Archive for Thursday, July 28, 2005

Mayor describes progress on developments

July 28, 2005

Although new commercial developments are popping up all over Lansing, the focus of attention for both the city and public continues to be Towne Center, Mayor Kenneth Bernard told a group of business leaders last week.

"Everyone's waiting to see how Towne Center turns out," Bernard told those in attendance July 20 at the Lansing Business After Hours group, which met at Condotels Clubhouse, 801 W. Eisenhower Road.

The 32-acre Towne Center project stretches from West Mary Street to 4-H Road along the west side of Kansas Highway 7 and is envisioned to be Lansing's new downtown.

Bernard said he hoped to have good news about the development this week, after meeting with the developer of record, Kessinger/Hunter & Co., and David Christie, the owner of the property. Christie has been unwilling to sell the land.

The mayor's PowerPoint presentation to the group covered several subjects, including updates of Lansing developments to be completed in the near future.

¢ Bernard said the Old Town development in the 200 block of Main Street should be finished by the fall. Construction is under way, but so far the only definite occupant is in an auto garage owned by Danny Asher, owner of the development.

¢ Greenamyre Rentals will develop the property to the east of Econo Lodge, 504 N. Main St. Development Inc., the Leavenworth-based company operated by the Greenamyre family, is planning the 30,000-square-foot development. Greenamyre Rentals also is undertaking a 5,000-square-foot extension north of Daniels Bar-B-Q in the Main Street Center, 800 N. Main St.

¢ Fishman & Co., Olathe, is developing a center with several restaurants in the 400 block of North Main Street, near the Holiday Inn Express. Bernard said there were access issues that were being worked out on the project.

¢ Also in the works is the Carlson Construction development at 108, 110 and 112 E. Kansas Ave., which is envisioned to be a two-story structure with retail stores and restaurants on the ground floor and office space in the second floor.

The mayor said developing new businesses in Lansing was important, because "we need to diversify our tax base. Homeowners pay a large percentage (of the taxes) now."

Bernard then spoke about the city's other efforts to improve the quality of life for its residents, including consideration of a walking and running trail that would run parallel with Main Street, from Eisenhower Road to Mary Street.

The mayor then discussed the newly expanded wastewater treatment plant, which he estimated would have the capacity to handle the city's growth for 20 years.

Bernard also talked to the business group about the city's proposed prisons museum, estimated to cost $1 million. Bernard said the city hopes to have some of the museum's funds and materials contributed by individuals, the federal Bureau of Prisons, and Corrections Corporation of America.

Street projects were the next topic, including the repaving and widening of Main Street and East Eisenhower Road next.

Reaction to the mayor's talk was mostly positive.

"I thought it was pretty interesting," said Chuck Morrison, general manager of Pizza Hut, 407 N. Main St. "The thing I was most excited about is how much is moving into Lansing. Competition breeds more business and more people moving here."

Paul Fladung, owner of Fladung Insurance, expressed skepticism about the prisons museum.

"I don't know if that's going to bring people to Lansing from other towns," he said. He said he also doubted whether many people would visit the museum more than once.

Carol Hackman, president of Condotels and Fairway Estates, said she learned a lot from the mayor's presentation.

"I didn't know all those things were going on the city," she said. "I think any growth is great."

The Lansing Business After Hours group is a forum for Lansing business owners to discuss issues that affect them and to build a strong community of Lansing businesses, said Sabrina Darley, president of Distinctive Land, Homes and Realty, a permanent sponsor of the organization.

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