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Lawrence's sleepy heads land city on national top 10 list; medical office development underway near west Walmart


Lawrence has made another national top 10 list, and, if the results are any indication, we'll likely comprehend its meaning sometime around noon. You see, there's data suggesting Lawrence is not much of a morning town.

Data guru Nate Silver of the website fivethirtyeight.com published a new analysis today that found Lawrence is the sixth most nocturnal metro area in the country.

Well, kind of. What Silver measured was the median time people arrive to work in the various metro areas across the country. The American Community Survey, which is part of the Census Bureau, asks such questions.

Silver found that Lawrence's median arrival time is 8:15 a.m. That is a full 20 minutes later than the U.S. median of 7:55 a.m. Only five other cities in the country had later average start times than Lawrence. They were:

— New York, 8:24 a.m.

— Atlantic City, N.J. 8:23 a.m.

— San Jose, Calif.: 8:21 a.m.

— Ithaca, N.Y.: 8:19 a.m.

— San Francisco: 8:17 a.m

Silver provided a list of the top 20, and a few university communities showed up on that list. In addition to Ithaca and Lawrence, there also was Logan, Utah, 8:12 a.m; Boulder, Colo., 8:11 a.m.; Bloomington, Ind., 8:09 a.m.; and Champaign, Ill.; 8:09 a.m.

But one thing that was striking on the list is that Lawrence was really the only community from Middle America that made it. So, I think it is safe for Lawrence to tout itself as the Sleepy Head of the Plains. (We could have a parade and everything, but geez, you have to get up so early for parades.)

Silver did look at a few select metro areas and found that Kansas City gets its workday started at 7:51 a.m.; St. Louis at 7:50 a.m; Denver at 7:55 a.m.; Chicago at 8:02 a.m. Even Seattle, which has made an entire industry out of having an extra cup of coffee, gets started at 7:57 a.m.

As far as the earliest rising community, Hinesville, Ga., wins that distinction. In case you are wondering, Hinesville is home to Fort Stewart and the Army's 3rd Infantry Division.

Nate Silver is clearly smarter than I am because he found all this information in some ream of American Community Survey Data. I looked because I wanted to share with you what the start times were fro some other communities such as Topeka and Manhattan and Columbia, Mo. But I couldn't find such data, which has made me feel very inferior. (I have gone and registered the Web domain negativefivethirtyeight.info.)

But if I happen to stumble upon it, I'll share it — right after my workday nap.

In other news and notes from around town:

• The approximately seven to eight people who get out of bed before the sun goes down in Lawrence have noticed that there is some earth-moving work underway just north of the Sixth Street and Wakarusa Drive intersection. And they have wanted to know what will be built there.

Well, plans at City Hall indicate it will be a new outpatient medical office. Plans have been filed to build a new one-story, 9,500 square-foot medical office building at 4930 Overland Drive. That is basically just north and east of the Walmart near Sixth and Wakarusa.

A development group out of Tonganoxie owns the property and is constructing the building. But I don't yet have any information on what medical office will be locating in the spot. I've got a call into the Tonganoxie company, however, and hope to have more information to report.

It will be interesting to watch whether the numerous vacant lots around the Wakarusa Walmart finally begin to see some development activity. There are multiple locations around Walmart to house restaurants or smaller retailers.

• People also have noticed dirt work underway at the former Phillips 66 gasoline station near 25th and Iowa streets. Don't look for a new development to spring up at the location right away, however.

But Brandon Haverty, the owner of the property, recently told me that the work is being done as part of an agreement with the Kansas Department of Health and Environment to remove the old fuel tanks and fuel canopy from the site. Plans don't call for the property to become a gasoline station again.

But Haverty said the location is getting good interest from retailers, restaurants and others who want to redevelop the site.

"It is a great corridor," Haverty said of the south Iowa Street stretch. "Markets like Lawrence, Manhattan and even Columbia, Mo., are great retail markets right now."

Haverty said the site would accommodate about a 3,000 square-foot building, which could house businesses such as small restaurant users (he mentioned Qdoba just as an example of the size and type of restaurant), cellphone stores, or an office user who is looking for high visibility.

Haverty said he hadn't yet reached a deal with a tenant, but said discussions are underway.

"We have options to choose from at this point," Haverty said.

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  • Comments

    Richard Heckler 4 years, 2 months ago

    Lawrence is a slow moving town. Nothing really happens in downtown until after about 10:30-11:00 AM.

    Except for breakfast.

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