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Lawrence and Douglas County

Lawrence and Douglas county

Master development agreement for Rock Chalk Park still not signed by KU officials

May 13, 2013

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Lawrence city officials have confirmed a pair of key documents governing the public private partnership to build the $25 million recreation center and adjacent Rock Chalk Park still haven’t been finalized.

A master development agreement between the city of Lawrence, a Kansas University Endowment corporation, and a private company led by Lawrence developer Thomas Fritzel hasn’t been signed by KU endowment officials, despite the city approving the agreement in March.

City officials also confirmed that a contract spelling out how Fritzel’s Bliss Sports II corporation will build the infrastructure on the site hasn’t yet been completed.

Word of the unsigned documents come as city officials are slated to receive bids on Wednesday to construct its $25 million recreation center near the northeast corner of Sixth Street and the South Lawrence Trafficway.

The development agreement spells out how 26 acres of ground owned by the KU Endowment Corporation’s RCP, LLC will be transferred to the city for use as a recreation center site. It also spells out what costs the city is responsible for as part of the recreation center and the larger Rock Chalk Park development.

The infrastructure improvements contract is a document between KU Endowment and Fritzel’s Bliss Sports II that sets the terms for how Bliss will construct the infrastructure on the site. Although the city isn’t required to sign the contract, it does cover infrastructure that will serve the recreation center site. City commissioners approved the master development agreement even though it references the infrastructure construction contract, which had not been drafted at the time commissioners approved the master development agreement.

City Manager David Corliss said he will recommend that city commissioners hold off on signing a contract with a builder for the recreation center until the master development agreement is signed by all parties.

But Corliss said he expects that to happen soon.

“KU Endowment has told me they are nearly 99 percent complete with their review of the document,” Corliss said.

The city is scheduled to accept the bids on Wednesday and vote on a contractor at the commission's May 21 meeting.

Comments

irvan moore 1 year, 7 months ago

so tell me again what the big rush was to get the city signed off on this

gorilla10 1 year, 7 months ago

Can we get some more artists renderings and pictures as to what the KU facility will look like. We'd all like to see what the university is planning on building. The overhead shot is great but how about a look up close at the facility,...

pizzapete 1 year, 7 months ago

Where did you hear that? It seems to me that not even Fritzel is sure yet which corners he's going to be cutting on this project. I have little doubt, however, that because of our willingness to give him a blank check with little oversite, whatever we ultimately end up with is going to be rounder than a Lawrence roundabout.

msezdsit 1 year, 7 months ago

When you rush through approval of a shady project with shady people and guarantee those said shady people a substantial payoff if the plug gets pulled then you should be able to figure negotiations from that point will get more one sided. The former city commission, oh, thats right, the people who made the deal are gone now. Wow what a irresponsible bunch with the purse strings on the tax payers dollars. The whole thing stinks and stinks more everyday.

irvan moore 1 year, 7 months ago

the past mayor and dever are still there and they were both supporters of the project and we can't forget mr. Corliss who will continue making excuses while rubber stamping the decisions of those at whose pleasure he serves (them, not us)

msezdsit 1 year, 7 months ago

Yeah, my comment was to bring emphasis to the "rush rush" approval before the election.

pizzapete 1 year, 7 months ago

Has the city hired an outside auditor and lawyer that deal with large commercial projects of this type to oversee the planning, building, and financials of this circus? If not, I think it's safe to say we're all in for a never ending merry-go-round ride with this project.

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