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What would you like to see added to downtown Lawrence?

Response Percent Votes
More free parking
 
47% 496
A grocery store
 
36% 379
New spaces for businesses
 
8% 87
Other — tell us in the comments!
 
7% 83
Total 1045

Comments

gl0ck0wn3r 3 years, 2 months ago

A giant roundabout and a combination gun range and gentlemen's club.

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Carol Bowen 3 years, 2 months ago

I hope downtown doesn't become more of an aggeyville.

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true_patriot 3 years, 3 months ago

OTHER - more little pockets of green space, including one for showing the community outdoor movie nights in the summer, now that the new project by the parking garage eliminated that spot.

These pockets of green space have been shown to improve the overall draw and value of a downtown area. They are a hard sell because some folks look at it as losing out on a certain amount of $ per square foot that's not being developed. It requires being able to look at what is best for the downtown area as a whole rather than maximizing profit on a specific square foot of land to plan wisely for the future.

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coderob 3 years, 3 months ago

I love the idea of getting rid of cars, but we need a better bus and bike system to make it work, and we would seriously need to look at how that would impact people's shopping habits.

It would be really exciting for Lawrence to get funding for a more intuitive gridded bus system though, one where the 6th street bus covers all of 6th, and the Iowa bus covers all of Iowa as opposed to the current spoke and grid way of having a bus run from Walmart to Lawrence Ave to Louisiana to Mass and back. Or even doing rapid buses where the driver can control the stop lights.

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Mr_B9 3 years, 3 months ago

Herman Cain campaign office.

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brewmaster 3 years, 3 months ago

more hip-hop and gasta rap venues.

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HomeSlice 3 years, 3 months ago

A guaranteed homerun - Trader Joe's. They simply work. Good quality food, decent prices (not Merc or Whole Foods markups), stuff you can't find anywhere else, and 3-Buck Chuck!

Put one in the soon-to-be-vacant Borders. It will be a magnet, drawing the usual and unusual crowd into downtown. And they have 3-Buck Chuck!

Never seen one that was not busy, and I have seen a few across this great land of ours. Case of 3-Buck chuck for $39.14 (your tax mileage will vary). And they carry Blue Fin Pinot Noir for $4 a bottle. Try to find a decent Pinot for anywhere near that price.

Plus, they all wear Hawaiian shirts while selling 3-Buck Chuck!

Seriously, want to revive downtown - that is the one business that could do it. Of all the choices out there, I can't think of any other business that could do it on their own. Except IKEA. That would be cool. But they don't sell 3-Buck Chuck!

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Jimo 3 years, 3 months ago

People do realize that "free" parking is parking whose expense to you is hidden? LOL

The single change in mindset that would benefit the economy the greatest would be for people to abandon the irrational belief that absent pay-as-you-go or receiving an itemized bill that any material thing can ever be "free." The best you can hope for is to shift the cost to someone else (which is unlikely).

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Kookamooka 3 years, 3 months ago

Stuff for kids and families to do. A destination park inspired by the CIty Museum in St. Louis. Later hours so I can shop downtown. We've got so many imaginative residents in this town. . Vote for artists for city commission! Encourage them to run! Maybe they can bring back one of my favorite city events....Dada Day.

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bearded_gnome 3 years, 3 months ago

Beatnik, I was one of those you must've rubbed elbows with at Jenning's and Woolworth's.

wow, what I wouldn't give for a real donut shop downtown that serves simple coffee, simple like jenning's!

you go in and order "coffee" not frappa/cappa/latte/chinoesque! you get real fresh donuts. you sit at a 1950's style table, and the bathroom has no frills!

there's newspapers, lots of people talking, and windows that look out onto Mass street.
yes.

and then at woolworth's you never knew which two or three pies were serving that day, but they all were good!


Mac, you got it buddy. beer can hat. maybe we need a little store, in the 8-hundred block west side of mass that just sells beer can hats and indian statues.

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Aiko 3 years, 3 months ago

A place one could go to watch Bum Fights.

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littlexav 3 years, 3 months ago

whatever happened to Abe-and-Jake's? Is it still in business? If so, tear it down and start from scratch.Greate site, horrible building.

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tony88 3 years, 3 months ago

less, but more expensive parking.

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gl0ck0wn3r 3 years, 3 months ago

Combined gun store and adult entertainment center

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pooter 3 years, 3 months ago

A theme park containing a few Westboro Baptist Church protesters and a water cannon.

*

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garyr 3 years, 3 months ago

Street Preacher, with a megaphone, standing on a milk crate, Bible in hand.

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irvan moore 3 years, 3 months ago

and a port a potty, oh, wait, they have those now at 9th and New Hampshire.

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gurisu 3 years, 3 months ago

I would love a Hot Topic downtown! That would pretty much complete downtown's appeal to some age groups!

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MacHeath 3 years, 3 months ago

OH! The Red Lion! I tell folks about the Red Lion, and they don't believe me!

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MacHeath 3 years, 3 months ago

Or if I could find one of those beaded ties he used to wear. I can make a beer can hat!

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MacHeath 3 years, 3 months ago

As I read these comments, I am reminded of how much more interesting downtown used to be..25 , 30 years ago. Shorty's! I mean what a weird place! Worst food ever! Surly women waiters! Locals looking at you like you are from the Moon! It was great! And George's pipe shop! What a character George was! You could always go in and talk to George if you were bored. We need to clone George Wilson!!

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irvan moore 3 years, 3 months ago

i'd like a dimestore with a lunch counter like we used to have downdown. do you remember how great it was sitting there and never knowing who would be lunching with you that day and what strange and great conversations you would end up in?

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farmgal 3 years, 3 months ago

thuja says: "a Doug Compton-free Zone"

thanks for a good early morning laugh!!

it looks like compton is going into the "cattle" business out SE of town. should make a good tax shelter for him while he sits on those 2 pieces of land, waiting to develop them. tore out all that nearly new, really nice barbed wire fence and has put in expensive 16' sections of cattle panels for fencing. crazy--hope he recycled all that torn out barbed wire and it didn't just go to the dump. i've noticed developers really seem to be extremely wasteful, i guess because they can afford to be...

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BigPrune 3 years, 3 months ago

A grocery store will NEVER make it in downtown Lawrence. There used to be an A&P in the boarded up building next to Allen Press, then there was a naturist organic grocer recently at "the Casbah" building that's now a foo-foo hamburger joint. Of course there was Wild Oats in the old Strong's Office Systems building - my point is, forget about a grocery store. As for some home improvement store, there is not a big enough place to put one, and the traffic counts on Mass are dismal compared to 23rd, 6th, Iowa, and 31st. The rents are too high as well for a grocery, home improvement store or Walmart type store.

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RKLOG 3 years, 3 months ago

A grocery store!! Something locally owned.

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bearded_gnome 3 years, 3 months ago

And ... up batting for the Lawrence Moonbats with his long hair, standing at the plate in his sandals, is wintergreen spraigh.
swing ... and a miss!
steeeeerike!
it's a hard loss for the Moonbats to the Columbia Clowns. tough loss indeed.
there's tears in mudville tonight.

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bearded_gnome 3 years, 3 months ago

actual convention center for conventions of 2K or 3K conventioneers.


if we had a minor league baseball club, let's name it here: the Lawrence ---

the Lawrence --Blob--? The Lawrence Moonbats?


a real thinker: Sam's Club/Lowe's/Hooter's mega-mall.

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bearded_gnome 3 years, 3 months ago

Der Wienerschnitzel!

a gun and knife club with live music

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BigPrune 3 years, 3 months ago

what about a nudie movie theater and a couple of strip joints? it would fit right in with the fat panhandlers/street performers.

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eotw33 3 years, 3 months ago

Medical Marijuana center! and yes, I realize its not legal here yet...

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JackMcKee 3 years, 3 months ago

more useful retail fewer drunk kids

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Clark Coan 3 years, 3 months ago

Drugstore, fountains, public restrooms.

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Stuart Evans 3 years, 3 months ago

this town needs a good big & tall store. Spencer's or Casual Male would be great.

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riverdrifter 3 years, 3 months ago

I'm still pulling for the combination bar/bank/baitshop. That's all you need.

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TheShaman 3 years, 3 months ago

I would love to see some DECENT ethnic food downtown. I'll admit that I've only lived here a little over a year and have only tried three Mass St. establishments that could be considered "ethnic", but all three left a LOT to be desired.

A Vietnamese joint that cooks the beef BEFORE it's put into the pho broth, so you end up with tough leathery meat? The blandest latin food I've ever tasted plus the nerve to upcharge me $1.25 for sour cream on my fajitas? Greasy, tasteless, and nearly inedible Greek?

I don't know if the clientele for "ethnic" exists in Lawrence, but what I wouldn't give for some GOOD and diverse options downtown. I'd love an Ethiopian place.

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Flap Doodle 3 years, 3 months ago

A total ban on internal combustion lawn-care machines. Anything less would be dumb and irresponsible!!!

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lounger 3 years, 3 months ago

Oh yes, and clubs/bars that have good/diverse music and not Im cooler than you bands that suck!!!

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Bingoj1 3 years, 3 months ago

I would like to see a true Coney Island place. As for the homeless shelter, why not consider the Borders building? From what's been in the paper, they may either fold or close stores if they can't pay their suppliers.

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LogicMan 3 years, 3 months ago

More guy-stuff stores, for both the hairless plains apes and us undocumented aliens.

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townie79 3 years, 3 months ago

how about a newsstand/coffee/fountain drink spot? you know a spot that you can run in grab a newspaper/magazine and your favorite beverage and head out the door. sorta like a Kwik shop w/out the gas!

or in the summertime how about Tad's tropical snow movin downtown??

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ksriver2010 3 years, 3 months ago

Wow, rough crowd.

I would like to see some art studios, or, even better, some design studios.

While I do not like Old Town in Wichita, the influx of design agencies and non-retail businesses wanting "cool factor" has been good. In fact, they are running out the bars and such.

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PROAMERICA 3 years, 3 months ago

Back everything up to 1952 as it was when I was a kid. Had everything downtown a person needed to survive. Had grocery, movies, decent diners, sears, JC Penneys, Montgomery Wards, shoe stores, clothing stores, furniture stores, Pizza, Kress, Woolworth, Army-Navy Surplus, barber shops, drug stores, and so many good local store owners that no longer exist............also we paid $1.00 per year for the use of a City Hall at 11th and Mass. This was before all the trees, flowers and all the so called modern art junk was added. We have lost all the good things Lawrence used to have along with a decent group of City Commissioners!

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educatedintheusa 3 years, 3 months ago

The plan as presented has excellent merits. A bird's eye view of the downtown area suggests the need for vertical growth in parking. The growth in parking would allow for the addition of the much needed missing basic retail - namely a grocery store and a pharmacy.

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sissezz 3 years, 3 months ago

i like the idea of a gym...... with a nice little juice bar

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tomatogrower 3 years, 3 months ago

Building owners who are willing to break even to bring in locally owned businesses.

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PennyBrite 3 years, 3 months ago

La Parilla -- the way IT USED TO BE. When you could sit in a booth and have a conversation with your date.........not with the people sitting so close to you on either side at other tables.

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MacHeath 3 years, 3 months ago

How would a grocery store work with no parking?? Wild Oats was down there for a short while....and they had some parking. A lot of the folks I know (natives) never go downtown because they say they can never find a place to park. There are a lot of folks that feel that way, right or wrong. I was not an architecture major...or an urban planner, but I remember hearing in class that you do not want to create "dead spots". This would be like a bank...or a newspaper building... The J/W building creates a huge dead spot, right in a prime spot on Mass. I know the Simon's have the bucks to build a new facility. Not to mention the fact that they would make a killing off the old property. We have lost a lot of stores in the last few years too. Weavers is the only place that you can buy a man's suit. 20 years ago, there were at least 3 others. Quaint little shops are cool, but they don't draw the big crowds, or pay the bills. Of course the quaint little shops can't afford to operate with the high rents... Seems like we are bent helically around an axis on the downtown. I really don't see the possibility of the situation changing in a positive manner.

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edjayhawk 3 years, 3 months ago

Even just a convenience store would be good.

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BABBOY 3 years, 3 months ago

I think I am the only one who took this serious.

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BABBOY 3 years, 3 months ago

Minor League baseball stadium.

Never happen.

But, it would be pretty cool.....

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number3of5 3 years, 3 months ago

Lawrence has plenty of buildings both downtown and otherwise. Many sit empty, revamp them. Then use building dollars to repair the streets.

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RoeDapple 3 years, 3 months ago

Sam's Club/Lowe's/Hooter's mega-mall.

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autie 3 years, 3 months ago

I was thinking a life size statue of me someplace downtown would be nice.

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jhawkinsf 3 years, 3 months ago

I've seen other communities create a walking mall in it's downtown. Eliminate cars on Mass. from 6th to 11th. Allow cross traffic on those streets. Stores could then have extended sidewalk sales as well as extended eating areas. A gentle stroll down Mass would become a welcome getaway by itself. Of course, additional parking would be needed on Vermont and N.H. Those streets could become destinations for stores and shoppers that do not want the experience of Mass Street.

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consumer1 3 years, 3 months ago

a big empty lot where the journal world sits.

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timeforachange 3 years, 3 months ago

And to all you "I hate Doug Compton' idiots, name one eye-sore he's built in this town. You can't! He's a good developer. And if you would get over your petty jealousy you would thank him for making Lawrence a better community!

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timeforachange 3 years, 3 months ago

Pinecreek I couldn't agree more! Why do I shop south Iowa? Because they cater to my 'I've got a job' schedule. If I want to shop downtown I've only got Sat. and Sun.'s. Mon. thru Friday I can't get off work in time to shop downtown. The downtown merchants have to stop treating their businesses like hobbies, and start catering to the working class.

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pinecreek 3 years, 3 months ago

Wanted: Merchants that are more commuter-friendly: open after 5.30 and more hours/days on weekends. Part of the problem with the 'local' merchants keeping retail dollars is that they behave as if we are in 1971 and not in 2011. When 22% of your workforce commutes to other communities, having hours out of their reach means that their dollars are out of reach.

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irvan moore 3 years, 3 months ago

we need the new homeless shelter downtown, it's where they want/need to be and where they will end up anyway. as for other development we push historic downtown Lawrence and its charm but we want to overdevelop it and take the character of our city away.

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Richard Heckler 3 years, 3 months ago

The corner of ninth and Vermont should be worth about $15 million dollars to any developer. Plus pick up the cost in lost revenue to business operators immediately surrounding the lot.

Taxpayers should settle for no less and with approval from those who operate a business on the west side of Mass Street.

The concept introduced Tuesday night is interesting. What I never understand is why no one ever reveals who the so called interested tenants are? Who wants to put in a grocery store?

First Management should provide parking for their tenants such that Hobbs Taylor did.

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Bailey Perkins 3 years, 3 months ago

More parking, less rowdy restaurants and other venues and a few more shops. Adding a Wyldewood Cellars was a huge step and greatly appreciated. No longer forced to drive home for their wine! :-)

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