Cat Clinic plans expansion on south Mass Street, plus other news and notes from around town

photo by: Chad Lawhorn/Journal-World

The Cat Clinic of Lawrence plans to expand at its site at 1701 Massachusetts St., pictured on Dec. 6, 2023.

News and notes from around town:

• Last week I wrote about Lawrence’s first cat cafe. Now, I’m writing about expansion plans for a Lawrence veterinary clinic that specializes in cat care.

Are Lawrence cats now needing new levels of care after drinking too much espresso? Are they now only sleeping 20 hours a day? No, of course not. Cat cafes don’t serve cats espresso. (Seriously, folks, don’t let your cats drink espresso.) But the Cat Clinic of Lawrence has filed plans to expand.

The clinic at 1701 Massachusetts St. has filed plans for an approximately 500-square-foot expansion to its existing building. The plans call for the space to house areas for feline surgery, dental care, endoscopy services and cat boarding spaces.

Owner and veterinarian Jennifer O’Driscoll told me the endoscopy services will be a new offering for the clinic. Endoscopy involves using a small camera and scope to conduct exploratory services on the nose, mouth, ears and other such procedures, she said.

The surgery room, dental area and boarding space will provide the clinic more room to offer existing services. The clinic expanded a little over a year ago by adding a second veterinarian to its staff.

The clinic is now 12 years old, and is proving that its idea of focusing solely on cat care is a viable one in the Lawrence market.

“We’ve found there are many, many beloved cats out there, and they all need health care,” O’Driscoll said. “They need their teeth worked on, they need to learn how to use the litter box correctly. There are lots of cat problems that we can help with.”

The specialization on felines wasn’t the only unique idea the clinic brought to the table when it opened. It also was unique for choosing a former church building to house its veterinary practice.

“Turning a church into a veterinary practice has been a job,” O’Driscoll said.

O’Driscoll said that construction crews actually will remodel the entire building when they construct the addition. She said plans call for improvements to make the existing space more efficient and “stress free” for the cats.

Well, eventually more stress free. The construction work could produce some problems on that front.

“We will stay open during the renovation, but we know that cats and construction do not go together well,” O’Driscoll said.

Indeed, I would never trust a cat with a nail gun. O’Driscoll said the clinic likely will do more curbside service during the construction and also will do more house calls.

O’Driscoll hopes to win city site plan approval soon and to start construction in January, with completion sometime in the middle of 2024.

photo by: Chad Lawhorn/Journal-World

Construction work has begun on a small apartment building at 1733 Massachusetts St., pictured on Dec. 6, 2023.

• Not far from the Cat Clinic is a construction project that is already underway and creating some questions. Foundation work has begun on a new building across the street from the Dillons grocery store on south Massachusetts Street. People keep asking me what it is.

It is an apartment building. We reported on it briefly in late 2020 when the plans were filed for the project. It has taken awhile to get off the ground, but the project is underway. It won’t be a real large apartment project, though. It is being built on the site of a former Shell gas station, if you recall, so there’s not a lot of land to work with. The project is expected to have about a dozen apartments.

• Keep an eye out for a small-scale apartment expansion along Kasold Drive in the coming months. Plans have been filed to construct a new three-story building at the Quail Creek Apartments, 2111 Kasold Drive.

The plans call for the top two floors of the building to house 11 new apartments and for the ground floor to house a new clubhouse. The apartments would be a mix of one- and two-bedroom units. The building would be constructed on the site of the existing clubhouse building. Once completed, the project would grow the size of Quail Creek Apartment complex to about 85 apartments, in total.


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