in costs. The work is scheduled to be done over KU’s Fall Break, from Oct. 8 to Oct. 11.

• We’ll soon find out whether the city looks pretty in pink. Lawrence Memorial Hospital is once again asking for permission to tie pink ribbons around the lamp posts on Massachusetts Street from Sixth to 11th streets and on Clinton Parkway from Iowa to Kasold. The ribbons are meant to raise awareness of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The ribbons are expected to be up throughout the month of October, which is a good idea since October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. (It is that type of planning that has made LMH one of the most successful businesses in Lawrence.) LMH has done the ribbons for the last three years, but as we previously reported, there is a new event coming that will benefit breast cancer awareness. The hospital has confirmed that from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Oct. 13 it will team up with Downtown Lawrence Inc. to host Girl’s Night Downtown. The event will allow shoppers to purchase a $20 ticket, which will entitle them to receive special discounts and deals at participating merchants. The proceeds will benefit LMH’s Mario’s Closet, which is a special boutique at LMH that provides a variety of free or low-cost items for cancer patients. I suspect the event also will "benefit" my wife's closet, which includes nothing that is free or low cost.


Vinny1 6 years, 7 months ago

If only the morons running the city would pull their heads out of the dirt they would realize concrete works wonders.

Vinny1 6 years, 7 months ago

Its also cheaper long term. Far less money and manpower would be spent repairing concrete roads.

Vinny1 6 years, 7 months ago

lol this comment is so bad it shouldn't even garner a response but here it is. You know nothing. Concrete lasts far longer than asphalt, is also recyclable and is far cheaper long term with far less upkeep and maintenance.

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 7 months ago

Anyone that wonders if concrete is good for paving highways and streets should drive on old Highway 36 east of Troy, Kansas sometime. It is now used only for an access road and has had no improvements since at least the 1940s.

It is still in fine condition.

Chad Lawhorn 6 years, 7 months ago

It is Journal-World style. I don't know the reason behind it. I'm just lucky to know the style. Their are many coopyediters that would tell you that the stylebook is not my most strong suite. Thanks, Chad

xyz 6 years, 7 months ago

Chad--The coopyediters their in your suite are not helping you most strong today!!!!!

Holy cow!

Bob Forer 6 years, 7 months ago

Does it really make a difference whether its referred to as KU, University of Kansas, Kansas University, or by any other name, so long as the words used convey the appropriate meaning?.

I rarely see such inane discussion. You folks must have a lot of free time on your hands.

zackattackku 6 years, 7 months ago

At some point in the university's life it was called Kansas State University. When part of it moved to Manhattan, it was shorted to Kansas University, i.e. KU. That is why it is called Kansas University and the University of Kansas. Both names are correct. Look it up. There are old photographs of the campus that are titled Kansas State University.

Tim Quest 6 years, 7 months ago

That's, uh, not at all how the history goes. AT ALL. This is just startingly inaccurate. I mean, even 10 seconds on Google will blow your little history to pieces. Stunningly bad.

zackattackku 6 years, 7 months ago

Picture hanging near restrooms in Basement of Castle Tea Room. Titled "KANSAS STATE UNIVERSITY". I worked at the Historical Society. I know what I'm talking about. If I am flat out wrong I will apologize. Ask Dennis Domer. He could probably get you a copy of the picture.

zackattackku 6 years, 7 months ago

I may be wrong in only a few details but everything else I'm pretty sure of.

zackattackku 6 years, 7 months ago

Ok I am unsure of the information anymore and wikipedia right now is not helping me so for the mean time I will not talk about the reason for University of Kansas or Kansas University until I have managed to get my facts in order. Sorry for any confusion that might have been caused.

Tim Quest 6 years, 7 months ago

Well, not to belabor the point, but one picture caption does not a whole university name make.

Also, KSU (1863) was established BEFORE KU (1865). So yeah, you might just want to quit talking for a while there, champ.

zackattackku 6 years, 7 months ago

It's more than one caption for the record. It's on photographs and postcards from that time period.

Stephanie Hull 6 years, 7 months ago

I was told years ago it's because the school was chartered as Kansas University, which is also why we refer to it as KU instead of UK.

zackattackku 6 years, 7 months ago

I was told something different but it was the first State University in Kansas which is probably why a lot of old photographs show it as Kansas State University.

1julie1 6 years, 7 months ago

And New York City was once New Amsterdam, but I'm pretty sure the copy editors at the NY Times have moved past that. For a paper that touts its adaptations to the web and current technology the JW sure clings to the past with an iron grip.

Richard Heckler 6 years, 7 months ago

Who is gong to live in these new rentals?

There are no jobs in Lawrence,Kansas and commuting is becoming increasingly expensive.

Infill in Lawrence,Ks is in reality over fill = nothing has changed in 30 years.

How much do empty bedrooms cost local live in property owners?

Is it possible that Lawrence,Kansas might be forced into bankruptcy?

independent_rebel 6 years, 7 months ago

I'm going to buy a lottery ticket! Finally, something I agree with Merrill on.

Merrill is correct. Why in the heck are we building more apartments? This is insane! All we are doing is turning the older apartment complex, for example those located in a "box area" from east of Holcom Park, west of Louisiana St, South of 23rd St, and north of 27th St. into one giant ghetto. As the students move to the outskirts, trying to get into the heart of Lawrence is a pain--we just don't have the arterial roads designed.

What we need is more single family homes that people can afford. We sure don't need any more over-priced apartmemts that sent empty because the owners refuse to lower the rent in order to keep the new--but empty--apartments from becomming ghettos themselvers.

tomatogrower 6 years, 7 months ago

More rentals, more retail!!! What about bringing in some real businesses, then retail will naturally grow from that, and there's already plenty of rentals around, but supply and demand hasn't exactly worked in the rental department. You don't see rents dropping.

Kevin Kohls 6 years, 7 months ago

Not sure this fits the TOWN part of this column....anyone know about construction on K10? They had flashing signs up 3 weeks in a row saying it would happen and then nothing from the start date and the signs disappear....

Peaty Romano 6 years, 7 months ago

It's been postponed, indefinitely I think. I saw an article about it on this site last week. It's been put off a few times before it also said. I don't remember if they gave a reason or not.

notorious_agenda 6 years, 7 months ago

The crew that is going to do the work is busy at I-70 for longer than expected.

Richard Heckler 6 years, 7 months ago

Those working in the KCMO/JOCO metro can find residential in those areas for less money. This is what I hear from KCMO/JOCO folks who say there is no way they can afford to live in Lawrence,Kansas. These "folks" are formerly of Lawrence and some are former UK students.

Build build build build and build more and more is what took the USA economy down the tubes so I suspect this approach could take the Lawrence economy down the tubes. Higher taxes and increases in user fees(aka taxes) increases the cost of living across the board. This is one way of forcing people from Lawrence,Kansas.

Empty bedrooms = no payback so why would newcomers want to support half full rental properties with higher taxes/user fees?

Our city's current budget crunch could easily be tied directly to infrastructure expenses needed to serve new residential developments. The community is way over extended in this regard.

If residential growth paid for itself and was financially positive, we would not be in a budget crunch. But with increased numbers of houses you have increased demand on services, and historically the funding of revenues generated by residential housing does not pay for the services, they require from a municipality.

Bob Forer 6 years, 7 months ago

"If residential growth paid for itself and was financially positive, we would not be in a budget crunch. But with increased numbers of houses you have increased demand on services, and historically the funding of revenues generated by residential housing does not pay for the services, they require from a municipality."

You are absolutely right, Merrill. Its time for a moratorium on residential construction. Either that, or significantly raising the one-time fees the city charges for new construction. It will never happen, though. The wealthy developers who build new homes and apartments have a majority of the Lawrence City Commission in their pockets.

Richard Heckler 6 years, 7 months ago

"What about bringing in some real businesses"

Lawrence,Kansas cost of living is too expensive and public education is going down the tubes due to local mismanagement of our tax dollars AND the state not funding the public school system properly for a few years.

KCMO is restoring their downtown while Lawrence is destroying downtown. The focus of local movers and shakers is still more and more and more alcohol. Count the bars in the new tax dollar supported hotel on the KU hill = keep an eye on 9th and New Hampshire.

Curtis Lange 6 years, 7 months ago

Thank God for the Iowa St repairs. That section in front of KU is atrocious!

Belinda Rehmer 6 years, 7 months ago

re:Poor Iowa St... :-) Chad, I just love your writing! Always have, but this column keeps me coming back!

justoneperson 6 years, 7 months ago

rentals? does anyone in the planning or commission meetings ask what the current % of occupied rental units is? what about classifying occupation % by price of the units (maybe there is some insane demand for higher-priced units...)

why is hy-vee building a convenience store on clinton parkway? isn't there a hy-vee just down the road from this intersection?

Carol Bowen 6 years, 7 months ago

More renters? We are already a bedroom community.

SeaFox 6 years, 7 months ago

Keep building those apartments. The more the supply goes up the more pressure there will be to lower rent to levels people who work in this town and get no outside support can actually pay.

Dear landlords: Not everyone is a JOCO yuppie looking for a bedroom community or a student getting their room and board paid by naive out-of-state parents.

Carol Bowen 6 years, 7 months ago

The expression "bedroom community" actually was coined to describe suburbs with a high commuting population. Our student population adds another dimension to the expression.

The only upside to all these new apartment complexes is restoring affordable living for the rest of us.

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