Little Caesars to open on Sixth Street; townhouse project proposed for wooded land next to Fall Creek Farms

photo by: Chad Lawhorn/Journal-World

A commercial building at 3025 W. Sixth Street is pictured on July 19, 2022. Little Caesar's has filed plans to locate a pizza restaurant in a portion of the space.

It is too hot for any sustained activity that doesn’t involve a long straw, a tall glass and a short nap. So, let’s do a tidbit version of Town Talk. Here are some news and notes from around town:

• Little Caesars is looking to become less little in Lawrence. The pizza chain has filed plans for its second Lawrence location. Its newest spot will be at 3025 W. Sixth St., which is basically across the street from the Dillons grocery store at Sixth and Lawrence Avenue.

A good portion of the building previously was occupied by Scotch Dry Cleaners, but Scotch has closed that location, while continuing to operate elsewhere in Lawrence. If you remember, Little Caesars made its return to Lawrence last year at 1528 W. 23rd St. in a building that also is connected to the Scotch Dry Cleaning company. In that case, Little Caesars didn’t take the Scotch location but rather went into the spot that previously housed the Mexican restaurant Border Bandido. (I question whether we all hail Caesar anymore, but I know plenty of us who used to inhale Border Bandido.)

Like that location on 23rd Street, it appears the Sixth Street shop will be heavily focused on carry-out and delivery orders. The chain really doesn’t do sit-down restaurants.

If you aren’t familiar with the chain, they probably are best known for being aggressive in the pizza price wars. In other words, they offer cheap pizza. Here’s how I described the menu back in January 2021 when they filed plans for their first store: The menu features multiple types of crusts and toppings, ranging from the traditional to a Hawaiian version. In recent years, Little Caesars has started promoting its deep-dish pizza as Detroit-style pizza, which it probably is entitled to do. The chain got its start in 1959 in a suburb of Detroit. Its corporate headquarters is still located in the Motor City. Detroit-style pizza, as we’ve written before, uses a special rectangular pan and is baked cheese side down, which allows for some really thick crust but also a crispy crust.

Also on the menu is Crazy Bread, which comes in a variety of styles, including stuffed with toppings. Plus, there are four varieties of chicken wings, including buffalo, barbecue and garlic Parmesan.

No word on when the Sixth Street location will open. The dry cleaner space has been vacated but work on the restaurant doesn’t appear to have yet begun.

photo by: Chad Lawhorn/Journal-World

A vacant lot near the intersection of McDonald Drive and Princeton Boulevard is shown on July 19, 2022. A three-story, self storage building has been proposed for the site.

• When it comes to little, it seems like you could always use a little more storage space. Plans have been filed for a project near the Kansas Turnpike that will provide a lot more storage space.

When I say a lot more, I mean three stories of self-storage space. A group led by Lawrence businessman Thomas Fritzel has filed plans for a three-story, 76,000-square-foot climate-controlled storage building near the corner of McDonald Drive and Princeton Boulevard.

If you are having a hard time picturing the location, it is right in front of the Comfort Inn & Suites, which is right next door to the Hallmark Cards production plant, which is right next to the Kansas Turnpike entrance on McDonald Drive, which is right next to … no, no, I’ll stop now.

The plans call for 477 storage units in the building.

photo by: Chad Lawhorn/Journal-World

The intersection of Kasold Drive and Tomahawk Drive is shown on July 19, 2022. The area in the background is near the location where a new townhouse development has been proposed to locate.

• Sticking with the little theme, look for some smaller houses to be built next to some of the larger houses in all of Lawrence. Plans have been filed at City Hall for Fall Creek Villas to be constructed near Kasold Drive and Tomahawk Drive in west Lawrence.

The plans call for 15 townhomes — meaning 30 living units — to be built on property that is adjacent to the Fall Creek Farms neighborhood, which includes some of the larger estate-style residences in town.

The location is a little hard to visualize. The project is proposed for an approximately 8-acre lot that is heavily wooded. The northern edge of the lot starts near the southwest corner of Kasold Drive and Tomahawk Drive and then stretches south and west toward existing homes that are on West Timber Court, Arizona Place and parts of Riverview Road.

About a half-dozen estate-style lots that are part of the Fall Creek Farms development abut the west edge of the site.

Here’s a screen shot from the Douglas County GIS mapping system. The wooded area that runs diagonally through the center of the screen is the proposed development site.

photo by: Douglas County GIS

The wooded lot running diagonal through the center of the screen is proposed for a townhouse villa project.

The property is owned by a group led by Lawrence businessman Tim Fritzel, but a group led by Lawrence real estate executive Mike McGrew and builder Jerry Willis has the property under contract to purchase. McGrew told me the project will be highly designed to fit in with the houses in Fall Creek Farms and the other neighborhoods in the area. He said the townhomes will be available for purchase and will be designed to be affordable. He said the project may be attractive to retirees but won’t specifically be a retirement community.

McGrew said he became interested in the project as Lawrence continues to see a need for more housing. He said the infill nature of the project may present some challenges, given how developed the area is around the site, but said trying to tackle such projects is a necessity until Lawrence starts to annex more land into the city limits.

It appears from the filings that the property already has the necessary zoning in place to be developed with homes, but it still must win city approval of a preliminary development plan — a technical document that lays out lot lines, new streets and other such details — before the project can proceed.


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