New mixed-use building in Oread neighborhood to house sandwich shop; speculation grows that Baskin-Robbins is returning to Lawrence

photo by: Chad Lawhorn/Journal-World

Plans have been filed to tear down the blue house at 1346 Ohio St. and replace it with a mixed-use building that would house a sandwich shop and an apartment.

Let’s do some news and notes from around town:

• I guess the saying is “as easy as taking candy from a baby.” I never bought it. (My kids came with a full set of shark teeth, which made candy removal and braces bills painful.) But I could believe something like “as easy as selling sandwiches to a college student.”

It looks like a new venture in the Oread neighborhood will put the idea to the test. Plans have been filed with City Hall to tear down a two-story home on the corner of 14th and Ohio streets and replace it with a new mixed-use building that will have a sandwich shop on the ground floor and an apartment on the upper floor.

Where do the college students come into the equation? From next door, of course. The project site, 1346 Ohio St., is a neighbor to The Hawk, which is one of the more popular college bars in town. It also is catty-corner from The Wheel. KU alumni, depending on the health of their memory cells, may recall the crowds at The Wheel. So, foot traffic should not be a problem.

The project is being designed by Lawrence-based Paul Werner Architects. Owner Paul Werner is the one who told me the plans call for a sandwich shop on the ground floor, though other details about the shop weren’t available.

The project is interesting beyond sandwiches. Is it a sign that the area near the 14th and Ohio intersection is going to redevelop in a new, more urban way? The project is taking advantage of a nontraditional zoning category that it won several years ago. The intersection is one of the sites in Lawrence that has a mixed-used zoning designation. That is what allows for construction of buildings that combine both retail and residential uses, for example.

There is a fair amount of property near the intersection that has the mixed-use zoning. The entire 14th and Ohio intersection has the zoning, and three of the four corners of the 14th and Tennessee intersection to the south also have the zoning, with the southeast corner being the exception. All the property along 14th Street in between Ohio and Tennessee streets also has the mixed-use zoning.

As for this project, Werner said the new building would have just one apartment, and the idea is it would be for the manager of the sandwich shop.

photo by: Chad Lawhorn/Journal-World

The former Water’s Edge site at 847 Indiana St. is pictured on May 18, 2023.

• Some of you may remember the longtime specialty landscaping shop The Water’s Edge near Ninth and Indiana streets. It has been closed for a while now, but plans have been filed at City Hall to convert the location into a restaurant.

I don’t have information yet on the type of restaurant slated for the location. Those plans, also filed by Paul Werner Architects, don’t provide details about the restaurant. But the plans do show that the project would use the existing building to house the restaurant and would convert the outdoor showroom space that used to house landscaping ponds into a parking lot.

The project has to win site plan approval from City Hall before it can proceed. I’ll let you know when I hear more details about the restaurant.

photo by: Journal-World photo

A screenshot from Baskin Robbins’ website lists a Lawrence location, which has led to speculation the ice cream chain is about to return the city.

• Since we are talking about old sayings, if the one about “you scream, I scream, we all scream for ice cream” is true, there are signs we may want to get the ear plugs out. It sure looks like a Baskin-Robbins ice cream shop plans to open along 23rd Street.

I haven’t yet seen any official filings, but the Baskin-Robbins website is listing a new Lawrence location, if you dive deep enough into the site. The site is listing a store location at 1626 W. 23rd St. It says the store is temporarily closed, but that location has never been a Baskin-Robbins.

Instead, that building was part of the telecommunications capital of Lawrence. You may remember it was very briefly a Sprint store, and I joked that it was our telecommunications capital because it was directly across the street from a T-Mobile store. Then T-Mobile and Sprint merged nationally, and the Sprint store closed before it was hardly ever open.

If you are trying to picture the location, it is at 23rd and Ousdahl, across the street from Perkins. (That raises the very legitimate question of whether we could get a special crosswalk to shuttle pie from Perkins over to Baskin-Robbins, or vice versa?)

Lawrence has had a Baskin-Robbins in the past. One of its locations was on 23rd Street, about one block to the east in the building that used to house Border Bandido and now is home to a Little Caesars.

At the moment, I would put talk of a Baskin-Robbins coming to town in the category of a sweet dip of speculation, but not yet confirmed. I’ll see if I can get some information from the company or elsewhere to confirm the company’s plans.


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