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Plans for golf course/apartment development near Rock Chalk Park re-emerge; rumor mill hot with talk of Lawrence 810 Zone sports bar
Plans for an apartment/golf course development in northwest Lawrence have re-emerged, and they're growing faster than my golf score.
An Arkansas-based development company has filed a revised set of plans for The Links, a proposed 81-acre development that would include a nine-hole golf course surrounded by apartments on a site that is just east of the Rock Chalk Park sports complex near Sixth Street and George Williams Way.
The latest version of the plans calls for 882 apartment units that will be spread across 52 buildings on the site. That's a substantial growth in the number of apartments from when the development was first proposed in 2007. Back then, plans called for 480 units of apartments. Then in 2012, after the project remained unbuilt for years, the company submitted new plans that called for 630 units. That project didn't get built either. No word yet from the company on what they're seeing to cause the jump in apartment units. (But I do understand how numbers can change when golf is involved. I always consider the first number I write down on my scorecard to be a draft. That's why they give you a pencil.)
The new plans mean significant changes for the proposed golf course. The latest plans call for the course to be a true par 3, executive-style course. All the holes range from 100 to 150 yards in length. That's different from the proposal in 2012, when the course included several holes more than 300 yards and a couple more than 400 yards.
The golfing part of the project has been touted to be a major part of the development. The concept is that residents of the apartment have rounds of golf included in their monthly rents. In other communities where the company — Lindsey Management — has similar developments, the golf course has also been open to the public at certain times. It will be interesting to see how the golfing community takes to a new par 3 course. The community has five golf courses currently, with one of them, The Orchards, being an executive style course. Just outside the city at Kansas Highway 10 and County Route 1057, Twin Oaks also operates a par 3 course.
The development will continue a trend of apartment development in northwest Lawrence. Two apartment complexes have been built just west of Walmart near Sixth and Wakarusa, the large Hunter's Ridge apartment complex is adjacent to The Links site, and plans last year were filed for a 40-acre development at the northwest corner of Queens Road and Overland Drive that would have a mix of single family homes and apartments. Look for more news soon on other filings for residential development around the Rock Chalk Park site.
At more than 800 units, The Links development has the potential to really shake up the Lawrence apartment scene. But all that is assuming the development gets built. At this point, the plans have been a bit like my golfing buddy who says he is going to buy the drinks after the round. It may well happen, but the timeline is pretty broad. But I haven't yet heard what the timeline is for this most specific proposal. The project will have to win some approvals at City Hall. It is worth noting, though, that the development company does own the ground of the proposed site. That's usually a sign of seriousness on the part of a developer.
In other news and notes:
• There is definitely a lot of speculation around town that there may be a large new bar coming to the city. (Large would be good. I need a place to lie down while I wait for my buddy to pick up the tab.) There's lots of talk that Kansas City-based 810 Zone is going to open a location in Lawrence. You sports fans probably are aware that the Kansas City sports talk radio station WHB 810 operates a trio of sports bars and restaurants in the Kansas City area.
I got in touch with a representative of the sports bar company and she said the company didn't have any announcements to make at the moment, but she took my information on how to get back in touch. Take that for whatever you think it is worth. But I have talked to others in local commercial real estate circles who have said that 810 Zone has been known to be looking for locations in Lawrence.
Those sources said downtown has been mentioned, but the speculation on the street more recently has centered on a South Iowa Street location. There obviously is some available space on the corridor currently, and there may be some more that opens up in the near future. If that comes to be, I'll pass that information along.
But, of course, speculation by its nature is uncertain, so we'll see what comes of it. In the meantime, my buddy and I will just keep staring at this ticket.