To the editor:
I just returned from an East Lawrence Neighborhood Association meeting, where I heard about another Compton-Treanor plan to remake the east side of downtown Lawrence. It is a huge seven-story building. The project is designed simply to guarantee maximum return to investors. All over again, the project is aimed at the well-to-do, and pays little attention to the desires of the local neighborhood.
During negotiations about the previous New Hampshire Street monster, many voices asked the City Commission to carry out a “district study,” which would represent the desires and needs of the downtown merchants, the east side and downtown residents, and the developers as well. Such a study would plan an effective and appropriate future for the New Hampshire Street corridor from 11th Street north all the way to the river. Such a plan would be much better than the current situation, in which Compton’s money drives each “next step,” rather than careful and intelligent planning. Needless to say, this request was ignored.
The new monster does not generate new markets or new constituents for Lawrence. Rather, it only creates more retail and apartment space that will further dilute rental rates elsewhere in Lawrence. It alienates the residents of east Lawrence, and destroys the historical integrity of the surrounding areas. Residents of Lawrence, can’t we say to Compton and his friends, “WAIT! We want to plan this out carefully, and find development solutions that are best for all involved”? Please, raise your voice and speak your mind.