A multi-story hotel and retail building proposed for the center of Downtown Lawrence won’t have to fight a battle in court after all.
The attorney for a group of neighbors opposed to the plans for the hotel/retail building on the southeast corner of Ninth and New Hampshire streets said his clients won’t file a lawsuit appealing a previous decision by the Lawrence City Commission to approve the building.
Lawrence attorney Ron Schneider, though, said his clients still don’t like the plans for the project, which they have argued will encroach upon a historic neighborhood that is just east of the Ninth and New Hampshire intersection.
“But the reality is the project is going forward as approved,” Schneider said. “We could spend a lot of time and money appealing, but we do not know if we would be successful.”
A lawsuit was considered possible because the City Commission approved the plans for the approximately 80-room Marriott extended-stay hotel even though the city’s Historic Resources Commission had rejected the plans.
Schneider said his clients decided against an appeal after entering discussions with the development group, which is led by Lawrence businessmen Doug Compton and Mike Treanor.
Schneider said Compton and his development group have agreed to a deal that will monitor the properties of Schneider’s clients for any damage before, during or immediately after construction of the hotel. The deal spells out how any damages would be handled. The deal, however, does not make any modifications to the design of the hotel/retail building.
“The resolution we have come to with Doug Compton and his companies protect my clients’ interests, and Doug Compton and his companies have been very accommodating,” Schneider said.
Dan Watkins, a Lawrence attorney representing the development group, said he believes the project could begin construction this fall.