Posts tagged with Ramada Inn
Former Ramada Inn property at Sixth and Iowa to be razed for redevelopment; announcement expected soon on new tenant for BTBC
Keep your eyes open for a major change of scenery at Sixth and Iowa. Plans are in the works to demolish the former Ramada Inn building that sits just north and west of the busy intersection.
The building has not served as a Ramada for a long time, and housed a litany of other hotel chains in recent years. It recently closed, and a new ownership group plans to demolish the building in mid-May.
Lawrence-based Williams Management has bought the property from an East Coast bank. Adam Williams, leader of the development group, told me he doesn’t yet have specific plans for the nearly four-acre property. He is in discussions, though, with various groups. He said he became interested in the property because its commercial zoning allows for a number of uses. He said a new hotel is a possibility, as is an office building, retail development or even a gas station.
“We feel like we have a lot of options,” said Williams. “We really like the corner and the location.”
Williams — who is the developer who built the new Capital City Bank building and medical office building at Sixth and Folks Road — said the group had no interest in keeping the current building.
“It had become a tired hotel,” Williams said. “The property is in need of a change. I think the community will be glad to see it.”
Williams said an auction will be held May 3 to auction off the contents of the building, and then demolition is likely to begin a few weeks later. Williams said he hopes to have a more definitive plan about how to redevelop the property this summer.
“I don’t think it will be long until we identify what will happen with the property,” Williams said.
In other news and notes from around town:
• While we’re talking about properties at busy intersections to keep an eye on, it appears the Phoggy Dog at 2228 Iowa St. falls into that category. The longtime bar appears to be closed, although I’ve struggled to confirm that. I’ve had patrons email me that the establishment closed last week. I’ve tried to get in touch with the business operator, but have had no luck. I did go by the establishment last night and it was closed, although there weren’t any signs explaining whether there were plans to reopen. So take it for what it is worth.
For those of you not up on your current bar locations, the Phoggy Dog is in the shopping center on the northeast corner of 23rd and Iowa streets. For a long time the location was the home of King Arthur’s, which I’m pretty sure was a monarch in the 1990s who was almost entirely funded by proceeds from my ATM account.
Anyway, it is another prominent location that may be up for a change in scenery, although you would think another bar use is likely, given that the location is within walking distance of the Daisy Hill dormitories.
• I’m hearing there is going to be a positive announcement on the Lawrence economic development front. I believe a new tenant is going to be announced at the Bioscience and Technology Business Center on KU’s West Campus on Monday. My understanding is it may be a company looking to locate its headquarters here, and may be in the health field. Obviously, I’m still gathering information on this. I don’t have any word on how many employees the firm may employ, but the BTBC site is an incubator facility, so usually companies are on the smaller side with strong growth potential and good professional-level jobs. We should learn all the details on Monday.
Monday's announcement is not related to work that local economic development leaders have been doing to bring the first tenant to the new Lawrence VenturePark. But Larry McElwain, president and CEO of the chamber, told me that work is still continuing to go well. McElwain previously has said the community is in the running to land a large manufacturer that would occupy about 120 acres at the park and would employ about 125 people over the next five years. No word on when Lawrence may learn about the future of that project, but it sounds like it is a project whose leaders are still actively considering Lawrence.
There's a new health trend coming to Lawrence, and I'm not talking about the popular vacuum/dust/clean-the-toilets workout that I've begun recently. (What? That's not a trend? My wife promised me she saw it on Dr. Oz.)
The CVS Pharmacy at 23rd and Iowa streets has just completed a $130,000 renovation to add a MinuteClinic to the store's operations. If you are not familiar with the concept, MinuteClinics are part of the emerging trend of retail health clinics, where patients can walk in and see a nurse practitioner or a physician's assistant without an appointment.
The concept certainly isn't new. Walgreens has its own version of a walk-in clinic at its Sixth and Kasold store, and there are Lawrence businesses such as First Med and PromptCare that have similar, albeit larger, concepts of the walk-in clinic.
But I thought this one was worth mentioning because there are several people in the health world making predictions that these clinics will become all the rage once the Affordable Care Act is fully implemented.
The corporate research firm Accenture is predicting that the number of U.S. retail health clinics will double over the next three years to just under 3,000 total. The retail health clinics were a big trend from 2003 to 2008, but then their growth just stalled. Now, health care experts predict that the walk-in clinics will be a key "release valve" for the health care system as people who currently are uninsured gain insurance and start using the health care system with greater frequency.
CVS and Walgreens are the two largest players nationally in the walk-in clinic business, but Target also has some significant growth plans for walk-in clinics, according to the information I've read.
I'm not sure how local health care providers are viewing the situation, but once upon a time, the clinics were seen as a threat to traditional doctors' offices. But Accenture officials say their research now finds most primary care physicians and hospitals view the clinics as a key component of handling the rush that is expected with Obamacare. There are still some with concerns, especially on the quality front. This report highlights how some physicians are concerned that a proliferation of walk-in clinics will create a two-tiered health care system, where people with money will see doctors and people without as much money will see nurse practitioners. Plus, there have been some concerns raised that the clinics that are based inside pharmacies will have too great of an incentive to over-prescribe medication. It is not clear, though, that the data backs up that concern.
As for the new CVS clinic, information from the company says it will be open from 8:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Sunday. The clinic uses nurse practitioners to provide treatment, and it takes cases related to common family illnesses such as colds, the flu, ear aches, sinus infections, minor wounds, sprains and other such issues. Most forms of health insurance are accepted, and the cost for most treatments start at $79, according to the company.
In other news and notes from around town:
• People have been asking me what is going on with the former El Mezcal Mexican restaurant location in the shopping center at Bob Billings Parkway and Wakarusa Drive. Well, I've gotten word from the leasing agent for the center that another Mexican restaurant is set to go into the space. Tres Mexicanos plans to open a second Lawrence location. The new restaurant will be in addition to its current one in the shopping center at 23rd and Harper streets. I hope to get more information and pass it along.
• The hotel market has been an active one in Lawrence recently, and perhaps there is another change on the horizon. It appears that the former Ramada Inn property at 2222 W. Sixth St., or basically Sixth and Iowa streets, is up for sale. The commercial real estate service LoopNet sends me a list of the 10 most popular commercial real estate listings in the state, and the 110-room hotel/restaurant property checked in at No. 4 this week. It is a highly-visible piece of property in town, so it may be one worth watching.
• Area residents have one less place to take out their frustrations and get a workout all at once. Punch Boxing + Fitness has closed its Lawrence location in the shopping center at Sixth Street and Wakarusa Drive. I checked out the location, and it is empty, with no signs about what the future holds for the space. According to its Web site, there is still a Punch Boxing + Fitness location in Shawnee. If I get any word from the owners about the Lawrence location and existing memberships, I'll pass it along.
As for people looking for a new high-intensity workout, I have heard of this new trendy one . . . I can loan you a toilet brush.