Lawrence City Commission to consider plans for multistory apartment, retail building on 23rd Street
photo by: Courtesy: The Opus Group and city of Lawrence
City leaders will soon consider a plan to tear down a shopping center on 23rd Street and replace it with a multistory apartment and retail building.
As part of its meeting Tuesday, the Lawrence City Commission will consider a plan to redevelop a 5.2 acre site at 1401 W. 23rd St., which stretches south one block to the entrance of Naismith Valley Park. The project would use a part of the city’s zoning code called Smart Code, which requires the development to have some civic spaces for public use.
As part of their meeting, commissioners will consider the project’s infill community plan, a required component if the project is to use the Smart Code, and the associated request to rezone the site from commercial strip and multi-dwelling residential to the Smart Code zoning. If approved, the project would be the first to use the code, which the city adopted in 2009, according to a city staff memo to the commission.
As the Journal-World previously reported, a Minneapolis-based developer, The Opus Group, filed plans for the project that call for tearing down the shopping center that includes Party America, Copy Co., UNI Computers and others. A three-story building would be constructed in its place, consisting of 119 apartment units and about 8,800 square feet of retail space.
The Smart Code infill plan submitted to the commission for consideration calls for multiple civic amenities. The project would dedicate four feet to the city’s right-of-way along 23rd Street for a future recreational path, according to the plan. The project would also provide a walk/bike “Oasis Station” near the trailhead of the Naismith Valley path that would have public amenities such as a water fountain, benches and bike parking. A new sidewalk would connect the building to the bus stop on Naismith Drive.
The Planning Commission voted unanimously to approve the project’s Smart Code infill plan and associated rezoning request in January. The Planning Commission recommended several changes to optimize multi-modal transportation, such as making room for a future recreational path along 23rd Street, connecting the project to Naismith Drive via sidewalk, appropriately reducing parking and implementing greener stormwater management.
The Lawrence City Commission will convene at 5:45 p.m. Tuesday at City Hall, 6 E. Sixth St.
photo by: Chad Lawhorn/Journal-World photo