Archive for Friday, December 20, 2013

Plans filed for apartment-retail building across from KU’s Memorial Stadium

December 20, 2013


A new five-story apartment and retail building — complete with a robotic-powered parking garage — may be coming to a site across the street from Kansas University's Memorial Stadium.

Plans have been filed at Lawrence City Hall for a major mixed-used development on the existing site of the Berkeley Flats apartment complex at 1101 Indiana St.

"We think it is a very strategic site in the city that is being underutilized currently," said Jim Heffernan, a principal with Chicago-based student housing developer HERE LLC.

The site is directly east of the stadium and is along the Mississippi Street gateway to campus.

Details of the proposed development include:

• 156 apartments —totaling about 600 bedrooms — would be located on three of the building's five floors. Each apartment would include an 18-foot-high great room, designed to give the units the feel of an urban loft.

• Retail and restaurant uses would be located along both the Mississippi Street and Indiana Street levels of the building. In total, the plans call for about 11,000 square feet of retail shops or restaurants.

• The development would have a 592-space parking garage spread out over three levels, including an underground level. The garage would use an "automated, robotic parking garage system" to park and retrieve cars.

The system involves the motorist pulling into a large elevator-like box and exiting the vehicle. The garage then uses an elevator system to place the vehicle on the appropriate floor, and a lift-and-track system that moves the vehicle to the right space.

Cars are retrieved through a sort of electronic valet system. Heffernan estimated it takes about three to five minutes to retrieve a vehicle.

Heffernan says the parking systems are relatively common in Europe and Asia and are becoming more common in the U.S., especially when developing projects in space-constrained areas. Because it doesn't need entrance and exit ramps, Heffernan estimates the garage will use about 40 percent less space than a traditional one.

"We think the system produces a lot of benefits," said Heffernan, noting reduced CO2 emissions and better security for the vehicles.

Heffernan said his company is using the system for a 26-story multi-use development it has under construction near the campus of the University of Illinois. Heffernan said the company's Lawrence plans are part of a strategy for the company to create a national brand of student-living developments.

"We really like the Lawrence market," Heffernan said. "We think it is a progressive community, anchored by a great university."

The project is seeking to rezone the 2.3-acre Berkeley Flats site from its traditional RM-32 apartment zoning to a relatively new mixed-used zoning.

Heffernan said he hopes the project will win the necessary City Hall approvals by mid-2014 and that construction could begin later in the year. He hopes to have the development open by the 2016 school year.


Brett McCabe 3 years, 12 months ago

At first glance, this seems like an inspired idea. Increasing density around campus, offering retail as part of the mix, and a little Mission Impossible parking, sounds pretty cool. Mixed-use zoning can be powerfully effective in strengthening the core of a community.

Let's hope that the architecture adds to the landscape and that the project brings in some innovative design and green-friendly components. Looking forward to hearing more!

Beator 3 years, 12 months ago

Maybe after the Lawrence Cultural Arts Commission concludes the art project in the design of the new roundabout at Wakarusa and Legends drives, they can offer critical cultural arts suggestions to architecture landscape officials to enhance green-friendly components.

Richard Heckler 3 years, 12 months ago

The more new retail the fewer retail dollars to go around in a community that promotes economic displacement as a growth policy.

Owners of residential neighborhood rental properties should love out of towners coming in and eating away at their base. Not to mention the local big guys and dolls chipping away at the same market....... with more and more NEW housing which in the short term will use less energy. Ultimately the market values for neighborhood rentals will begin to decline due to the decline in demand.... which may be underway as we speak.

Probably the reduced CO2 emissions will be negated by the additional mercury and radioactive emissions produced at the coal fired plant. This vehicle moving mechanism seems quite coal fired intensive.

Richard Heckler 3 years, 12 months ago

One more major item that may began chipping away at the student population is all about the price fixing scam leveled at students and the cost of going to college. The cost of going to college being equal to the cost of a new home should have been raising eyebrows instead of more blind eyes as students and parents get fleeced.

This was taking place during the home loan fraud operation. Yes a lot of the same culprits are involved. What's up with all of this illegal activity in the financial industry?

One of the Greatest Price Fixing Operations Ever

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