Archive for Thursday, May 10, 2012

Make plans fit

May 10, 2012


To the editor:

I am reminded of the importance of good city planning in the recent go-rounds of meetings regarding the proposed hotel project at Ninth and New Hampshire streets. The plan has changed multiple times. Following codes and regulations is critical to effective city planning. The more that individuals and developers view them as variable, the less seriously they are taken. Effective city planning is diminished and the “tail wags the dog.” It would be refreshing to see initial projects presented to the city that follow all related city codes and guidelines, saving the city and community much time, energy and money.

Does it make sense to locate a too-large hotel directly behind a valued historic residential block? While downtown has to have a mix of offerings, planning the expansion of the area should be carefully considered for both social and economic impacts. A city is a delicate ecosystem with many variables. To thrive it should balance and honor these variables. Plans by the same developer have also been discussed to develop property across the street. East Lawrence residents view this site as a better location for a hotel.

As public funding will be expected for such large projects, it is important that the public be adequately informed and involved. Better to slow down the development process, take time for careful downtown planning and work with city neighborhoods. A balanced perspective may help all see a better planning picture. There are a lot of smart, talented community members that are a valuable resource when given the opportunity to fully participate. The city might end up with a spectacular project versus one that is disappointing.


David Holroyd 5 years, 11 months ago

Name one spectacular project in this town?

pizzapete 5 years, 11 months ago

I'll name you a few that I think have added greatly to our downtown. The rehab of older buildings that house local businesses like Free State Brewery, Wheatfields, The Love Garden, etc. All of these businesses bring people and money downtown and make Lawrece a better city. The Hobbs Taylor lofts and the new building with the clock tower across from Free State Brewery all fit their locations. If the developer of either of those buildings wanted to add an additional 3 or 4 stories they'd look out of place and be an eyesore much like the building Compton is proposing.

Richard Heckler 5 years, 11 months ago

What killed our USA economy? Massive real estate development without dollars to support the endeavor. Why continue the same process in Lawrence,Kansas

The New Urbanism development at 6th and Wakarusa, Tanger Mall,Riverfront Plaza are failures and represent bad planning. The many retail vacancies throughout Lawrence are evidence and a result of poor planning. Supply is over loaded and demand is way down.

Another hotel on the levy at the Johnny's North Lawrence location is more bad planning from the developer industry.

9th and New Hampshire already has an extended stay called The Summit. Where's the market for one more extended stay? Hotels are typically low wage job centers.

There is no plan or continuity to this aggressive new construction. The same names want to repeat helter skelter development in North Lawrence ASAP. There is no market to support that endeavor. These projects want tax breaks galore. Remember Sam Brownback is handing out millions $$$ upon millions $$$ of your tax dollars to private industry and not creating new employment.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 11 months ago

Looks like the above bozo is looking to get disappeared (again?)

Richard Heckler 5 years, 11 months ago

Are hotels full day in and day out? No.

Now if the Refro group would:

  1. Bring on a new expanded Johnny's, lots of beautiful landscaped outdoor space with tables,chairs and benches. This would make more money because Johnny's is a money maker everyday we know this.

  2. Bring a grocery store because North Lawrence consumers need a grocery store and a grocery store would attract more business to Johnny's due to the new grocery store traffic in the area. Notice people use grocery stores every day.

  3. Add a small hardware store and a laundromat because these make money and attract consumers. People use hardware stores everyday.

Empty residential and slow moving new retail is a drag on the economy and does not draw people as the failed Riverfront Plaza,failed Tanger Mall and the failed New Urbanism demonstrate. The same group of thinkers are pushing the North Lawrence development.

The Riverfront Plaza failed so why have an identical failure across the bridge. Lawrence,Kansas is not a massive shopping destination. KCMO metro is with good reason.

What killed our USA economy? Massive real estate development without dollars to support the endeavor. Why continue the same process in Lawrence,Kansas?

Flap Doodle 5 years, 11 months ago

Don't forget that nekkid gardening helps save the planet!

tolawdjk 5 years, 11 months ago

  1. I played wingman to Nick Johnson's attempt to score with Heather Ruffioman. Nick was my dorm mate, and had the hots for Heather since he helped her move in first semester.

We launched this spectacular plan to get him laid. Short of a jazz flute, it was Ron Burgundian in its scope.

Went to thier wedding 6 months after graduation. Last I knew they were still together.

Lawrence Morgan 5 years, 11 months ago

merril, you are right on with your comments. Look at what people want, and at the same time what makes money.

Unfortunately, I have to agree with you: most of the projects in this town are because real estate deveopers want their share quickly. They care very little about the town itself.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.