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Design firm, Mexican restaurant among new construction
Nationally, November housing starts fell to their lowest level in at least 50 years, the U.S. Commerce Department reported Thursday. New numbers from the city’s Neighborhood Resources division show that Lawrence did its part to drive the numbers down. Builders in the city started just three new homes and two new duplexes in the month. Through the first 11 months of the year, builders have started 97 single family homes and 12 duplexes. Those numbers are about 70 percent below traditional numbers. Apartment construction, though, has boomed this year. Building permits for 550 apartment units have been pulled through November. November, though, did produce some business construction. Here’s a look: • Bo Harris’ Hobbs Taylor Loft building is getting a major new tenant. Harris pulled a $200,000 building permit to renovate space in the building for Marche Design, a Lawrence-based company that designs a host of products for manufacturers. For example, its web site lists products such as a Coleman camp oven, wireless speakers by Hammacher Schlemmer, and a digital photo frame and weather station by Moie as products the company has designed. Attempts to reach the company to determine whether the new office space means that the company is adding jobs, was unsuccessful. • Work has begun to convert the former Pizzeria Uno at 3333 Iowa Street into a Mexican restaurant. According to a sign in front of the building, the building is set to become a Casa Agave restaurant, a Mexican restaurant and cantina. • Budget Rent A Car has started work to renovate space in the Malls Shopping Center at 23rd and Louisiana for a new location. • A new auto accessory business called Car Toys also is renovating space in the Malls Shopping Center.