Advertisement

Archive for Friday, February 17, 2012

9th and N.H. project rejected

City Commission likely to take up development plan

February 17, 2012

Advertisement

Still too tall.

The city’s Historic Resources Commission unanimously rejected plans for a multi-story hotel/apartment building at the southeast corner of Ninth and New Hampshire streets, likely putting the fate of the project in the hands of Lawrence city commissioners.

Historic resources commissioners were told the building — which varies in height from six to three stories — would damage a historic district of homes along Rhode Island Street, which is just east of the proposed project.

“The building would loom like the clumsy giant who has moved next door, blocking sunlight and wondering why it never gets invited to potlucks,” said K.T. Walsh, a board member for the East Lawrence Neighborhood Association.

Members of the development team — which is led by Lawrence businessmen Doug Compton and Mike Treanor — had made several changes to the building in an attempt to address neighborhood concerns. But an attorney for the neighbors said there was only so much that could be done.

“It is an elephant,” said attorney Ron Schneider. “They’ve said let’s clean up the elephant. Let’s wash it. Let’s clip its nails, maybe clip its tail even. But it is still an elephant in a backyard.”

Compton said after the meeting that he was not planning to make any more changes to the building’s height in an effort to win HRC approval. Instead, he said he would appeal the decision to the Lawrence City Commission, which likely will hear the project in the next several weeks.

“We believe it is still a good project, and we’re excited to move forward on it,” Compton said.

Historic resources commissioners had little debate about rejecting the project. The commission did not provide any specific guidance on how the project would need to change in order win approval from the board. Previously, though, the commission had indicated the building needed to be more similar in size to the adjacent Lawrence Arts Center. That would require the new building to be no taller than three stories.

Earlier this month, architects for the project reduced the number of apartments in the proposed building by 13 units. That allowed the height of the eastern edge of the building — the portion closest to the residential neighborhood — to drop from four stories to three.

But neighbors remained concerned that much of the rest of the building would be five stories tall, or actually six stories near its Ninth and New Hampshire entrance. The building is proposed to house 80 hotel rooms for the TownPlace Marriott chain, 21 apartments, retail space and a sixth-floor restaurant.

The project, though, can still move forward if city commissioners approve the plans in the coming weeks. But Schneider said city commissioners will have to make a very specific legal finding that there are no feasible and prudent alternatives for the property. Schneider said he thinks that will be a hard issue for the developers to overcome.

“There are an innumerable number of options that are feasible and prudent for that property,” Schneider said.

Comments

GUMnNUTS 2 years, 10 months ago

Will the sixth floor restaurant be Mexican or pizza?

Ron Holzwarth 2 years, 10 months ago

Just about the only thing that can be said for sure is that it's going to be expensive.

Clint Church 2 years, 10 months ago

"Compton said after the meeting that he was not planning to make any more changes to the building’s height in an effort to win HRC approval. Instead, he said he would appeal the decision to the Lawrence City Commission, which likely will hear the project in the next several weeks. " That's all that he needs to do to get it approved.

gccs14r 2 years, 10 months ago

So how difficult would it be to buy up the structures on the west side of RI so that there are no back yards to loom over?

littlexav 2 years, 10 months ago

That's not extortion, it's capitalism.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 10 months ago

I guarantee you that Compton, et al, anticipate making much bigger wads of cash on this development than any of these homeowners might expect from the "extortion" Dougie has entrusted you to report.

Pastor_Bedtime 2 years, 10 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 10 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

pizzapete 2 years, 10 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

BruceWayne 2 years, 10 months ago

100 bucks says this goes through as is. If not he will do it anyways and then be forgiven. That is the Compton way.

BruceWayne 2 years, 10 months ago

I didn't say no permits...I will give you an example of what I am talking about. Fritzel was told to NOT install the fake turf. http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2011/sep/05/turf-battle/#c1738337 He did it anyway, and THEN Core-less and the boys decided it would cost Fritzel "quite a bit of money" to take it up and lay sod. Compton will do whatever he wants.

BrianR 2 years, 10 months ago

C'mon Bruce, what kind of billionaire industrialist are you, bet $10,000.00

Richard Heckler 2 years, 10 months ago

If the developers cannot meet downtown historic guidelines and cannot make money on a three story building perhaps the project should be withdrawn.

Why should the city commission approve a project that goes against community guidelines?

Then again why did the City Commission approve site plan violations for the apartment project?

The smart approach was offered to the city commission by the neighborhood a few weeks ago. Which is way over and above appropriate. East Lawrence Neighborhood recognizes the economic development potential. The concept put forth by East Lawrence was to bring to the table a viable economic growth plan designed for the New Hampshire corridor. Do this before any further projects are approved.

Quite a respectable request that would serve taxpayers across the board well.

Richard Heckler 2 years, 10 months ago

Market Capacity Potential

When more hotels, new retail, new residential and more requests for tax dollar handouts surface here are a few thoughts that get my attention:

It is imperative that Lawrence,Kansas conduct a market capacity study to understand the Lawrence market potential, before any further construction of hotels, retail,residential or light industrial proposals are approved.

How about a cost of community services study just to get a peek at what is paying back and what is not?

Lawrence taxpayers deserve to know our market capacity and the economic impact of new projects.

All new development is often mistaken for economic development when instead it could easily be promoting economic displacement and property value depreciation. Could this be a reason for our extraordinarily high taxes? Could this be a reason Lawrence,Kansas is the most expensive place to live and do business in Kansas?

Every developer that comes before a City or Planning Commission make their projects sound like they were written in Lake Wobegon where all the site plans are good looking and the economic impacts above average.

The symptoms of a flooded markets are everywhere. Depreciation of property values is significant.

Nikki May 2 years, 10 months ago

I still don't see 9th and New Hampshire as EAST Lawrence. It's downtown. But, if we are worried about clumsy giants that stupid, ugly hotel shouldn't be next to campus, but it is. I'm sure this will go in. And the building across from it would be blocking sun anyway. I'm babbling. I don't think I FAVOR this building, but I do think the reasons against it are a bit insane. Now, the fact there are so many empty buildings already, that's a valid argument.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 10 months ago

"But, if we are worried about clumsy giants that stupid, ugly hotel shouldn't be next to campus, but it is. "

So one stupid decision justifies the next?

asixbury 2 years, 10 months ago

Which one next to campus, the Oread? Because I always thought it was a pretty nice hotel...

asixbury 2 years, 10 months ago

What are you talking about? I'm new to this area and actually wanted to know what hotel they were speaking of. I like the Oread; it's really nice inside.

Richard Heckler 2 years, 10 months ago

What if the property taxes are not paid accurately? Then what? The builders do have some such history. Link to the article: http://cjonline.com/news/2010-10-28/college_hill_taxes_go_unpaid

If city/county government could live off of property taxes alone there would be no need for other fees and taxes. That is not the case. Residential taxes often do not produce revenue necessary pay for the services residentials require from a municipality.

Other interesting facts concerning cost of development to taxpayers: 1. http://www.democracynow.org/2008/1/18/free_lunch_how_the_wealthiest_americans 2. http://www.uua.org/events/generalassembly/2008/commonthreads/115777.shtml

booyalab 2 years, 10 months ago

If the best reason they can come up with for not doing it is a lame metaphor, you can be sure this is really about the property values of people who own homes in the "historic district".

jhawkinsf 2 years, 10 months ago

I don't favor this building, but I do favor all the construction jobs it will provide while it's being built. I don't favor this building, but I do favor the infusion of millions of dollars into the local economy. I don't favor this building, but I do favor the increase in the tax base that the improvements to this property will provide. I don't favor this building, but I do favor the jobs that will be provided once the project is completed. I don't favor this building, but I do favor the fact that all those employed people will be out there spending their wages, supporting other local businesses all the while local sales taxes will be collected. I don't favor this building, but I do favor having a variety of new sources of tax revenue that can then be used to improve neighborhoods such as East Lawrence. I don't favor this building, but ...

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 10 months ago

And what do have to offer the residents directly to the east with your go-go capitalism?

jhawkinsf 2 years, 10 months ago

I'd offer them increased community services that an increased tax base would make possible. Or perhaps as a community we might decide that in lieu of increased services, we might all enjoy a lower property tax rate given that new projects will be providing more money into local tax coffers. Or there might be a combination of the two, And I'd offer them one vote each in local elections so that their voice can be heard.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 10 months ago

Translation-- reduced quality of life and possibly lower property values -- unless the city rezones their property to commercial, and thus accelerates the spread of commercial uses into the low to moderate income residential areas of E. Lawrence.

Sorry, but your worship of go-go capitalism has no attraction to the residents of E. Lawrence.

jhawkinsf 2 years, 10 months ago

I said I'd offer increased services and you translated that into a lower quality of life.
The problem is that we live in a complex society with many concerns that sometimes compete with each other. If homeowners lose some sunlight but the city has enough money to keep New York School open, is that a fair trade? Potential lower property values might happen. Higher property values might happen. A project like this might encourage a neighborhood grocery store to enter the market. That would benefit East Lawrence residents. The fact is that there are many things we don't know. You and Merrill focus on that as well as all the maybe negatives. What we do know for certain is the influx of millions of dollars and the creation of construction jobs. Beyond that, there is much speculation. BTW - Are any of those East Lawrence residents carpenters, electricians, plumbers? Jobs within walking distance. Are there any residents who would be interested in working in a hotel? More jobs within walking distance. Anyone interested in working in the retail that will be a part of that building? More jobs within walking distance. How about any entrepreneurs? Maybe they can start their own business in that retail space, also within walking distance. Or an entrepreneur might open a business that will feed off the increased traffic, again, within walking distance.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 10 months ago

And none of what you list argues in favor of building on this inappropriate location rather than the several others downtown that would be much more appropriate.

But because a mover and shaker says only his profit margins should be considered, you bow down to go-go capitalism.

jhawkinsf 2 years, 10 months ago

If the options are: A) Build it where it is proposed B) Build it somewhere else C) Don't build it

You're assuming all three options are available. But let's assume for a moment that the only options are A & C. Now what. If your position prevails, things stay the way they are. Just like the Masonic Temple. Just like the Olive Garden proposal. No jobs, no infusion of millions of dollars into the local economy. No fixing up New York School (or whatever else the increased tax revenue could have bought). The question I have for you and other people who so quickly insert option B is this, what makes you think that is an option at all?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 10 months ago

If the hotel/apartments are such a great business opportunity at this inappropriate location, why are you so skeptical that no one will choose to do it at an even better location?

jhawkinsf 2 years, 10 months ago

Companies do a lot of research when deciding where to put their business. When millions are on the line, it's prudent to do this. A sound business at 9th. and N.H. might not make any sense at 8th. and R.I. or 7th. and Conn. Their bottom line might be that the project at 9th. & N.H. is option "A" while option "B" is building a strip mall in a Dallas suburb. Obviously I'm just speculating, but so are you when you say that another location is just as good as this one with fewer downsides. All we really know is that they're willing to spend million to build it and that will create jobs for dozens right now. Potential upsides and downsides are speculation.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 10 months ago

The neighbors don't need much research to know ho much it'd mess with their quiet enjoyment of their properties. But you've clearly indicated that you couldn't care less.

jhawkinsf 2 years, 10 months ago

That's simply not true Bozo and you really should stop saying things like that. Should I infer from your remarks that you don't give a damn about carpenters, plumbers and electricians. Should I infer that you want them to be unemployed. Should I infer that you want them to lose their houses and that you want them to languish in poverty. You want their children to go to bed each night hungry. Is that what I should infer from your comments. Don't do it to me as I don't do it to you.

jhawkinsf 2 years, 10 months ago

Distortion and rude comments. You use those tools like a carpenter uses a hammer and nails. Unfortunately, it's all too typical for you. How sad it must be to be you. Goodbye.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 10 months ago

I guess you didn't get my memo to cut the drama queen crap.

jhawkinsf 2 years, 10 months ago

Why don't you carefully place your memo in a place where the sun don't shine.

Richard Heckler 2 years, 10 months ago

Empty bedrooms,offices and retail space do not generate tax revenue and maybe not property tax revenue if property owners are not required to pay. These empty spaces do not generate employment.

A three story building provides construction jobs....

On the other hand more new retail space may well add more economic displacement. Yet will not provide additional sales tax revenue to the community because all new retail space is pulling from the same number of sales tax dollars available in this community.

This new space may take business from existing business thus causing that existing business to go out of business = negative growth in sales and sales tax revenue = no net gain

jhawkinsf 2 years, 10 months ago

Who says it's going to be empty bedrooms, empty offices, empty retail? There always will be some, the question is will this project displace existing bedrooms, offices and retail. The answer to that cannot ever be fully known, however, there is reason to believe that the market will determine how much of that goes on and which space will be occupied (generating jobs, tax revenue, etc.) and which spaces need to change, adapt to what the market wants. If this project creates new jobs, new retail, new tax revenue, then it's a win. If that in turn forces existing business to adapt to what the market desires, that too is a win.

history 2 years, 10 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

OralFixation 2 years, 10 months ago

This town is pathetic. Three to Six stories is too tall? What a joke. Downtown has the potential to be so great, yet businesses continue to struggle and fail. We can't call for an improved business environment downtown and then stand in the way when people try to do things that will absolutely have a positive impact. Its amazing how hypocritical some people are. They call for greater density to reduce sprawl and then block it every chance they get. Face it Lawrence needs to grow, or else it with wither and end up like Topeka. Actually, thats not fair. Topeka has done things to attract large companies that create jobs.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 10 months ago

"Face it Lawrence needs to grow, or else it with wither and end up like Topeka. "

But Topeka is larger than Lawrence, and Topeka is often held up as a more "business friendly" place that Lawrence.

Your statement makes no sense. It merely repeats a mindless mantra.

OralFixation 2 years, 10 months ago

Check your reading comprehension. I said: "Actually, thats not fair. Topeka has done things to attract large companies that create jobs."

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 10 months ago

OK, so I missed the part where your post is internally contradictory. What's your point?

OralFixation 2 years, 10 months ago

Most people would rather pull their toenails out than live in Topeka, but it is a much better place to own a business or find employment.

jafs 2 years, 10 months ago

That's simply not true, that the only choices are to grow or die.

There's a sustainable middle path, in which population remains relatively constant, and there is enough business and enough customer spending.

College towns aren't like other towns - they provide a continually revolving pool of residents.

In older small towns in which old folks are dying off, and young folks don't choose to live there, the idea that the town must "grow" - ie. continually attract new residents/businesses may be more accurate.

jhawkinsf 2 years, 10 months ago

Oh, no! A cry for a sustainable middle path. Sound like a compromise to me. Good for you. :-)

jafs 2 years, 10 months ago

Nice try :-)

It's not a compromise at all - it's a "win win" situation.

In a compromise, everybody loses a little.

jhawkinsf 2 years, 10 months ago

In a compromise, both parties win and lose. Isn't there an old saying that goes something like: "a good compromise is when everyone is unhappy".

jafs 2 years, 10 months ago

Yes - that's why I don't like them.

I prefer outcomes in which all people are happy instead - "win-win" situations.

jhawkinsf 2 years, 10 months ago

Of course win/win situations are the best. That's usually best achieved by compromise, despite the old comment that was just trying to be funny.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 10 months ago

But the developers have made pretty much no effort at compromise.

jhawkinsf 2 years, 10 months ago

That's simply not true from what I've read in the paper and in these forums.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 10 months ago

They went from an african elephant to an asian elephant, plus a little lipstick. That's not a compromise.

jafs 2 years, 10 months ago

But I think there's a solid grain of truth in that joke.

jimmyjms 2 years, 10 months ago

"“The building would loom like the clumsy giant who has moved next door, blocking sunlight and wondering why it never gets invited to potlucks,” said K.T. Walsh, a board member for the East Lawrence Neighborhood Association."

If I ever had an issue that needed a spokesperson, KT Walsh would be the very last person I'd look to.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 10 months ago

Why? Because she didn't gush with praise for this monstrosity?

jimmyjms 2 years, 10 months ago

No. I'm no fan of Compton or this project, but it's a serious topic that deserves a serious, and credible, response. The quote from KT was just silly, and is hard to take seriously.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 10 months ago

I think it's pretty good, myself, given that the objections are that it would destroy the current character of the residential neighborhood (where potlucks happen quite regularly.)

pizzapete 2 years, 10 months ago

We all know it doesn't really matter what these no good Historic Resources Commission people think. The all powerful Lawrence City Commision gets to decide who has to follow city regulations and who doesn't. I hope they allow apartment developers to put fake grass over every sidewalk downtown so we can finally have a decent place to play put put golf. We all know that put put golf will bring more people downtown.

booyalab 2 years, 10 months ago

There are two ways of framing this debate

evil Doug Compton vs. historical integrity

jobs and apartments vs. ugly, useless empty lot

I think I'll choose the framework that involves assessing reality, over the one that coddles a few pretentious sensibilities.

lunacydetector 2 years, 10 months ago

time to break out the rubber stamp, and throw in some infrastructure costs on the backs of the citizens while you're at it. maybe a catwalk across new hampshire street connecting into the parking garage for some free parking is in order.

flyin_squirrel 2 years, 10 months ago

Historical District on Rhode Island? Wow, that is a stretch....

Nothing in Lawrence is so rich in "History" that it cannot have change next to it. HRC makes it sound like they are tearing down the house George Washington grew up in.

All that is happening is a bigger, newer structure is going to be built next to some aging houses and buildings. (I guess aging in Lawrence means Historical...)

Richard Heckler 2 years, 10 months ago

Economic displacement is anything but progress = wreckanomics

Simply because people disagree with some Doug Compton politics is no indication that anyone hates Doug Compton. That is an illusion. Get real I've no reason to hate Doug Compton. He has never been unfriendly or hateful towards me.

What about city hall enforcing guidelines and ordinances? Is this the problem?

A three story building provides jobs.....

Most city governments like to know definitely if projects are in economic demand and will actually produce new economic growth rather than put any existing business out of business. Putting any business out of business is unfriendly to business and unfriendly to taxpayers. Is the market flooded? Some say it is.

What about city hall enforcing guidelines and ordinances?

Where is the policy/study that should include: Economic Growth Potential for the New Hampshire Corridor The Economic Growth Design for the New Hampshire Corridor The Economic Impact of the New Hampshire Corridor on downtown and similar operations The Results of a Cost of Community Services Study * Economic Impact Study Results from 3 outside sources selected by City Hall

scaramouchepart2 2 years, 10 months ago

Corrections; Compton was not asked to buy the properties. There was some discussion on the blogs that they should sell to Compton only. The residents on RI have spent a lot of money returning these houses to their original beauty with some allowable upgrades like running water and electricity. Lawrence has a violent history and these houses were here during the start of Lawrence and so they may not be old compared to Rome, but they are Lawrence's history of a time period where someone decided coming to town and forcing their opinion on the residents had a negative impact. We have not learned from the past, obviously, but we have a constant reminder and someday the City Comission will finally learn from Lawrence's past and respect it.

flyin_squirrel 2 years, 10 months ago

But your houses are not being destroyed! And your upgrades are not being taken away. It is a vacant lot being built on. Lawrence needs to get rid of Historical Environ's, and just make properties Historical. Look at the east coast, those cities with real historical properties have new properties right next to them, and it works well.

scaramouchepart2 2 years, 10 months ago

Great! The tell Compton where you live and let him build a 74 ft wall 10 ft from your back yard. Next time I see him I'll let him know you would love it.

flyin_squirrel 2 years, 10 months ago

I didn't buy a house next to a commercial district for that reason. Don't move in next to the airport and complain about the planes. Don't move into the Oread and complain about students. Don't move into North Lawrence and complain about the trains.

But I guess lawrence doesn't think that way...

George_Braziller 2 years, 10 months ago

Nor did the residents on Rhode Island. Less than ten years ago there were still houses on the east side of the 900 block of New Hampshire.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 10 months ago

Facts schmacts. There's profits to be made at someone else's expense. It's the American Way.

scaramouchepart2 2 years, 10 months ago

The buildings next door on the east coast are not 50 Ft taller and 1/3 of a block long. No one is saying don't build. We all know something is going to be built, but it has to be appropriate to all it's surroundings. One of these blogs mentioned once that the NE corner would be appropriate since the houses are not next door just past an alley. There are rumors that Compton has his eye on that property. So he should build this structure on that and something appropriate on 900 NH.

flyin_squirrel 2 years, 10 months ago

NAH, wrong answer! Have you ever been to NY or Boston, or Philadelphia? There are historic buildings next to sky scrappers. And there are historic commercial buildings in neighborhoods. And believe it or not, they are still in their original state and historic!

FlintlockRifle 2 years, 10 months ago

Bozo, you hit the nail dead center on the head,, down town needs some new places, lord knows we don't want to wind up as a no place town like Topeka.

Hong_Kong_Phooey 2 years, 10 months ago

So, according to K.T., everyone who is tall must be a "clumsy giant" and, therefore, not deserving of friends. Interesting.

scaramouchepart2 2 years, 10 months ago

K.T. Along with others was trying to give a reference to the HRC as to the affect the building would have. Something the HRC could actually see in their minds eye. Someone used the term parking a cruise ship during an earlier meeting. I am sure you have also done something similar when trying to describe an item not directly in view to the audience. Your comments are meant strictly to inflict injury and not constructive.

jimmyjms 2 years, 10 months ago

The HRC is made up of 3 preservation-related professionals and 4 laypeople with demonstrated knowledge of and interest in historic reservation. One would imagine that a far more compelling statement could be made using facts and first-person accounts of impacts rather than some silly references to imaginary creatures and social events.

It reflects poorly on the seriousness with which the ELNA takes this issue.

scaramouchepart2 2 years, 10 months ago

There were many along with KT who did provide facts such as the many violations the project had. Just because Chad Lawhorn only reported a comment does not mean anyone KT or others did not provide facts with each person's comments. Perhaps you should be questioning why Chad Lawhorn chose to only comment on the anthropomophisms.

jimmyjms 2 years, 10 months ago

I'm assuming that it was reported because it was said, which is the purpose of reporting. I'm questioning the wisdom of the statement, and whether the argument, which I support (to a degree) is best delivered by someone whose own property is littered with trash throughout the year. The entire thing is not a "best foot forward" being that this argument is headed to the PC, who are not likely to take such statements seriously.

jimmyjms 2 years, 10 months ago

I don't know her, and therefore have no opinion about her personally. I merely stated my opinion about the manner in which the "case," so to speak, is being made.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 10 months ago

"I don't know her, and therefore have no opinion about her personally."

Sounded like an opinion to me-- just not a well-based one.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 10 months ago

"If I ever had an issue that needed a spokesperson, KT Walsh would be the very last person I'd look to."

"I don't know her, and therefore have no opinion about her personally."

You're right-- those two sentences are impossible to reconcile, and therefore make no sense.

jimmyjms 2 years, 10 months ago

You realize that she was quoted for this story, right? I don't need to know her personally to have an opinion about her ability to cogently speak to an issue.

You're not the sharpest east of Mass, are you?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 10 months ago

You certainly have a right to whatever opinion you want, even if it's based on practically zero information.

Doesn't take a sharpie to figure that out.

jimmyjms 2 years, 10 months ago

My opinion is based on the verbatim quote as reported in the paper...

So you're a friend of KT's, we get it.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 10 months ago

Were you there? If not, how do you know it was verbatim, and even if it was, don't you think it's possible that it was said in the context of more extensive comments?

blindrabbit 2 years, 10 months ago

Historic my keister! The project is being held up because many if not most of the complainers are displaced individuals from Lawrence's hippy/rastifarian days of the 1960's. Been here since the 1940's but many harken for the return of head shops and coffee houses that were the fashion then. No progress is all the progress many of the East Siders need.

David Reynolds 2 years, 10 months ago

The Histarical Committee has its vision of what should occur in Lawrence. It is too bad that it is not consistent with the long term economic sustainability of Downtown.

How sad...

Ockhams_Razor 2 years, 10 months ago

Will the building have a giraffe painted on the side of it?

Bob_Loblaw 2 years, 10 months ago

Compton not getting his way!???

That would be AWESOME.....and an earth-shattering first in this town. Only money moves his world....

jafs 2 years, 10 months ago

For those that persist in the wrongheaded notion that Lawrence needs to grow or die, I point out again that we could have a relatively stable population (in Lawrence) with a healthy economy - this most likely occurs when we have some people coming, some leaving, and a continual turnover of college students each year.

Smaller towns that don't have a college, in which people die and young people leave each year do in fact need to keep attracting "more" people from outside.

Not sure why they like to talk about the global population in this context, but the simple fact is that the global population is also unsustainable if it keeps increasing each year, and may in fact already be so.

The question is "does Lawrence have to 'grow or die' and the obvious answer is no".

jimmyjms 2 years, 10 months ago

Lawrence has a "healthy" economy?

How so? The city has very few well-paying jobs, and an over-abundance of well-educated citizens - hence our status as a bedroom community with a perpetual housing bubble.

jafs 2 years, 10 months ago

I didn't say we "had" a healthy economy - I said we "could have" one, with a relatively stable population - we don't need to "grow or die".

You're absolutely right that we've become a bedroom community, and there's no reason to believe that attracting more people here will change that in any way.

In fact, when I first moved here, we had about 1/3 to 1/2 of of the current population, and Lawrence wasn't a bedroom community - many more people both worked and lived in town. Over the last 15 years, population has increased dramatically, and it's become harder for folks to live and work here.

jafs 2 years, 10 months ago

What do you disagree with and why?

If you're interested, Peter Victor has done some interesting studies showing that a healthy economy is quite possible without continued growth.

jafs 2 years, 10 months ago

Also, by all means, please prove that our choices are to "grow or die" with any empirical data you'd like to present, if you think those are the only choices we have.

Sunny Parker 2 years, 10 months ago

Most of the houses on Rhode Island need to be torn down!

The hotel will get built and I can't wait. Lawrence needs jobs! Something those loons in East Lawrence know nothing about!

Hippies hate dougie because he's successful

scaramouchepart2 2 years, 10 months ago

The houses on RI, as has been stated and you refuse to pay attention so you can rant, have been well taken care the past few years. The owners in this block have spent hard earned money and time to fix and replace the historic block. There are KU teachers and business people who live here. Not unsuccessful hippies.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 10 months ago

Prior to the construction of the Arts Center, that whole block was made up of older housing stock that was part of the E. Lawrence neighborhood. Any construction on the lots in question should be done on the scale of the Arts Center-- that would be a reasonable transition between the residential neighborhood to the east and the commercial sector downtown. This proposed hotel/apt complex is not.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.