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LJWorld.com weblogs Lawrence in the News

Skyrocketing rent in Kansas

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¢ High rent isn't just a problem in big cities like New York and Los Angeles. It's also an issue in suburban Kansas City, the [New York Times][1] reports.Olathe (pronounced oh-LAY-thuh), 20 miles southwest of Kansas City, showed the biggest jump in the percentage of people paying at least 30 percent of their income on rent, as well as in those paying at least 50 percent on rent.In a largely rural state not known for growth or overwhelming prosperity, here is a minimetropolis of manmade neighborhood waterfalls, of seemingly endless construction of shopping malls and office parks. Executives and immigrant workers, retirees and young families have all been drawn to its abundance of jobs, parks and high-performing public schools.The same Census report showed the average monthly rent in Lawrence is $690.¢ A Muslim man from Yemen, and a former Lawrence resident, says life wasn't good in Kansas following the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Mufad Alkuhlani's comments were part of a story in the [Merced (Calif.) Sun-Star][2]. Mufad Alkuhlani, a Yemen-born Muslim enrolled in UC Merced's quantitative system biology program, said he has also found Merced to be a welcoming city.Alkuhlani, 27, said he lived in Lawrence, Kan., after the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, and was a frequent target of insults that were yelled at him._"Merced is more tolerant," Alkuhlani said. "It was misery in Kansas."¢ The late Prentice Gautt, a former Lawrence resident who broke the color barrier for the Oklahoma University football team 50 years ago, is the subject of a feature in the [Norman (Okla.) Transcript][3]._Sandra Gautt, who resides in Lawrence, Kan., and is currently on leave from being vice-provost at the University of Kansas, said OU has always been special to the Gautt family and the remembrance of Prentice means a lot."This is really a great honor for us, particularly the number 38 decals (on the helmets)," she said. "He's up there watching now."¢ A KU graduate now is in charge of Historic Philadelphia Inc., which helps promote the city's history, the [Philadelphia Inquirer][4] reports.Hearing people in Kansas say that Philadelphia was "just a cracked bell" helped inspire Amy Needle to come back to Philadelphia and work in the tourism industry._Now, 17 years after leaving Kansas to work for the Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau, she's helping people see Philadelphia as more than just a cracked bell as the new president and chief executive officer of Historic Philadelphia Inc.¢ A former finalist to be provost at KU now is finalist for the chancellor position at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, the [Badger Herald][5] reports. Virginia Sapiro currently is vice chancellor for teaching and learning at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. After not being named provost of either the University of Vermont or Kansas, Sapiro settled into her current position.¢ Stock-market investors are still "gun shy" even as the markets hit record levels, a [San Francisco Chronicle][6] columnist writes. The story quotes Mark Hirschey, a KU business professor."Back then, you could jump in without much knowledge of finance or economics," said Mark Hirschey, a business professor at the University of Kansas who specializes in investor psychology. "There was a feeling that anyone could make money."_ [1]: http://www.nytimes.com/2006/10/23/us/23olathe.html?em&ex=1161662400&en=ccc176ae00040d6b&ei=5087%0A [2]: http://www.mercedsunstar.com/local/story/12921085p-13578308c.html [3]: http://www.normantranscript.com/universityofoklahoma/local_story_296002741?keyword=topstory [4]: http://www.philly.com/mld/inquirer/business/15824994.htm [5]: http://badgerherald.com/news/2006/10/23/la_crosse_in_search_.php [6]: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2006/10/22/BUG75LRVIE1.DTL

Comments

Sigmund 8 years, 2 months ago

"The same Census report showed the average monthly rent in Lawrence is $690." And if I remember correctly, Douglas County is more expensive per square foot than Johnson County.

KsTwister 8 years, 2 months ago

The Time said"Still, census figures show that per capita income is $28,373, and for those who do not own a home, the median rent is $676 for what is typically a six-room apartment." That was for Olathe, a two bedroom apartment.
But in Lawrence,"But that has done nothing to lower rent prices. Average rent increased to $690 per month, up from $555 in 2000, according to the report. And among the six Kansas cities surveyed, Lawrence had the second-highest rates, trailing only Overland Park. It also was well above the Kansas average rent of $588." And Lawrence does not have what Olathe offers either. No wonder people are leaving.

bthom37 8 years, 2 months ago

Yeah, Olathe is very bland and inorganic. Land of "manmade neighborhood waterfalls, of seemingly endless construction of shopping malls and office parks."

Sign me up! Can't wait to go to the malls and office parks, and ooh look honey, they're bulding another waterfall!

Redzilla 8 years, 2 months ago

Olathe--land of the beautiful parking lot. The parking lots are so lovely, so enormous, so disconnected from each other. The message is clear--if you walk in Olathe, the terrorists have already won.

Sigmund 8 years, 2 months ago

"Executives and immigrant workers, retirees and young families have all been drawn to its abundance of jobs, parks and high-performing public schools."

Yeah, I can see why Lawrencians hate it.

walkdog262 8 years, 2 months ago

OK, Olathe is not the armpit of the Midwest. That's gotta be Junction City or Topeka.

KsTwister 8 years, 2 months ago

Scenebuster: Because you asked-

Jobs with better wages than most of Lawrence, (Garmin,Honeywell,Sprint,etc-white collar and blue collar),you look it up (there are too many). Closer to KC than Lawrence,with access to bigger speciality hospitals, and two libraries.Yes they have an abundance of strip malls ----much like Lawrence' current trend in case you haven't noticed. Still if the sewer projects don't hurry up it is not the armpit that is going to be the big stink.

Sigmund 8 years, 2 months ago

"Executives and immigrant workers, retirees and young families have all been drawn to its abundance of jobs, parks and high-performing public schools."

Yeah, I can see why Lawrencians hate it.

If Olathe had attracted lots of people (read growth) but none of the other stuff (jobs, parks, schools) well that would be one thing. But Olathe has ALL the things Lawrence desperately wants. Socio-economic and racial diversity of the people it attracts, an abundance of jobs, and parks, and the high-performing schools. All the things Lawrence envys! Olathe could build a $40 million library without breaking a sweat let alone sending the City Kommissioners begging in the off season to DC to be abused and laughed at by congressional junior staffers (even the senior staffers were gone) and congressional pages, and still have money left over for roundabouts.

Don't you see how pathetic your own town is???????

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