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IN THIS ISSUE: FEATURES:

VOLUME 3 NO. 2 SUMMER 2013

PUBLISHER: MARK KERN LAWRENCE BUSINESS MAGAZINE, LLC MANAGING EDITOR: ANN FRAME HERTZOG CREATIVE EDITOR: ANN FRAME HERTZOG ART DIRECTOR: RORY HARMS CHIEF PHOTOGRAPHER:

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RESIDENTIAL REAL ESTATE MAKING A COMEBACK

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SHAPING ART & CULTURE LAWRENCE CULTURAL DISTRICT

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THE BUSINESS OF GOLF

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MANAGEMENT DEFINING A COO

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STEVEN HERTZOG

GRAPHIC DESIGNER: CHARLES LEWER DESIGN INTERN: CORD CUNNINGHAM FEATURE WRITERS: ANNE BROCKHOFF,

MARK FAGAN, DEREK HELMS, EMILY MULLIGAN, DAISY WAKEFIELD

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info@lawrencebusinessmagazine.com www.LawrenceBusinessMagazine.com Lawrence Business Magazine 1617 St. Andrews Drive Lawrence, KS 66047 785.856.1990 (P) 785.856.1995 (F)

NORTH AND DOWNTOWN DOWNTOWN EXPANSION

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NON-PROFIT: LAWRENCE HUMANE SOCIETY

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BOOTH’S BOOMER BUSINESS PERSPECTIVE

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COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT CDAC & HUD SPACES OUTSIDE

IN THIS ISSUE:

ON THE COVER: photography by Steven Hertzog

EAST LAWRENCE EAST HILLS & FARMLAND

WHY LOCAL LOCAL BUILDERS

CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER: PATRICK CONNOR, CHARLES LEWER INQUIRIES & ADVERTISING INFORMATION CONTACT:

ROCK CHALK PARK & THEATRE LAWRENCE

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CONTRIBUTING WRITERS: HANK BOOTH,

MEGAN GILLILAND, JOE MONACO, KIM RITCHEY GREG WILLIAMS

WEST LAWRENCE

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DOWNTOWN IN FOCUS

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BUSINESS ON THE HILL

Follow us: @LawrenceBizMag

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PROFESSIONAL SPOTLIGHT

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CITY OF LAWRENCE

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CHAMBER

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LOCAL SCENE

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NEWSMAKERS

FOR SUBSCRIPTION INFORMATION: LAWRENCEBUSINESSMAGAZINE.COM/SUBSCRIBE Lawrence Business Magazine, is published quarterly by Lawrence Business Magazine, LLC and is distributed by direct mail to over 3000 businesses in the Lawrence & Douglas County Community. It is also distributed at key retail locations throughout the area and mailed to individual subscribers. All rights reserved. No part of this publication can be reprinted or reproduced without the publisher’s permission. Lawrence Business Magazine, LLC assumes no responsibility for unsolicited materials. Statements and opinions printed in the Lawrence Business Magazine are the those of the author or advertiser and are not necessarily the opinion of Lawrence Business Magazine.

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Richard Renner like to clown around, but we’re not talking about whoopee cushion and seltzer bottles. “There are really two types of clowns,” Renner explains. “There’s the American version, that is goofy and funny. And then there is the European clown. They are more entertainers and less of a joke. They’re buskers.” This August 23-25 Renner brings his unique group of “clowns” back to downtown Lawrence for the 6th Annual Lawrence Buskerfest. The festival of nationally known street artists spans three days and fills the sidewalks of 7th, 8th and

DOWNTOWN IN FOCUS by DEREK HELMS photos by STEVEN HERTZOG

9th streets between Massachusetts and New Hampshire streets. Renner had the idea of a weekend filled with street performers a little more than 6 years ago while standing on the corner of 8th and Mass. “I was watching a guy juggle or something, and he really wasn’t very good,” Renner explains with the enthusiasm of a performer. “I had the idea right then to bring to Lawrence the talented people I worked with and admired. I walked from that corner to the Downtown Lawrence Inc. office and pitched my idea. They signed on right away and I was off and running.”

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Renner has been a working performer since the early 1980’s. In the past 30 years he’s traveled the globe and met some of the best performers in the world. He came to Lawrence to study engineering, but quickly changed studies to Movement Theater. At a summer workshop he used the bathroom next to one of the instructors – an internationally known performer. “It sounds so funny to say, but it was at that point I realized I could make a living performing,” Renner says with a big laugh. “I thought, ‘well he using the bathroom just like me. Why can’t I do what he does?’ That’s when I made the decision to make this my career.” “I’m totally comfortable saying the Buskerfest is one of our favorite events,” Downtown Lawrence Inc. (former) Director Cathy Hamilton says without hesitation. “Our members appreciate that the Buskerfest doesn’t close any main streets, doesn’t block off parking and, of course, it gets a bunch of people walking around downtown carrying cash.” Renner says local merchants have credited the festival with upwards to a 30% increase in business from on Busker weekends. That is like dollars in the hat for Renner and DLI. “The entire event isn’t intrusive at all on Downtown retailers,” Hamilton says. “Richard does such a great job with the organization of the event. He communicates well with us and is always available to answer a question or concern.” Downtown Lawrence Inc is major sponsor of the event, which also receives funds from the Kansas Art Commission and multiple Lawrence businesses. The money goes to help pay the fees and expenses of traveling performers. For his effort, production and hours, Renner hopes to break even each year. If any business wants to be a contributing sponsor, Renner has put together an aggressive marketing plan he thinks will benefit sponsors. A small amount of profit is generated from ticket sales to the Busker Ball, a pre-festival party held Thursday evening. While sponsors receive tickets, Renner says ticket sales are really the only way he makes money on the entire Buskerfest. The event also puts on children’s workshops at the Lawrence Arts Center on Saturday morning. “We spend what we receive in sponsorships on getting the best performers and promoting the event,” Renner says. “I’d rather know that we are presenting the best event we can, than make a bucket of money. Of course, doing a nice job and making a bucket of money wouldn’t be too bad.” “Each year we try to bring in more of the topnotch performers,” he explains. “We pay for their performing fees, travel and lodging while they’re here. Where they make their living is from tips from the crowd.”

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“I’m totally comfortable saying the Buskerfest is one of our favorite events,” - Cathy Hamilton

Renner says the crowds in Lawrence have helped the festival grow. The busker community is small and connected, so if a town is supportive of street performers, others will know.

“I’m not a non-profit,” Renner says with an emphatic laugh. “Really though, I’m so proud of Lawrence for supporting this event. The reputation of our crowds is well-known in the busker community.”

“The Pogo Dudes were one of our feature performers last year,” Renner says. “They told me that on one night, after one performance, they made nearly $1,000 from the crowd. Believe me, they put the Lawrence Buskerfest on their calendar for this year.”

The success of the Lawrence Buskerfest has spread south. This year Renner is working with the City of Austin, Texas to create a festival.

The best performers make the most tips, but there’s more to making a good tip than just performing.

“Some city officials heard of our success and they are really excited to bring the idea,” Renner said. “It’s exciting to see this grow. I’m really happy with how Lawrence has embraced us buskers!” ■

“A great Busker has a few characteristics,” Renner explains. “First they have to be good at what they do, of course. They have to know how to work the crowd and keep their attention. We had a guy last year that would, periodically during his performance, just stand on a table and yell ‘Look at me! I’m doing really unusual things here!’ But Buskers also have to be willing to work with the unexpected. I mean, what happens with a trick doesn’t work right? What if a dog runs up to you and starts licking you? They have to roll with it.” Renner is hoping the reputation of the festival will appeal to potential sponsors. He spends upwards of $12,000 to $15,000 to put on the event. Though he isn’t loosing money anymore, financial support would help to make the event even better.

DOWNTOWN IN FOCUS

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BUSINESS ON T H E H IL L

ENGINEERING ALUMNUS, SPOUSE PROVIDE GIFT FOR ECOHAWKS RESEARCH CENTER by JOE MONACO, UNIVERSITY OF KANSAS

As a University of Kansas freshman in mechanical engineering, Ronald Hill built a self-contained underwater breathing apparatus and demonstrated it (under water) at a KU engineering exhibition. Today, 60 years later, that project represents the type of innovative mind set that he and his wife want to advance at KU. Ronald and Sue Hill, of Lee’s Summit, Mo., made a generous gift to support the construction and equipping of the Hill Engineering Research and Development Center on KU’s west campus. The center, which will be completed later this spring, will house KU EcoHawks, a student research program of the School of Engineering that focuses on developing innovative sustainable energy solutions for transportation and other areas of research.

The Hill Engineering Research and Development Center is located at 2105 Becker Drive on KU’s west campus. The 4,000-square-foot building was designed and built by KU architecture students in Studio 804, which is committed to the research and development of sustainable, affordable and inventive buildings. The advanced research facility is the latest constructed by graduate students in Studio 804, a design-build class offered by KU’s School of Architecture, Design and Planning. Studio 804 director Dan Rockhill, J.L. Constant Distinguished Professor of Architecture, led the project, whose design and construction began last fall. The Center will house KU EcoHawks, a KU School of Engineering student research program under the direction of Associate Professor Chris Depcik. His students’ work focuses on sustainable energy approaches for automobiles and infrastructure, including alternative fuels and the interconnection between water and energy production.

“Sue and I are excited about the new KU Research and Development Center,” Ronald Hill said. “We see the research and development center as an opportunity for mechanical engineering students to learn by doing with hands-on experience, turning ideas into sustainable products and services now and in future generations.” Ronald Hill earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from KU in 1957. He is president of HEMCO, a firm he started with his father in 1958; Sue is the firm’s vice president of customer development. Located in Independence, Mo., HEMCO is a leading manufacturer of laboratory equipment and furniture, and serves medical, academic, life science, biotech and pharmaceutical markets around the globe.

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Photo by Chuck France, University of Kansas


“This gift provides a needed boost to the mechanical engineering department for the recruitment and retention of exemplary undergraduate and graduate students interested in the areas of sustainable energy and transportation,” Depcik said. “The novel integration of electrified vehicles and a building that has a possibility of attaining a LEED platinum rating will excite students through research projects, and they will leave KU better prepared to make a real difference in the world.”

In keeping with the KU EcoHawk’s mission, Studio 804’s architecture students packed the building with resource and energy conservation features. Most readily apparent is the gleaming aluminum and glass facades. The metal was recycled from a Wichita airplane manufacturer, and the glass panels came from a Kansas City, Mo., building project that was never completed.


Also in use are motorized sunshades made of Aerogel insulating panels. The custom-designed installation is the first use of the high-tech translucent material in the area. Electric vehicle charging stations have been provided, along with showers for those who bicycle to the building. The use of low-VOC paints and sealants has lower air-borne toxins that often give new buildings an unpleasant odor. Photovoltaic panels can be seen weatherproofing the building’s entry canopy. These and a possible future wind turbine will generate electricity. If a surplus is created, it will be fed into power lines and credited to the university through net metering. Ronald and Sue Hill are longtime and generous supporters of KU and the School of Engineering. This gift counts toward Far Above: The Campaign for Kansas, the university’s $1.2 billion comprehensive fundraising campaign. Far Above seeks support to educate future leaders, advance medicine, accelerate discovery and drive economic growth to seize the opportunities of the future. The campaign is managed by KU Endowment, the independent, nonprofit organization serving as the official fundraising and fund-management organization for KU. Founded in 1891, KU Endowment was the first foundation of its kind at a U.S. public university. GOVERNOR JOINS KU, COMMUNITY LEADERS FOR BTBC EXPANSION GROUNDBREAKING EVENT Less than three years after opening its doors, the Bioscience & Technology Business Center (BTBC) at the University of Kansas has taken the next step in its ongoing economic development success story with the June 14th groundbreaking ceremony for an expansion of the BTBC main facility.

development, including startups based on KU research, other early-stage companies and private industry companies wishing to collaborate with KU researchers. “The mission of the BTBC remains ‘Transforming Ideas into Commerce,’” said Epp. “We are raising the profile of Lawrence and KU nationwide and creating high-quality jobs in Kansas. The BTBC is fulfilling its mission and exceeding all expectations.” The expansion provides new wet-lab and dry-lab space, as well as conference rooms and offices for the KU Center for Technology Commercialization (KUCTC), the university’s principal resource for industry partnerships, intellectual property protection and management, and community economic development. The main facility is located across the street from the highest concentration of life science and technology labs in the state, as well as KU’s nationally prominent School of Pharmacy. Relocating the KUCTC to the BTBC brings it closer to many of KU’s most innovative bioscience researchers. “KU’s mission is to lift students and society by educating leaders, building healthy communities and making discoveries that change the world,” said Gray-Little. “That includes growing the economy and creating a more prosperous Kansas, and the BTBC is a crucial part of that mission. Now more than ever, KU is creating new companies, jobs, products and cures, and making Lawrence an attractive location for companies to locate.” Funding for the expansion is provided by KU Endowment, the KU Center for Research, Inc., the city of Lawrence, Douglas County and the Lawrence business community. The $7.25 million first phase of the main facility was funded by these organizations and the Kansas Bioscience Authority. ■

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback spoke at the ceremony, along with KU Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little, Lawrence Mayor Mike Dever and Doug Cleverly, CEO of Argenta, a global animal health leader that operates a laboratory in the BTBC. “The BTBC is already more successful than we dreamed it would be,” said BTBC Executive Chairman LaVerne Epp. “We always planned to add more space, but we didn’t think we’d need to until 2015. The market demand is there now, so we’re moving forward ahead of schedule.” The main facility reached full capacity a year ago, with nine tenant companies totaling more than 60 employees. Once completed in fall 2014, the new $10 million expansion will add 30,000 square feet of space to the existing 20,000-square-foot facility. The expanded facility will accommodate 18-24 companies at various levels of

Photo by Chuck France, University of Kansas

BUSINESS ON THE HILL

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PRO FESSIONA L SPOTLIGHT Kim Ritchey KGA EXECUTIVE D IR ECTO R

What has been some of the most important aspects of your success? Our success is due entirely to providing services that our clubs and member golfers want and need in a way that is consistent, fair, affordable and professional. Volunteers are a key element in that success! How many people does your business employ? The KGA has three full-time staffers along with four seasonal personnel. How many of those live in Lawrence? Five of those live in Lawrence or rural Douglas County.

What is your organization’s most important commodity or service? The Kansas Golf Association is a service organization. Comprised of over 150 member golf clubs in Kansas, the KGA performs a variety of golf-related services for approximately 18,000 avid Kansas golfers. Relatively speaking, the KGA is a small association but we try to “perform big” for our members by providing the best computerized Internet-based golf handicap computation service available and one of the nation’s most comprehensive golf competition programs.

Other than monetary, what is your company’s most important priority? Golf, like most recreational and competitive sports, is ever evolving. Technology, research and design are always changing the game from a performance standpoint. Clubs hit balls farther and golf courses are revised to accommodate a longer game, while the turf playing surfaces are becoming more difficult and better groomed. The Kansas Golf Association and others like it along with the United States Golf Association are the “guardians of the game”. Our mission priority is to protect and preserve the traditions and rules of golf.

Does your company encourage people to live in Lawrence? Living in Lawrence is not a requirement. In fact, I commuted from Overland Park for the first nine of my now twenty years as Executive Director. Other staff members live in nearby cities or counties, but at the present time all but two of our personnel live in Lawrence or Douglas County. What is the benefit? The benefit to living close to the office headquarters is time saving. We work some long hours in the golf season and a shorter drive home at the end of the day is always welcomed! Being based in Lawrence gives us a more “centralized” location to the most golfers and golf clubs in Kansas. How does your business make a positive impact on the Lawrence community? While the KGA is a statewide association, it does have a great relationship with the three golf venues in Lawrence. Our mutual “good neighbor” relationship gives the KGA access to four top courses for our events and the clubs and their golfers get personal service when it is needed. What is your company’s responsibility to the community? To be a good “corporate citizen”. Like any business, even though the KGA may be a non-profit, we contribute to the economy of Lawrence and when possible to charitable or scholastic needs of the city.


What would you change about doing business in Lawrence? Nothing significant comes to mind. The only thing not currently available that would help us is a South Lawrence Trafficway! As an association you operate within a competitive industry. How have you managed to remain relevant and profitable? Just like any other industry, we have used technology to provide broader and faster services while keeping costs under control. The KGA has evolved from the pencil and paper office of the 60s to a modern office with computers, a website, digital printers, automated telecommunications and paperless communications. How do you manage your day-to-day stress of business? I am tempted to say “I have no stress”! But, no one would believe that. Actually, working in the golf business is almost always very congenial and cooperative. After 18 years practicing law and now 20 years as a golf administrator I have learned that paying attention to the details, planning and preparation, and treating people with respect and fairness will eliminate a lot of stress from your day. How do you reward excellent work performance? For staff, excellent performance (which is the norm for the KGA) results in the ability to manage your own time each day without constraints of a “time clock” or supervision. For our volunteers, expressed appreciation of service tends to be all that they need. The work itself is the reward. Many golfers feel the need to “give back” to the game and volunteering for a state golf association is one way to do that. How do you manage poor performance? Fortunately, that is not a common occurrence. When it does happen, typically the remedy is simply better instruction or training. Sometimes it involves establishing expectations. What is the biggest challenge you feel your company faces? As long as golf is “healthy”, the KGA will thrive. Over the last few years the game of golf has felt the sting of a poor economy. When the game takes many hours to play and the cost for equipment and access are high it makes it less attractive to many people who would otherwise enjoy and benefit from playing golf. In short, golf fights for its share of the discretionary dollar. Lately, for all age groups golf has been losing to less expensive and less time consuming activities. The golf industry is united in looking for and implementing programs, products and services to make the game more affordable and enjoyable.

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PROFESSIONAL SPOTLIGHT

Over the course of your career, what has been the single largest change in the Lawrence business environment? Over the last 20 years, I would have to say “growth”. Downtown is an attractive retail and entertainment area. Lawrence residents don’t always have to travel to Topeka or Kansas City to get what they need with the retail centers south and west. Lawrence has become a place to live with quality housing and services. What do you foresee as being the biggest challenge to the golfing business? On a local level? On a national level? The answer is the same for both local and national. Golf ’s biggest challenge is to become affordable and enjoyable for more people of all ages. As I said before, the game has become too expensive for some and takes too big of a time commitment for many more. There are many reasons or causes for this, and the industry leaders are always implementing and working on solutions. ■


by MEGAN GILLILAND

LAWREN CE : BIG C ITY SMALL QUALIT Y, TOWN

COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER CITY OF LAWRENCE

VALUE

Why is Lawrence, Kansas a great community to live and work? Ask our local residents and you’ll find out that Lawrence is a diverse and multifaceted city that provides many of the amenities of a large metropolitan area, while still maintaining a strong sense of community.

Lawrence offers a rich and fascinating history, a wide range of exciting cultural experiences, nationally recognized educational institutions, and some of the most unique and enjoyable shopping opportunities in the Midwest. We have a long tradition of excellence in education – from primary school to graduate school. As home to the University of Kansas, Lawrence is a true “college town” and, on many occasions, has been ranked a top college town based on the community’s commitment to its educational facilities and the extensive opportunities for activities off-campus. With an influx of over 25,000 students each fall, Lawrence is a vibrant, bustling community that has activities for every age group and nearly every interest. Lawrence possesses all of the aspects of a friendly, active and culturally diverse community. With the perfect combination of small-town hospitality and big-city attractions, Lawrence is unique in the fact that residents have access to national touring acts, world-class political and educational speakers and worldrenowned artists who frequent the University of Kansas campus. Lawrence is known nationally for its dedication to the arts and artistic expression. In 2005, the city was named one of the best small communities in the country for art and the National Endowment for the Arts has ranked the city high on the list when it comes to the number of professional artists living and working in Lawrence.

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In 2010, Lawrence’s Massachusetts Street, ‘Mass. Street’ to locals, was named a “Top 10 Great Place” by the American Planning Association. There is no question that Lawrence boasts one of the most vibrant downtown shopping, dining and entertainment districts in the Midwest. Many have called Massachusetts Street one of the most beautiful main streets in America. Dozens of locally-owned venues offer nightly opportunities for live music in downtown Lawrence. Lawrence is also an affordable community. In 2012, Lawrence was named a “Best Place to Retire” by CNN and Money Magazine. Additionally, in 2011, Lawrence was named a best small metro for military retirement according to USAA and Military.com. The publications cited Lawrence’s high quality of life, employment and education opportunities and culture and recreational opportunities as reasons for the recognition. According to the Lawrence Board of Realtors, Lawrence’s 2013 median home price is $167,000 and the median family income is $67,326 (2011 data from the U.S. Census American FactFinder). When compared to other local communities, Lawrence’s city property tax rates are very competitive. For example, on a residential property valued at $167,000, the city property tax is $567.20 per year. The city’s 2013 mill levy is 29.534 mills.


What do you get for your city tax dollars in Lawrence? As a resident of our community, your tax dollars are put to work every year in hundreds of ways. In 2012, the city used your taxes, service charges, fines, and fees to accomplish the following: Maintained over 820 lane-miles of roadway – including street maintenance, snow removal, curb and gutter replacement, and major construction projects Produced and distributed 4.3 billion gallons of water Treat an average of 8.9 million gallons of wastewater per day Maintain 53 parks, 70 miles of hiking and biking trails, and 2 offleash dog parks Operate 3 recreation centers, 4 aquatic facilities, 11 tennis courts, and 3 outdoor sport complexes Provide 1,252,000 one way trips on the Public Transit System Respond to more than 9,900 calls for fire and medical service Respond to almost 115,000 calls for police service Process over 35,000 Municipal Court citations Provide more than $800,000 in aid to social service agencies in the community Provide $648,929 in direct support for the operation of the Health Department Provide maintenance of the levee and flood control gates on the Kansas River Support operations of the Lawrence Convention and Visitors Bureau Provide $3.24 million to support the operation of the Lawrence Public Library Provide $90,000 in operational support for the Lawrence Arts Center Provide solid waste services to approximately 31,000 residential and multi-family accounts as well as 1,400 commercial and industrial accounts every week Recycle over 14,000 tons of material through city programs

For more information on the City of Lawrence and the services and programs provided to the community, visit www.lawrenceks.org. â–  -----------------


RESIDENTIAL REAL ESTATE MAKING A COMEBACK by DAISY WAKEFIELD photos by STEVEN HERTZOG

For Lawrence realtors, spring came earlier than expected this year. Home buyers were not dissuaded by lingering winter temps and opened the spring market with gusto. Not only was March the 12th consecutive month of increasing home sales in the market, but it also produced a 28.8% increase in home sales and a 4.3% increase in mean sales price from the previous year. April numbers were even more positive: 45.7% increase in number of sales and 10.3% increase in mean sales price from the previous year.

Buyers are indeed moving quickly. The average days on market has decreased from 103 days a year ago to 84 days. The inventory of home listings is at a 2-year low, down to a 3-4 month inventory. The combination of low inventory and higher demand means that the time of the favored buyer is coming to a close, and the seller may finally be getting a turn. It’s not unheard of (one realtor described it as “a frequent occurrence”) to have multiple offers on a single listing or the offer price come in at slightly above list price.

Several factors are at play in the turning of the housing tide: Interest rates are still at a historic low, while prices for homes are not yet rising significantly. The most significant force is a punch of consumer confidence, the direct result of an improving national economy. Major players in Lawrence real estate agree this is a true and lasting movement upward after six long and lean years in one of the key components of the overall economy.

“Three or four years ago, people had time to see a house and wait 3 weeks to think about it,” says Oliver Minnis, Realtor with Stephens Real Estate and former president of the Lawrence Board of Realtors. “But now they have to move fast. It used to be such a buyers market, but now the needle is moving in some pockets to a seller’s market.”

This is far from touting that the housing market is where it was pre-recession, but it is getting closer. The number of homes sold in the first quarter of 2013 is only about 10% lower than the first quarter of 2007, when the housing market began its trajectory downward. The average sale price of homes in Lawrence in 2007 was approximately $201,500, and that number increased in the first quarter of 2013 to more than $206,000. Appraisal values, while decreasing in much of outlying areas of Douglas County, have remained even for the year in Lawrence, after several years of decreasing values.

This is particularly true in the pricing ‘sweet spots.’ but what those price points are depend on whom you ask. Nazum says that it is basement homes between $220K and $280K. John Esau, of Keller Williams Realty and current President of the Lawrence Board of Realtors, says that it’s anything under $200K. Brian Hedges, owner of Hedges Real Estate, says it’s anything under $350K. But Pat McCandless, co-owner of Stephens Real Estate, says they are seeing good activity in the upper price ranges of luxury homes as well.

“I’m hesitant to use superlatives because of the last six years, but it does appear that the market has bottomed, prices have firmed, and we’re starting to see some small increases in some price markets,” says Gary Nazum, Senior Vice President at McGrew Real Estate. “All segments are very active - homes in good condition and priced correctly are selling very fast in all price ranges in all parts of community. Buyers are moving quickly when they find a good value.”

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New construction, which is a more significant harbinger of true economic recovery than sales of existing homes as it entails job creation and material consumption, is also experience an increase in activity. Permits for new construction of single-family dwellings and duplexes in the first quarter of 2013 numbered 42, a 40% increase from last year. While consumer confidence is fueling a desire to build again, the bigger driver is a depleted inventory of existing home listings. This is good news for local builders who have been through six years of trial by fire. Construction is very active in West Lawrence,


“Three or four years ago, people had time to see a house and wait 3 weeks to think about it. But now they have to move fast.” - Oliver Minnis

in subdivisions like Diamondhead and Fox Chase South 2. New subdivisions like Stonegate IV and Fall Creek Farms are either in progress or proposed in the northwest, circling around Peterson Road, in between Kasold Drive and Monterey Way. “We’re scrambling, trying to start spec homes, and either don’t have time or they are selling out from under us,” says Neal Ezell, owner of Ezell Morgan Construction. “This is not a situation that we’ve seen in a very long time. Before the downturn, we did about 20 houses a year on average, and during the downturn, we did four to six. This year, we are working on six already just from the Home Tour.”

Oliver Minnis & John Easu

Chris Earl & Pat McCandless, Stephens Real Estate

Demand is overtaking the remaining builders. Nearly 75% of local builders have gone out of business in the downturn. Subcontractors of plumbers, electricians, framers and dry wallers have also found other work or retired. Builders are now competing for subcontractors and are at the cusp of a labor shortage if demand for new construction continues to increase as expected. The activity could entice some builders to return, but getting back into the game might not be so easy. “A lot has changed,” Ezell explains. “If we dial the clock back to 2006, the codes are radically different now. There have been dramatic changes in those years, energy efficiency is a major part of codes now, and it wasn’t back then. If you were a builder that decided to get back into business today from seven years ago, you’d be in for a real shock.” Another major factor in the residential real estate market is the historically low interest rates. The Federal Bank continues to cap the rates, and has signaled that they will continue to do so through 2014, but that makes for an artificial housing market that masks true recovery. However, the beginnings of increases in interest rates are within sight. “Interest rates have already creeped up,” Nazum says. “We will not see lower rates than right now, because of improving economy. You’ve got to go back to the late 1940’s and early 1950’s to see interest rates like this. The average-income couple can buy 70% more house at this rate than at 6%. That’s amazing.” But the landscape for lending is different than in the heyday of the housing bubble. Home buyers need to have good credit and income history to get the great rates, and the process is longer, more documentation heavy. The banking industry has become subject to

The largest university-affiliated business creation system in the Midwest For more information, visit www.btbcku.com or call 785.832.2110.

RESIDENTIAL REAL ESTATE

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consumer protection acts in the last several years, such as the Dodd-Frank Reform. The reforms are aimed at keeping mega banks in line, but community banks are also subject and finding themselves handcuffed to make loans that they want to make. Hedges says, “Banks are willing to lend. But they want a lot more documentation to prove income sources and prove that the income is going to continue.” That, along with rumblings in the state legislature about removing the mortgage interest deduction, has some realtors tempering their optimism for the housing market. “We are on the path to recovery,” Esau says. “But it’s a fragile path. Our local board has spent a lot of time at local and state levels, trying to get the point across that we’ve had mortgage interest deduction for 100 years. Taking that and the property tax deduction away would have significant negative impact on the recovery.” Still, if houses selling within days and at a median of 99.1% of list price are any indication, the road back to a robust housing market is not to be deterred by a few speed bumps. Although the housing market may take another few years yet to return to pre-recession values, the general activity has been promising and in line with pre-recession seasonal levels. Or as Pat McCandless succinctly describes it, “We’re finally back to normal.” ■

RESIDENTIAL REAL ESTATE

Brian Hedges

Dennis Snodgrass, Mike McGrew, Pat Flavin, George Nuzum


SHAPING ART

LAWRENCE At the third meeting of the Cultural District Task Force, a group of artists, art advocates, downtown business leaders, city leaders, and East Lawrence residents sat around a table casting a vision. It was a brainstorm of ideas that orbited the recently city appointed Cultural District, an area rich with artistic, historical, political, and cultural buildings, businesses, and landmarks that encompasses much of downtown and East Lawrence. Some ideas were pragmatic: installing proper lighting, making roads walkable or bike-able, coordinating public transport. Other ideas dealt with branding: defining a narrative, engaging stakeholders, avoiding “Disney-fying� the area. Complications (securing funding, ensuring sustainability, addressing neighborhood gentrification) were also discussed. And of course there were ideas about making art and growing culture. But the Cultural District is more about making use and highlighting what is already existing, rather than creating new things. In the nine by nine block bordered by


BEN AHLVERS, Arts Center Director of Exhibitions, MIKE MYERS, Live Well Lawrence Built Environment Initiative, Hernly Architects, PASTOR VERDELL TAYLOR, St. Luke’s AME, CHRIS MARSHALL, Callahan Creek VP, BRAD ALLEN, Director, Lawrence Public Library, SUSAN TATE, Executive Director, Lawrence Arts Center, LYNNE GREEN, Executive Director Van Go Mobile Arts, GRACE PETERSON, artist, Cultural District Task Force, MANDY ENFIELD, Van Go, Cultural District Taskforce, FRED CONBOY, Dir. Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area & Lawrence CVB, STEVE NOWAK, Executive Director Watkins Community Museum, TONY KRSNICH, Warehouse Arts Development

& CULTURE

E CULTURAL DISTRICT by DAISY WAKEFIELD photos by STEVEN HERTZOG

the Kansas River to the north, Kentucky Street on the west, the Boroughs Creek Trail on the east, and 15th Street on the South, there are approximately 80 historic sites, galleries, studios or art schools. The hope of the task force is to create practical and storytelling pathways between the sites. “We are taking existing elements in the district and refining and redesigning them to produce an unique end product.” Bob Schumm, chairman of the task force, says. “We are not bringing in stuff from outside, but redefining the use of what’s already there.” The creation of a cultural district compliments a National Endowment of the Arts initiative called creative placemaking, in which “partners from public, private, non-profit, and community sectors strategically shape the physical and social character of a neighborhood, town, city, or region around arts and cultural activities.” (Creative Placemaking Executive Summary, 2010) “In creative placemaking, we capitalize on what make a place, or a district, a neighborhood unique,” says Susan Tate, Director the Lawrence Arts Center and key proponent of the designation of the Cultural District. “Part of our vision is not to change what is there but to connect what’s there through pathways and narrative and branding. What we look for is cross sector support, shared language between non profits, artists, the public, business leaders, chamber of commerce, and elected officials. We see the presence of robust cultural arts district as a plus to our entire community and region. It improves livability, reputation, and in this case tells a story about Lawrence that currently exists.”

“It is vital that Lawrence look to what is indigenous as a resource for attracting high tech and knowledgebased jobs,” Tate says. “This is an area where Lawrence is struggling even though it should be a strength. If we can tell the story of what’s happening here for creative based people, we can create a narrative for high tech knowledge-based corporations, and they will be attracted here.” That cross sector support is critical to the eventual success of Cultural District. Fears have been voiced, particularly from East Lawrence artists and residents, about possible gentrification of neighborhoods, driving up space rentals and pushing out the lower socioeconomic sector of that community. The task force is looking to address this concern, asking representatives from the East Lawrence Neighborhood Association to join in the conversation and planning public forums in the future after recommendations have been made. The creation of the Cultural District was a development intended to bolster the application of a grant made jointly by the city and the Lawrence Arts Center to ArtPlace, a collaboration of 13 national and regional foundations and six of the nation’s largest banks. Lawrence was in the top 100 of 3000 grant applicants, but did not make the final cut. City and Lawrence Arts Center leaders hope another year’s cultivation of the Cultural District will put Lawrence in a much stronger position to win a grant, which ranges from $150K to $500K. The Lawrence Arts Center is still in the running for a $75K Kansas Creative Arts Industries Commission grant. Other funding possibilities for the maintenance of the Cultural District will be suggested with the task force’s recommendations in October. The city will likely be called on to provide funding for improvements to street infrastructure. Business engagement will also be a key factor in funding, as they can provide reasonable or free space to local artists to showcase their work. Creating a strong narrative within the Cultural District has several potential economic development benefits, the most basic layer being additional tourism dollars. But Tate says that the benefits of developing a “creative economy” can go much deeper, with money generated through creative-based work industries. She suggests that other cities that have developed successful cultural districts have seen their overall economies boosted. ■ LAWRENCE CULTURAL DISTRICT

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THE BUSINESS OF by DEREK HELMS photos by STEVEN HERTZOG

Golf

In Lawrence there are 72 hole of regulation, USGA approved golf and 9 holes for ‘executive’ play. The 81 holes support more than 120,000 rounds of golf in any given year. From open, long holes to tight doglegs that require perfect shot making, the options for Lawrence golfers are numerous. In recent years, the national business of golf has suffered declines in rounds played and country club memberships. However, in Lawrence, the tradition and quality of options has helped the industry remain stable. With the worst behind them, the golf industry in Lawrence looks to expand. Alvamar


P Lawrence Country Club (LCC) is, by far, the oldest golf course in town. Opened in 1914 as a 9-hole course, LCC sets on the hills just north of 6th street in central Lawrence. The course expanded to 18 holes in 1935 when renowned course architect Perry Maxwell designed the additional holes. For 70 years the course remained unchanged, says John Zylstra, PGA Professional at LCC. In the early 2000’s club stockholders began discussing a radical idea. Why not tear up the ground and, literally, build a new golf course? “We knew we need to replace our irrigation system, which is incredibly expensive and hard a course,” Zylstra explains. “At one point, someone just said ‘Well, why don’t we just redo the entire course?’ When we really thought about it, it made sense.”

one new membership. Now new full members can join with a $500 initiation and monthly dues of around $300.” In recent years the course has reduced the number of outside tournaments hosted. Zylstra says it has been a decision the club made to keep the course and amenities available for their members. The Stockholder Board of Directors makes major course decisions. Members of the board are elected and serve a 3-year term. Despite the national trend of under-funded, under-played country clubs, Zylstra says LCC is healthy. Future plans being considered are adding a fitness area and revamping the dinning options. “Every decision we make has our members in mind,” he says. “They pay for this course, clubhouse and pool. It is just good business to

Stockholders voted to close the club and rebuild the golf course. In July of 2005, LCC suspended operations and began moving dirt. “It was really something,” Zylstra says with a smile and a headshake. “The course was tore up from one tee box to the green. Then they moved to the next hole and did the same thing.” Complete renovation of the course was planed for 9 months, but took nearly 15. “We didn’t rush it,” Zylstra says. “We knew we had to get this done right, in order to best serve our members who continued to pay dues while we were shut down.” The course reopened as a par 70 that utilizes the contours of the hills and features bent grass from tee to green. Zylstra says the course is fantastic, and membership response was overwhelmingly positive.

Eagle Bend, Lucas Yarnell & Kendall Yarnell

“We knew our members were expecting a lot. They paid their dues the entire time our course was closed,” Zylstra says. LCC is a full-service golf and social club. Membership opportunities range from stockholders to social members. In total, the club counts 515 members – a number that has remained consistent through the recent economic downturn. The club is funded solely through membership dues and employs around 120 during the summer months and 60 in the winter. “We cut our initiation fee significantly in order to attract new members,” Zylstra explains. “When the club reopened in 2006, we had an $8,000 initiation fee with about $500 monthly fees and sold

keep them happy. By doing that we will remain financially solid.” Few businesses have as much of an impact on Lawrence as Alvamar. The club boosts 36 holes, a swimming pool and countless real estate holdings. The 36-hole facility covers most of the land from the intersection of Bob Billings Ave and Kasold to the intersection of Clinton Parkway and Wakarusa. “It’s hard to argue the impact of Alvamar,” says J. Taylor, Director of Memberships at Alvamar Country Club. “West Lawrence was literally built around the golf courses.” Built in 1968, Alvamar Hills Golf Course was the first public golf course in Lawrence. The course, now known as the Championship


Alvamar

Course (still public), was the first in the world constructed with zoysia grass fairways. In 1970, work began on the second course; now know as the Member’s Course. Alvamar is now one of two thirty-six-hole facilities in the state of Kansas. “We really are known across the country as a fantastic golf destination,” says Bryan Minnis, Director of Operations. “What Bob Billings and Mel Anderson built is a lasting testament to their vision and passion for Lawrence.” Alvamar has nearly 800 members; about 450 of those are golfing members and employs almost 100 people in season. While the Championship Course remains open to the public, golfing members have access to both courses, a private driving range, short-game facilities and can use the University of Kansas hitting bays. Minnis says between the two courses, they’ll host around 60,000 rounds of golf in 2013. While the Member’s course is maintained almost exclusively for the club members, the Championship course is one of the most played golf courses in the region. Neither Taylor nor Minnis knows the exact number of tournaments held on the course per year, the both estimate the total to be “a lot.”

“We put a high emphasis on hosting tournaments,” Minnis says. “It’s two-fold for us. First, it’s guaranteed income and rounds on that particular day. In golf course management, guaranteed income is always a good thing. Second, we view it as giving back to Lawrence. It’s a way we can help support the charitable, commercial and economic partners we have in our community. Also, if we host a tournament on a week day, our members still have the opportunity to play on the Member’s Course, so they don’t miss the chance to golf.” The club has a yearly cap of 200 swimming memberships, which Taylor says nearly always sell out. The club swimming pool is located adjacent to Bishop Seabury Academy, but Minnis says that will change soon. “I’m comfortable saying, in the next 24 to 36 months we will have a brand new aquatic center next to our clubhouse,” Minnis says. “We have multiple architectural renderings and we are set to move forward.” Erecting an aquatic center is one of three major construction projects Alvamar has planned for the next 36 months. What is now the member’s golf cart area will be renovated into a large fitness


facility for club members. Minnis says the change is part of what he hopes will be a new era for Alvamar. “I really want this club to feel like a 12-month vacation,” he says. “Yearround we need to give our members a reason to be here. When they are here, we must do all we can to make sure they are enjoying themselves.” Both projects will be funded directly by Alvamar. “Our membership has grown steadily the past few years,” Minnis explains. “Our members are very loyal to the club, and we don’t take that for granted. We are in a position to fund these project through operating income and not raise rates for members in any significant way.” The University of Kansas will soon begin building an 8,000 square foot addition to their hitting bays. The addition will house locker rooms, coach’s offices and a player’s lounge for the KU men’s and women’s golf team. Though the project will not directly benefit Alvamar members, Minnis believes growing the club’s relationship with the university will only bring positive attention. Memberships at Alvamar range from dining memberships, to all-inclusive memberships and include a $300 initiation fee. Taylor said people unfamiliar with the club might not realize how expansive it is.


Eagle Bend, Instructor Greg Dannevisk, Student Kyle Flachsbarth

Lawrence Country Club


“We have 36 holes of great golf, the biggest private pool in town, a full social calendar and a really great community,” Taylor says. “Being a member of Alvamar is fun.” Eagle Bend is the first golf course owned and operated by the City of Lawrence Parks and Recreation Department. The course sits in the shadow of the Clinton Lake damn and opened in 1997. The first six holes on the course are open with no trees.The remaining holes are heavily wooded and play alongside the Wakarusa River. Darin Pearson, Supervisor of Park District #1 (which means he’s in charge of Eagle Bend and the playing fields at YSC), has been working hard to change the perception of the course. Though the course supports almost 27,000 rounds of golf a year, Pearson thinks it can do much, much more for local golfers. “You can play Eagle Bend, with a cart, for $26,” Pearson says. “That is a crazy deal, and that isn’t some sort of twilight rate or early morning price. That’s what it costs to play the course with a cart Monday through Friday.” When Pearson took over course operations in 2011, he knew the challenge of managing a public course would be different. He spent the previous 14 years at Alvamar working on course maintenance and has brought much of what he learned at Alvamar to Eagle Bend. One of the largest changes is in the grass, literally. Pearson is overseeing the implementation of zoysia fairways. The

Lawrence Country Club


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Lawrence Country Club crew use 18-inch strips of zoysia grass pulled from the 4-acre tract of grass and lay in rows on the fairways. Through time and diligent watering, the zoysia spreads together. “It’s a great playing surface because the grass holds the ball on the tops of the blades,” Pearson explains. “But the benefits are much more than that. I estimate we’ve saved almost $20,000 because of the new grass. By combining the lower demand for water and the less frequent rate of mowing, the financial benefits are really substantial.” Income to the course is almost solely derived from walk-up play, so Eagle Bend is dependent on good weather. Pearson is working hard to bring more tournaments to the course as a way to guarantee income and attract new golfers.

Lawrence Country Club

“I hear from people that have never played Eagle Bend that come out for a fundraising tournament,” Pearson explains. “They’ll tell me how great the course is and how much fun they had. That’s great, because we can get them back out here.” Pearson says Eagle Bend isn’t in the business of stealing golfer. He wants to create golfers.“This course is really fun to play, and I know we’re making it a challenge for all levels of players,” Pearson says. “We don’t try to take members from Alvamar or LCC. Sure, I think it’s great when their members come out for a round, but we’re really trying to get families and people just picking up the game.” Richard McGhee had retired from Blue Cross Blue Shield in Topeka and began working on a Master’s in Physical Education at the University of Kansas. He commuted from Topeka and would drive Eagle Bend


by the Orchards golf course every day. As he neared completion of his degree, something occurred to him. “I thought, well, I’m almost done with this, what am I going to do now?” he says. “So I saw the course was for sale. I pulled into the lot, called the number and met with a realtor about 15 minutes later. I always thought it looked like a great piece of land in a really good location. I didn’t research potential cash flow or market analysis. I know this will work. I know Lawrence loves this golf course.” About 10 years ago, landowners with property bordering the course purchased the development rights from the former owner. The land must remain a golf course or be converted to green space. McGhee doesn’t plan any major changes to the course, but is working hard to improve the clubhouse and grounds. “There’s a great golf course out there,” he says while motioning over his shoulder. “I’m not a golfer, but I know how much fun it is to just go play. That’s why we’re here: to give folks of any ability the opportunity to play.” In an effort to distant the course from the past, Richard renamed the course Cobblestone Golf Course at The Orchards. McGhee has a small staff of part-time mowers and maintenance men and he mans the clubhouse himself. They are working hard to improve the fairways and greens before the summer heat sets in. “We pay the bills by walk-up golfers,” McGhee says. “I’m going to try to get some more tournaments to play here, and I’m confident those will come, but right now income occurs 9-holes at a time.” ■ Alvamar


PAT SLABAUGH

DEFINING A C.O.O. by EMILY MULLIGAN photo by STEVEN HERTZOG

Second, he says, “I am a big believer in common sense.” He understands that he can’t be everything to everybody, both inside and outside of the bank. So he wants his employees to use their common sense to make good decisions and understand their role in the organization.

Pat Slabaugh has been with Douglas County Bank since 1983, the past 10 years as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer (COO). Being COO consists of providing overall administration of bank activities, assisting in bank functions and overseeing all departments, such as lending, retail and even maintenance. “My responsibility is to manage the bank on a day-to-day basis in all of those areas and to make sure that the department heads follow the policies and procedures of the bank,” Slabaugh says. He says that managing a bank is not all about putting the square pegs in the square holes – although that is critical in banking. “I believe that businesses take on the personality and the belief system of the people at the top,” Slabaugh explains. “It’s like the GM of a sports team: The players play how they are coached and mentored, and fundamentals are important.” Slabaugh has adopted some guiding philosophies to help him manage effectively and efficiently – the goals of all good managers. First, he always likes to make sure that he has “the right people in the right seat on the bus, no matter who is driving.” He wants his employees to be working to their strengths, both as people and as bankers. He is always evaluating his departments and making sure that employees at all levels are set up to succeed.

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MANAGEMENT

Third, as both a banker and a manager, “I don’t like surprises.” Slabaugh says that he would much rather know about the potential for a crisis and then have it not pan out, than to be blindsided by something that may have been preventable. “If there’s an issue, tell me about it. Let’s sit down and hash it out. As a banker, friend or mentor, things can be done,” he says. Slabaugh emphasizes that communication is a high priority for both employee and customer relationships in the banking industry. “Your relationship with your banker should be no different than your relationship with your doctor, attorney or accountant,” he says. “If you can’t have a conversation with them about what is happening, then you need a new banker.” That communication and those relationships have been especially important as the economy has changed and experienced a downturn in the past few years. As head of lending, Slabaugh has had many discussions with both current and potential customers about what the downturn means for interest rates, loans and business plans. He said that 2013 has brought some of the better news he had seen in a while for residential real estate. “The real estate market is improving on the residential side for sure,” he says. “Inventory is lower, so houses are selling, and there is still a lot of refinancing happening.”


Slabaugh says the downside of the lower inventory is that there are not enough newer houses being built to fulfill that demand. He hopes that this summer there will be an increase in home building. He said that commercial real estate has been a little slower than residential to respond to the economic recovery. “But in Lawrence, we have the South Lawrence Trafficway, the new rec center, the new hotel downtown, and the city developing the former Farmland site,” he says. “Those types of things are going to really be beneficial in Lawrence. It will trickle down through contractors and bring new people to Lawrence who need houses and a bank.” Although Slabaugh does not yet have any plans to retire, he said that as the COO, he wants to set a permanent tone in the culture of the bank. “My goal as COO is that I want the bank to continue running when I’m gone exactly as it was when I was here,” he says. “I hope they’ll be able to carry on just like if I were here. I will have played my part in the success of Douglas County Bank.” ■


by ANNE BROCKHOFF photos STEVEN HERTZOG

Driving west on Sixth Street in early June, you might have seen the finishing touches being put on Theatre Lawrence’s new location near Wakarusa Drive. Next would have been a line of newish restaurants, stores and apartments, and then finally St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church at Stoneridge Drive. And then? Nothing but open ground. But that’s set to change. Fast. Lawrence’s commercial zoning districts currently include some 9 million square feet of space, about half of which is retail, according to the city’s 2012 Retail Market Report. There’s also 4 million square feet of non-retail commercial, while 600,000 square feet is vacant. Four major projects are approved to add as much as 929,650 square feet of retail in coming years, the report says, as well as ample non-retail commercial space, according to Scott McCullough, director of planning and development services for the city of Lawrence and Douglas County. The North Massachusetts project north of downtown and Fairfield Farms on the city’s southeast side account for part of that, but more than half the increase will be centered at one intersection: Sixth Street and the South Lawrence Trafficway, which connects to Kansas Highway 10. Lawrence has expanded steadily westward, and plans for development got a boost from this year’s announcement that the Rock Chalk Park sports village would be located in the northeast quadrant of the intersection.

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“We’re going to go from having the worst to having the best, and that’s going to have a massive impact on our program and on our recruiting.” Mark Francis, KU head soccer coach

Paul Werner (pictured) with Gould Evans are the architects for the site.

“We’re just marching west like we have for a decade,” McCullough says. “What Rock Chalk has done is move the timing up.”

Sports and the Fritzels pared the price down to $39 million spread over 30 years.

The University of Kansas Foundation, the city of Lawrence and Bliss Sports, an entity overseen by Thomas and Dru Fritzel, joined forces to create Rock Chalk Park. It will house state-of-the-art athletic facilities for KU’s men’s and women’s track and field, softball and soccer teams, as well as the city’s newest public recreation center.

The entire Rock Chalk site is 89 acres, but 26 of those will come under city ownership and house its recreation center. Slated to open in 2014, it will include eight fullsize basketball courts, 16 full-size volleyball courts, indoor soccer and sports areas, an indoor track and other amenities.

Construction plans include a track and field stadium with about 7,000 permanent seats and space for 3,000 temporary ones that will be completed in time for the 87th Kansas Relays in April 2014. There will also be a 1,500-seat softball stadium and a soccer stadium with 2,500 seats. No completion date for those has been announced. The stadiums, along with training and other team facilities, are a boon for Kansas Athletics, coaches said during the groundbreaking ceremony in April. “Right now we have the worst facility in the Big 12,” says Mark Francis, KU’s head soccer coach. “We’re going to go from having the worst to having the best, and that’s going to have a massive impact on our program and on our recruiting.” According to the Kansas Athletics web site, such a facility could have cost more than $50 million, but the partnership with Bliss

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WEST LAWRENCE

The total cost for the recreation center project is estimated at $24.5 million, according to a June 4 memorandum from the city manager’s office. That includes a $10.5 million bid for building the center from Gene Fritzel Construction; $925,000 for architect fees; $784,000 for land acquisition; and $10.3 million for shared infrastructure, including trails, tennis courts, sewers and water, lighting, landscaping and parking lot and street construction. The city’s costs are capped at $22.5 million, thanks to a $2 million donation from Bill and Cindy Self ’s Assists Foundation. KU athletes and Lawrence residents will benefit directly from the new facilities, but the effect will be felt throughout the area. Supporters hope Rock Chalk Park will prove a draw for basketball, volleyball and other tournaments sanctioned by bodies such as the


Amateur Athletic Union and United States Specialty Sports Association—tournaments the region now has difficulty attracting because of limited facilities. Besides the cache of hosting such events, there is the tangible payback of keeping revenues now lost to other communities at home while capturing additional sales tax from out-of-town visitors, says McCullough. And all that empty land near Sixth and South Lawrence Trafficway? It’s ripe for development. “Even before the Rock Chalk Park idea was out there, that was going to be a major commercial district,” says McCullough. Interior and Exterior Renderings of Rock Chalk Park

The Sixth Street/K-10 commercial district is zoned for up to 600,000 square feet of retail space alone, not including other commercial categories, the city’s 2012 Retail Market Report says. While the mix of tenants is speculative at this point, McCullough says the possibilities range from big box anchor stores and general retail to convenience stores, gas stations, hotels, restaurants and recreation uses. Developments don’t happen overnight, though. It takes time for a property to evolve, and it’s hard to envision exactly what the intersection will look like in coming years. Still, it’s likely that the north side will progress more quickly. The 146-acre Gateway development at the northwest corner is already zoned for a maximum of 155,000 square feet of retail, according to the city’s 2012 Retail Market Report. “But they’re going to be able to build gobs more commercial that won’t be retail,” says McCullough. Mercato (located east of the South Lawrence Trafficway and in between Sixth Street and Rock Chalk Park) could contain even more. Its approximately 82 acres can accommodate up to 359,600 square feet of retail space, two single tenant retail buildings as big as 175,000 square feet each, commercial space and office space, according to developer Steve Schwada. Fortyfour acres are zoned as mixed residential, including single family, duplex and multi-family residential. Schwada declined to provide a timeline for the build-out. However, much of the infrastructure for the site has been completed, South Lawrence Trafficway now allows for access to K-10 and Interstate 70, access along Sixth Street has been added and design and engineering for improvements to the intersection of Sixth and South Lawrence Trafficway have begun.

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Meanwhile, residential expansion continues west, making the surrounding neighborhood the fastest growing in Lawrence. Combined with the excitement of Rock Chalk Park and tentative signs of economic recovery, it’s easy to be optimistic about potential growth. “The development tap was essentially turned off in 2008,” says McCullough. “There’s now an uptrend for development of all types, both residential and commercial, compared with a few years ago.” As rooftops spread, amenities like Theatre Lawrence follow. The theater moved to its new location at 4660 Bauer Farm Drive in early June. Its $7 million building has 35,000 square feet, more than three times its previous location at 1501 New Hampshire. The theater’s auditorium includes 300 seats; overhead is a tension grid mezzanine system that provides clear use of the entire space for state-of-the-art sound and lighting systems, without the usual catwalk seen in most theaters. “This mezzanine system is the first of its kind in this area and is completely supported by the roof structure above,” says construction manager Robert Green of First Management.

THEATRE LAWRENCE new building has three times the room than its previous location.

Part of the stage revolves to make set changes easier. The theater also has storage for costumes and supplies, most of which was previously stored off-site; a bar area; ticket booth; offices and classrooms. “Everything is bigger,” says executive director Mary Doveton. “The size of the auditorium, restrooms, workshop, storage, public lobby, bar, classrooms—it’s all new and improved.” The theater began its search for a new location about 14 years ago, Doveton says, and west Lawrence’s accessibility is already a boon for volunteers, actors and patrons who regularly drive in from Johnson County, Baldwin, Ottawa, Topeka, Atchison and elsewhere. It’s also well situated for Lawrence, which she describes as having something of a cultural three-legged stool between Theatre Lawrence, the University of Kansas’ Lied Center and the Lawrence Arts Center. Moving west simply extended that reach. “There’s a renewed excitement across Lawrence, both here and downtown,” Doveton says. “To actually come into a new neighborhood and provide a cultural anchor for it is wonderful.” ■


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by EMILY MULLIGAN photos STEVEN HERTZOG

Farmland 1984

Amid the buzz of city-funded, large-scale construction projects this year, such as the Lawrence Public Library and Rock Chalk Park, environmental and construction crews have quietly plugged away at the former Farmland nitrogen plant site on East 23rd St. The former Farmland site doesn’t have near the costs associated with it that the other two projects have, but the potential impact of its development may be just as great. “This is one of the few places we have that can accommodate industrial businesses in the city, and it is a high priority because of the primary jobs it can create,” said Britt Crum-Cano, economic development coordinator for the City of Lawrence . The circumstances that led to the city taking over development of the site are rather unique. Farmland went bankrupt and, as part of the settlement, the company had to set aside $8.5 million to remediate the land and site. So, the city acquired the property in September 2010 at no cost and set to work to remediate the environmental issues and prepare the land for development. “The city did something kind of extraordinary. You don’t find very often that a municipality takes over land like this,” said Megan Gilliland, communications manager for the City of Lawrence. “Clean up began immediately. From a visual standpoint, it looked like a rundown old plant. Now, it looks like developable land.” Greg Williams, president/CEO of the Lawrence Chamber of Commerce, agreed that the city was doing something it had not done before, for the benefit of current and future residents.


Matt Bond

“The city is putting its money where its mouth is,” he said. “It is standing up and doing something very bold, something unique to Lawrence: taking a risk. This is not just an investment of building; it is an investment in workforce: hiring qualified, talented local residents who enjoy living in Lawrence and want to work in Lawrence.” Demolition to Development Matt Bond, the City of Lawrence’s manager of the storm water division of public works, has been the lead project manager for the city through the clean-up and into the beginning of development of the 335 acres, out of 467 total acres, that have been master planned. Bond oversaw the demolition of about 1,600 tons of scrap metal that was recycled from the site, as well as working with the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) to evaluate and treat the soil and groundwater, which have significant nitrogen concentrations, among other issues. Now, Bond is leading the development and construction of infrastructure on the site. This spring, crews began grading and planning for a road that will run east-west just north of 23rd St. to enter the site and to connect it all the way to the East Hills Business Park to the east. That road will also align with a new stoplight installed in May across 23rd St. at O’Connell, to allow for easy entry and exit for both the Farmland site and East Hills. Bond anticipates that the road, storm sewers and sanitary sewers will be completed by this fall. Construction crews also are grading and building a pad site further north and west on the property that eventually will house an

electrical substation, which will replace the original substation on the western edge that is visible from 23rd St. The city has partnered with Westar to upgrade and maintain electrical poles and lines, most of which have been there since the early 1950s, Bond said. Westar also ran new lines along the back of the property and created a redundant power source. Once the new substation is up and running in late 2014 to early 2015, other power poles will be moved to make for a better entrance. Bond and the KDHE are planning for changes to managing groundwater runoff from the site. Currently, there are several ponds on the site that collect groundwater runoff. That water is monitored for nitrogen levels and then piped under the Kansas River and applied to a series of farmed fields north of the river whenever the farmers need it. The concentration of nitrates in that water is going down, Bond said, so workers are in the process of implementing a new runoff plan: one regional detention pond on the north end of the property that will collect water from the entire site through an interceptor trench and let it run to the Kansas River. Bond also will oversee work beginning this summer on a part of the site that falls under EPA guidelines for the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). The soil has low pH, and previous attempts to correct for it have not succeeded, so crews will take a more aggressive approach, excavating the soil and mixing in chemicals to bring up the pH. When the city first acquired the site, it worked with Shaw Environmental on an action plan to remediate the site. The KDHE set out requirements for the land, that it not be used for residential or commercial purposes, only industrial. Based on the action plan, EAST LAWRENCE

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the KDHE initially estimated that the remediation would cost about $13.5 million. With Farmland’s bankruptcy allocation of $8.5 million, that leaves the city with the balance. “I think we can clean the site up for $8.5 million to $11 million,” Bond explained. “If the property had been left the way it was, I’m not sure the fund would have cleaned up the site. We have saved some costs as a city staff doing things ourselves. We didn’t pay for the property. The flip side is we’re paying for its infrastructure and development.” The city hopes to make good use of the undevelopable portion of the site, about 132 acres, as well. In early 2012, it received a technical assistance grant from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and the Environmental Protection Agency to investigate the site’s potential for using renewable energy. Eileen Horn, sustainability coordinator for the city and Douglas County, said that the NREL and EPA conducted an early FORMER FARMLAND SITE: feasibility study for 467 acres, 335 of which biomass conversion are master planned into electricity generation, but that Zonings: the Farmland site was not a good fit for that Heavy Industrial,General Industrial, particular option. Limited Industrial “That study ignited an interest in Boundaries: renewable energy Delaware St., from 8th to 22nd Terrace; there, so we hired a company to evaluate Western edge of East Hills Business other possibilities, rd th and it looks like using Park; 23 St./K-10 to 19 St. solar photovoltaic’s [PVs] for electricity generation might work well with the site,” Horn said. “If we can put solar panels on the undevelopable part of the property, that would be a win-win.” Role Model The city and other entities need to look no farther than next door to the former Farmland site to see a successful industrial development in Lawrence. Its development process was more traditional, and East Hills Business Park, which is adjacent to the east to the Farmland site, was designed to accommodate a variety of industrial sites. “For all intents and purposes, East Hills is virtually built out,” said Williams, who is also the CEO of the Economic Development Corporation of Lawrence and Douglas County.

East Hills boasts a full capacity of its largest sites, with companies like Kinedyne, Plastikon, K & M Tire, and Grandstand Sportswear and Glassware. Chris Piper, owner of Grandstand, said that East Hills offered the only available space that could accommodate the growing company when it moved from near 31st and Haskell in 2011. “We love our building, and we have room to grow here,” he said. “We fell into an absolutely fantastic deal, and the city was great.” He said that East Hills would be an even better location when the South Lawrence Trafficway is built, providing quicker access across Lawrence and from the west and south. There are smaller tracts of land still open at East Hills, Williams said, as well as an 87-acre parcel that is located in a flood plain. “There are some opportunities for ancillary or even complementary development at East Hills for those who work there,” he said. Those could include, but are not limited to, day care, food, dry cleaners or a convenience store. “It’s been a case study on how to develop an industrial park properly, and there are lots of people to thank and congratulate for that,” Williams said. Bringing in Business Although the actual development of the business sites and arrival of tenants to the Farmland site is a few years off, Crum-Cano and Gilliland said the city was already marketing the sites to prospective tenants. No one has signed on publicly, so there are no announcements to make just yet. “We don’t have a formalized brochure or materials, but we are actively involved in informing potential companies about the Farmland site,” Crum-Cano said. Gilliland said that the city was eager to rename the property so that it would no longer have to be referred to as “the former Farmland site.” But even that might be several months to a year away. “Since the acquisition, the vision and development of what we want Farmland to be has been at the forefront,” Gilliland said. “The marketing process will be accelerated as the infrastructure is completed.” Crum-Cano said there are many positives about the site - one big advantage is its location. “Where it sits is ideal: in the Johnson County corridor, near the new K-10 [South Lawrence Trafficway] and with access to I-70,” she said. “Basically now this particular site will have access to the east, west and north, and some parcels will have rail access, which is very valuable.”


Crum-Cano said that although the property size could accommodate large industrial businesses, the city would be open to what potential tenants may need. “Since our initial plans, we have allowed for flexibility, because we don’t know if someone will need a small parcel or a large parcel,” she said. Williams agreed that the location and highway access were crucial to attracting and maintaining businesses at the new site. And he emphasized that the success of those businesses was important to Lawrence for many reasons. “This land is going to be critical to the economic success of the community,” he said. “Manufacturing creates mass quantities of jobs, and not only are they good jobs, but there is a multiplier effect that one dollar invested in manufacturing circulates five to

seven times in the community.” Gilliland said that the site was being Chris Piper planned with attention to detail. “We want this to be not just an industrial park; we want it to have a park-like feel, so there will be bike lanes and trails,” she said. Horn said the Farmland site showed that development and environmentalism did not have to be opposable forces. “This is a premium example of visionary leadership. It shows that economic development and environmental stewardship can coexist. It’s a wonderful story, and it is really a powerful statement about what Lawrence is,” she said.■


by ANNE BROCKHOFF photos STEVEN HERTZOG

The word ‘development’ conjures images of open spaces easily graded, fitted with infrastructure and built out. It doesn’t bring to mind a place like downtown Lawrence, and it’s easy to see why. Massachusetts Street is already thick with stores, commercial businesses, restaurants and entertainment venues. It’s hemmed in by parks, the Kansas River and street after street of homes. There are few open lots, and many champions ready to defend it against threats to its distinctive character. Among them are a handful of business owners who see downtown ripe not for development, but for expansion. There is a group that has spotted opportunities in the nearby Warehouse Arts District and North Lawrence that will bring more shoppers and jobs to the area, and who believe expanding downtown’s footprint is essential to its long-term appeal. “I think at some point we’re not going to look at downtown as Massachusetts Street, but as the core nucleus of Lawrence which extends to the Warehouse Arts District to hopefully sometime in the future north across the bridge, to Vermont Street down to 12th and 14th Street,” says Jeff Hatfield of Larry A. Hatfield Appraisals, who’s involved with the North Massachusetts project on the river’s north shore. While that development is on something of a slow burn, the Warehouse Arts District, a few blocks east of Massachusetts Street, is gaining momentum. Until recently, the streets around Eighth and Pennsylvania had a neglected feel, thanks to the aging buildings, railroad tracks and proximity to a concrete plant and other industry.

Krause Dining, which Robert and Molly Krause operated out of their home at Ninth and Delaware for years until closing in 2010, drew some to the area, as did a handful of other creative and business outposts. Scott Trettel bought 846 Pennsylvania to house his Trettel Design + Build firm in 2011; the renovation included a new loft home for the neighborhood’s Invisible Hand Gallery. But many of the street’s other buildings remained in disrepair. Among them was the Poehler Grocery Mercantile Warehouse, a crumbling red brick structure built in 1904. Tony Krsnich, a Kansas City developer who specializes in renovating historic buildings, recalls his now-business partner Mike Hodges telling him about it during a round of golf. Once Krsnich saw 619 E. Eighth Street, he wanted it. “I fell in love with the Poehler building,” Krsnich says. “Although the roof had caved in and a couple walls were somewhat questionable, I knew with the right funding package we would be able to redevelop it.” So Krsnich and Hodges invested $9.5 million and reopened it as the Poehler Loft Apartments in July 2012. The building, now rimmed

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with neat landscaping and freshly paved parking lots, leased all 49 apartments in less than 12 hours, Krsnich says. It’s labeled mixed-income, so 43 of the units are rent restricted, he says. The city of Lawrence has designated the surrounding blocks as a 95% Neighborhood Revitalization Area (NRA), allowing for up to $500,000 in property tax to be rebated to the development team over a period of 10 years, according to the 2012 Lawrence & Douglas County Economic Development Progress Report. The city also spent $1.3 million resurfacing streets, alleys and parking lots; burying electrical lines; adding curbs and lighting and otherwise improving the streetscape, the report said. The Poehler building wasn’t just a one-off, though. Krsnich and his partners also completed a $2 million renovation of the Cider Gallery, a 1890s warehouse at 810 Pennsylvania. The main floor’s art gallery is sister to the Weinberger Fine Art Gallery in the Crossroads Arts District of Kansas City, Mo., while the upper level includes an entrepreneurial office hub with cubicle and office memberships. There’s also 5,000 square feet of event space.

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There’s nothing greener than saving an historic building from the landfill, and that’s where this entire block was going. -Tony Krsnich

Krsnich admits that tax credits and incentives played a key role in his ability to invest in the project, but he’s quick to point out the return on such public support.

There’s no question that the land between Eighth and Ninth streets, west of Pennsylvania, will be something special some day, but I literally don’t have any plans for it now, Krsnich says.

He estimates some 150 workers contributed to the Poehler renovation. The smaller Cider project generated jobs for architects, engineers, construction workers and others, too. The opening of both created about 10 permanent jobs, Krsnich says.

Whatever happens, he’ll solicit input from residents, just as he did at the beginning of the Poehler renovation.

That’s in line with the results of a 2012 report on the economic impact of historic tax credits by the Center for Urban Policy Research at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. The study showed that a $1 million investment in historic rehabilitation in Kansas creates 16.4 in-state jobs, more than highway construction. Renovating the structures is minimally invasive to the environment as well, says Krsnich, who installed solar panels and an electric car charging station in the Poehler building. “There’s nothing greener than saving an historic building from the landfill, and that’s where this entire block was going,” he says.

“It’s the best way to get support, especially when it’s not your own neighborhood,” he says. “Other people know their own backyard better than you do.” What happens when your development site is in your backyard? Respect is perhaps then even more essential, says Rick Renfro, the owner of Johnny’s Tavern and a partner in the North Massachusetts Street project near the intersection of its namesake and North Second Street. “I’ve been here so long that I don’t want to see it screwed up,” says Renfro, who purchased the original Johnny’s location in 1978 and now owns or partners in eight other locations. “There are a lot of things North Lawrence needs. Half my customers live here, and I talk to them on a daily basis.”

The results are garnering much attention from inside and outside Lawrence. Krsnich says the Cider Gallery’s event space hosted two weddings within a month of its opening in April. There are “dozens and dozens” more in the works, he says, and about a third of the inquiries he receives are from Kansas City and elsewhere. “That’s a huge draw for Lawrence and a huge increase in the Lawrence tax base,” he says.

The group stresses communication with the North Lawrence Improvement Association. Plus, all of the partners are Kansasbased, and most live and work in North Lawrence, Hatfield says. “We don’t consider ourselves developers,” Hatfield says. “We consider ourselves local business people that have a passion for Lawrence, Kansas.”

Krsnich’s group also owns other buildings and lots on the 800 block of Pennsylvania, including one used as a community garden by area residents. How will he develop those?

That passion in recent years has been directed toward the 19acre site, which curves along the Kansas River’s north bank and is bordered by railroad tracks and a strip of shops that includes NORTH & DOWNTOWN LAWRENCE

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Johnny’s, The Gaslight Tavern, Lawrence Jiu-Jitsu and The Village Witch. Otherwise, the property is mostly vacant, save for a defunct grain elevator and a trailer park. Still, it’s not an easy thing to build out. “Redevelopments are always more of a challenge than going out into a green field,” says project architect Paul Werner. The first challenge was acquiring the acreage, which initially was a patchwork with more than 15 owners. Hatfield bought his first half-acre in 1994; Renfro also owned Johnny’s and surrounding property. But neither had a clear idea of what to do with it until Jon Davis approached them. Both credit Davis, a North Lawrence resident and business owner, with the idea of creating a mixed-use site with retail, services and housing. They and other investors slowly brought the land under their control, worked to get it all zoned for commercial use and then tackled their biggest asset—the river. Building near the levee required approval from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which this year ruled construction could come within 16 feet of the levee’s toe, Werner says. That’s close enough to contemplate a boardwalk-style retail development with shops and restaurants. Residential construction, a grocery store and a hotel have also been discussed, Renfro says. Nothing has been decided yet, except one key aspect—creating an environment that compliments, rather than competes with, downtown. A robust downtown is key to the North Massachusetts project’s success, Renfro and Hatfield say, while a new shopping area could

Jeff Harfield & Louie Riederer

bolster the city’s appeal with locals and out-of-towners alike. “Instead of them driving over the bridge and heading north or going east or west, they’d go over the bridge and stop within our own local community and spend those tax dollars here,” says Hatfield. For now, the group is focused on finalizing its preliminary plat and seeking city approval, Werner says. It’s also considering infrastructure needs such as the number and cost of pump stations and how many egress points are required, as well as what type of retail fits and how many housing units can be accommodated. Sorting that puzzle requires creativity, compromise and patience, says Renfro. “Unfortunately, this is not a mathematical problem. It’s not one plus one equals two,” he says. Configuring potential uses is “more of an art thing.” For now, there’s no rush. The project is currently financially stable, and its partners are willing to wait until Lawrence’s economic climate improves and the right investor emerges. “We need the right group of visionaries that have the money, the financial horsepower, to see the same vision we have and make it work financially for their development dollars,” Hatfield says. Renfro agrees. “The beauty of it is that we don’t need to move,” he says. “It’s not like we have to have it done in two years.” ■


WHY LOCAL? LOCAL BUILDERS vs OUT OF TOWN CONTRACTORS Builders find strength in Lawrence’s foundation: people, partners and projects

Kevin Markley & Kelly Hockey by MARK FAGAN photos by STEVEN HERTZOG

Construction in Lawrence isn’t simply a matter of putting up high-quality buildings or designing energy-efficient homes or renovating century-old residences when it comes to generating success in a competitive industry. It’s all of them and more. Lawrence — with its educated population, diverse neighborhoods and longtime businesses and developers — continues to build upon its solid foundation through a combination of strong relationships, opportunistic risk-takers and long-term thinkers. Those who endure do so with firm commitments and flexible approaches to the Lawrence market, its community and its future. “Quite frankly, we bet our bankroll on it,” said Kevin Markley, who co-owns Mar Lan Construction LLC with Gale and Brian Lantis. “It’s where we wanted to be.” Markley, whose company celebrated its 17th Founders Day on June 17, is among builders whose projects help shape the community, and so it makes sense to ask them and others in the industry about what makes Lawrence different. Among characteristics making the list: committed players. “Lawrence has a desirable number and its share of developers who are willing to invest in the community,” Markley says.

He remembers one such project early on: Downtown 2000, a partnership that combined private development with public participation to bring a parking garage and a four-story, mixed-use building to the 900 block of New Hampshire Street, where the Lawrence Arts Center would make its new home. “The university is obviously the biggest dollar in town,” Markley says, of the University of Kansas. “But private developers are willing — and willing to stay hard-pressed — to be successful in Lawrence, and to do what’s right here, to see their investments embellish the area.” Brandon Dahl, president of Dahl Construction Inc., loves that KU helps foster the diverse atmosphere that makes Lawrence such a fine place to live. Shopping, entertainment, activities and everything else supporting an excellent existence — early on and well into retirement — can be found in town, he says, where builders like himself work to meet market needs. Dahl proudly calls his company “boutiquey,” handling jobs ranging from schools to grain elevators, screen doors and custom homes. Dahl added a library, offices, toddler rooms and two outdoor exploration areas — featuring custom-built play shelters, swingsets, walking bridges and tunnels — at Raintree Montessori School. For residences he likes to incorporate zero-entry showers, electrical outlets on stairs and other aspects of “universal construction” that work well for young families as well as aging-in-place retirees.

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And always with some welcome-to-Lawrence flair. “We’ve built homes for people from 10 different countries,” he says, noting jobs for KU professors from South Korea, an IT professional from Russia working in Kansas City and a corporate executive from South Africa working in Topeka. “It’s always interesting to see what they bring to the table. The people we work with are a lot of fun. They’re a hoot. We enjoy it just as much as they do.” Neal Ezell, president of Ezell-Morgan Construction, says that his company continues to build its success around loyal partners, satisfied customers and a strong community. The company traces its roots back to 1964, when his father started building homes and went on to partner with Bob Stephens in developing homes and businesses in western Lawrence. Always high on the Ezell-Morgan list: quality, worthwhile upgrades and constant attention to detail. “We’ve always had a niche in Lawrence,” Ezell says. “It’s a fortunate place to be.”

Brian Ezell & Neal Ezell

Today Ezell-Morgan’s focus includes producing energy-efficient homes, with upgrades designed to pay off through lower utility bills and improved comfort. Using raised-heel trusses, for example, allows for additional insulation, improved efficiency and fewer problems with ice during the winter. All homes in Lawrence also benefit by being built in accordance with the latest in building codes, says Ezell, a member of the city’s Building Code Board of Appeals. The next version goes into effect July 1, ensuring Appeals additional attention to energy efficiency. Lawrence residents long have been accustomed to benefitting from solid construction materials, designs and techniques, Ezell says. The community is both knowledgeable and demanding, especially with KU drawing and maintaining plenty of educated employees — a steady stream of buyers and sellers, many of whom come with particular interests in mind. “That keeps Lawrence on the leading edge,” he says. Mar Lan likewise appreciates the presence of KU. While the company started out with a lineup of private construction projects, such as the Wakarusa Crossroads shopping center at the southeast corner of Sixth Street and Wakarusa Drive, much of the company’s work in recent years has involved KU. Projects have included work for the Lied Center, KU Libraries, KU Student Housing and the university’s transit service.

Brandon Dahl with sons & future partners Ethan & Hayden

The firm works with local architects and local subs to turn clients’ visions — often started with scribbles on a napkin — into reality, whether it’s for the state’s flagship university or a lineup of local developers ready to build once again.


“As long as they continue to move forward and slowly trudge out of their tortoise shells, we’re here for them,” Markley says. “It’s people with local ties working together toward a common goal. I like to say many of our clients are repeat offenders: They come back for more.” Dahl’s entire business, now 20 years old, is built entirely on referrals, ones sprouted from projects at KU and its surroundings. His early work renovating, updating and expanding fraternity and sorority houses near campus, including the Chi Omega house alongside the iconic Chi O Fountain, led to alumni associated with those houses contracting for more jobs at other schools and elsewhere: commercial, residential, remodeling, you name it. People talk. Good word travels. Connections endure. “We work for people now more than the project,” Dahl says. “Blueprints are the project, but people are the fun. They’re what make the project.” Ezell, 53, is familiar with the strength of personal connections. At age 13 he started framing homes for his dad in Prairie Meadows, just one of the many areas where residences built under the Ezell family name are now home to people Ezell grew up with, went to school with and continue to share a community with. The work of Ezell’s dad, Johnny B. Ezell, even left such an impression that a street in western Lawrence — Easy Street — promises to carry on his nickname for generations. “People called him ‘Easy Money,’ because everything he got into he had the Midas touch,” Ezell says of his dad, who died in 1991. But the planned road signs also managed to touch a Lawrence nerve. “There were some people who complained,” Ezell says. “They didn’t like the name of the street.” A disgruntled few even made their way to City Hall to vent, but Stevens was there to explain his plans for the road serving a new stretch of homes north of Harvard Road, west of Monterey Way: Easy Street would be a fitting tribute for a fine man. Concerns evaporated. Signs went up. And the rest is history — instructive even, in the Lawrence sense. “Complaints? That’s good,” Ezell says now. “That’s what keeps us on our toes.”■


NON-PROFIT:

Lawrence Humane Society

Increasing in Effectiveness & Efficiency by DAISY WAKEFIELD photos STEVEN HERTZOG

Some might think a successful humane society would strive to receive as many animals as can possibly fit into the facility for as long of a time as possible, so that the shelter is bursting through the seams with saved animal lives. Dori Villalon contends that this is a fallacy and has spent the last two years as Executive Director of the Lawrence Humane Society (LHS) working toward a more efficient and effective shelter that counteracts an overfull population. “It seems counter intuitive,” Villalon says. “But space and time are not our friends. The more time an animal has in our shelter, the more likely they are to get sick, suffer from depression, or even get to the point where they have to be euthanized. We have a philosophy of adoption driven capacity, which is still a novel idea for a lot of shelters. We want to practice responsible sheltering, rather than having a lot of animals “I’ve never been at a warehoused in the shelter.”

Dori Villalon

owners and animals removed from homes because of cruelty. They also receive animals as capacity allows from other nearby shelters that are overpopulated. LHS is funded in part by a contract with the city and county to house stray or dangerous animals, which amounts to $300k. The rest of the slightly over $1 million a year budget is filled in with adoption fees, reclaim fees, donations and fundraising events. There are a few retail items for purchase at the shelter, but Villalon envisions being able to create other income in the future through services such as dog training classes. She has also changed the structure for adoption fees, which used to be more of a flat rate. Now, adoption fees are tiered by the demand and “cuteness factor,” which means that some adoption fees may escalate to $500 and may even ignite a bidding war between potential adopters.

shelter where more kids dedicate their birthday parties to raising supplies or money for us.

“A lot of money was slipping through at the table,” Villalon says. “If there is the willingness to pay a higher adoption rate for the cutest little fluff ball of a dog you’ve ever seen, then why wouldn’t we charge it?”

This responsible sheltering means that animals are received, go When people have an awareness of through behavioral and medical assessments, receive necessary animals, it’s a good thing, the luxury to have compassion for other living beings.” veterinarian or rehabilitation -Dori Villalon care, and are then placed into A full-time veterinarian was the adoption center, go into foster care, or are reunited with their hired in July of 2012 to help increase the efficiency of operations. families. Moving animals through the shelter, rather than keeping Before Dr. Jennifer Stone’s arrival, animals were being transported them indefinitely, is how the organization has gone from a 49% live to varying vets around town for care, or waiting for the twice-arelease rate in 2010 to 85% in 2012. week visit that a vet was making to the shelter. Now spaying and As an open admissions animal shelter, the organization receives neutering, as well as other veterinary care, are done daily on-site. animals no matter the reason, health, behavior or prognosis. They Villalon hopes to raise funds to get a second anesthesia machine to receive strays, lost animals, animals being relinquished by their expedite the operations even more.

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NONPROFIT


A software tracking system for each animal has replaced the old paper system. Each animal’s intake, vaccinations, spaying or neutering and fostering history are tracked through the software. This has allowed a means of measuring trends and average lengths of stay, which is 20 days. The Humane Society relies heavily on community engagement such as volunteers, supply donations and corporate sponsorships. Both Hy-Vee stores in Lawrence hosted events for the shelter, raising cash and supplies donations and ending with bringing adoptable animals to the stores. Hills Pet Nutrition donates all the food needed for the shelter and sponsored a 2007 remodel and expansion. The Oread hosts the annual fundraising auction, A Pawsible Dream, which brought in $80K last year and is hoped to bring in $100K this year. And an average of 100 monthly volunteers help to play with kittens, walk dogs and foster animals to health. “Lawrence is a very animal-centric town,” Villalon says with a smile. “I’ve never been at a shelter where more kids dedicate their birthday parties to raising supplies or money for us. When people have an awareness of animals, it’s a good thing, the luxury to have compassion for other living beings.” The Humane Society’s improvements have not gone unnoticed. Villalon and her staff of 40 are among 50 shelters invited to participate in the 2013 ASPCA Rachel Ray $100K Challenge. The Challenge will reward the shelter with the highest percentage increase of animals re-homed during the months of June, July, and August over last year. LHS has set a goal of re-homing 1500 animals during the summer months, an increase of 120% over last year. A key mechanism that LHS plans to employ to reach this goal is using volunteers to transport animals to three shelters in Colorado that have the community capacity to re-home animals.

Bebel & Jasper Piepergerdes

Villalon is not content to just improve the local humane society. She has helped establish Pet Animal Coalition of Kansas with other shelter directors. The group plans to become a legislative voice for animal advocates, to educate other shelters and elevate the level care that animals receive. “We are committed to not euthanizing friendly, healthy and treatable animals,” Villalon says. “There is never a limit on how long an animal can stay here, but the longer they stay, the more likely they are to get depressed or sick. So we want to get them into a home as soon as we can.” ■

Dr. Jennifer Stone


BOOTH’S BOOMER PERSPECTIVE HANK BOOTH TALKS ABOUT THE BUSINESS OF BEING A BOOMER Hank Booth, Truman & Scout Meyers

Welcome to the Boomer Generation. We’re that group of Americans born after our parents and grandparents endured World War II and currently represent the largest group of consumers in the U.S I will contend that Boomers are the most underserved measurable demographic on the consumer charts. Some communities in our wonderful country have started to recognize that fact and are making positive efforts to improve their basic services and attract Boomers to join them for the rest of our lives. I’m proud to say Lawrence and Douglas County have joined together in such an effort. Lawrence has some built-in naturals like the University of Kansas and all it offers in sports, the arts and educational opportunities. Add in Baker and Haskell, and the picture here is bright. Lawrence is still a community (that includes our county residents and towns) and has not grown into a big city. Studies show most of us Boomers like that kind of place to live. Lawrence is very close to a large city and Kansas City offers an international airport within an hours drive. Other amenities in Kansas City like the Chiefs and Royals, while they haven’t been winning since we were much younger, offer sports fans many options. The Zoo, large amusement parks and museums are great places to take grandkids and family when needed for entertainment. There are, however, parts of our wonderful county and communities that need improvement and plans are underway to get to work on those. Transportation services, information communication for and about Boomer issues, neighborhood sidewalks and recreation centers with senior friendly programs are four areas that have been identified. While there is room for improvement, Lawrence Memorial Hospital, city and county parks, our vibrant Downtown Lawrence and a vast array of local eateries are all doing a good job catering to our new generation of older residents.

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BOOMER PERSPECTIVE

Housing is an area that needs a new perspective for local Boomers. Simply put, my wife and I don’t need 6,000 sq. ft or even 3,000 sq. ft of living space. But we’re not ready to downsize to 500 sq. ft. either. We enjoy company and need some room for sleep overs by our grandkids and relatives visiting from out of town. Boomers don’t want all the stairs found in four levels of living space that is popular among younger families. Single-level living would be ideal and it should include an internal “safe room.” That space could serve other needs such as storage for our seasonal clothing changes and things were just not ready to toss. Boomers need bathrooms with an easily accessible bathtub, a walk-in shower and toilet units that are safe to use. Kitchen areas should accommodate a stove, sink and shelving that can be reached while seated. Wide doorways that can accommodate a wheel chair or walker unit are a must. Most Boomers enjoy outdoor living, so we need a patio or deck to enjoy a pleasant evening. Also, homes need to be easily accessible to our friends and us, so no stairways or multi-levels please. There are a number of local builders and real estate folks who have shown a real interest in working with Boomers on design and construction of a new style of living. Remodeling plans on older homes should also consider potential Boomer occupants and visitors while adding in ramps at entry ways, eliminating old fashioned 10’x12’ bedrooms, and other single level living amenities. Stay tuned Boomers, there’s much to discuss. We are a different generation than any that’s come before. Many of us still like to work and get paid. Many like to volunteer and help others when their experiences in life can provide service. Yes, we grew up with Mickey Mouse and Disney, but we also grew up with astronauts pushing the limits of space. We have much to enjoy in our last chapters of life. Let’s create a commitment to build a community that fits our lifestyle and that will fit right in with the younger generations with whom we love to share our lives. ■


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Serving the real estate needs of families throughout Lawrence and the surrounding communities

Lawrence.ReeceandNichols.com

call: 785-856-6200 3801 W. 6th street Lawrence, KS 66049


COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT

Community Development Advisory Committee / Housing & Urban Development by EMILY MULLIGAN photos by STEVEN HERTZOG

About $1.1 million of federal funding will be distributed to local agencies for housing and neighborhoods in Lawrence for the grant year beginning in 2013. That amount reflects drastic cuts from the U.S. Congress and the sequester that have left local agencies scrambling to maintain their assistance programs. There are two main types of funds that the city and its local agencies receive from the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD): Community Development Block Grant, or CDBG, funding; and Home Investment Partnership funds, called HOME funds. The Community Development Division of the City of Lawrence’s Planning and Services Department is the lead agency for the distribution of both CDBG and HOME funds. All recommendations for allocating these HUD funds are made by a mayor-appointed citizen advisory board, the Community Development Advisory Committee (CDAC), which comprises 11 members drawn from both low- to moderate-income areas and neighborhoods at large. Final approval of the CDAC’s recommendations comes from the Lawrence City Commission. Even in more robust economic times, requests from local agencies to use the CDBG or HOME funds can be difficult for the Advisory Committee to allocate and fulfill. But with the economic downturn and shifts in fiscal policy by the U.S. Legislature, this coming grant year saw some of the most difficult decisions the Advisory Committee has had to make. “When the need is higher, the finances are less and the resources are less,” said Advisory Committee chairperson Aimee Polson. It’s like a horrible backwards economics class of supply and demand. It’s like asking, ‘Where do you want to stab yourself first?’”

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The Advisory Committee adheres to the city’s Step Up to Better Housing Strategy, adapted in 1997, to decide how to allocate funds in four categories: emergency housing, transitional housing, permanent housing and revitalized neighborhoods. CDBG and HOME funds have been allocated to agencies such as the Lawrence Community Shelter, Lawrence-Douglas County Housing Authority, Housing and Credit Counseling, Willow Domestic Violence Shelter and the Douglas County AIDS Project. “The committee was choosing between all of the needs for housing,” said Shannon Oury, executive director of the Lawrence-Douglas County Housing Authority. “It was like they were trying to choose between spokes in a wheel. They fully appreciated what we were talking about: It’s people – families – needing shelter.” Danelle Dresslar, the City’s Community Development Manager, administers three categories of CDBG funds: public services, which are capped at 15 percent; administration costs, capped at 20 percent; and capital improvements, which account for the balance. Because of the sequester, Dresslar and the committee assumed a five-percent cut, or about $57,000 less than last year, when making allocations this year. The final sequester amounts affecting CDBG funds will not be announced by the federal government until later in the summer, so the Advisory Committee had to play a bit of a guessing game with the allocation process. Public services generally includes operations money for local agencies affiliated with housing. This year, for example, Housing and Credit Counseling will receive funds to assist families and individuals with their finances, and the Douglas County AIDS Project will receive an allocation for emergency assistance.


Capital improvement funds are allocated to neighborhood associations for neighborhoods that traditionally have low-tomoderate income levels, which allows them to pay a neighborhood coordinator and produce a newsletter. Neighborhoods receiving funding this year will be: Brook Creek, East Lawrence, North Lawrence, Oread and Pinckney, although all are receiving less than last year. Other capital improvement funds are used to help incomequalified homeowners with home repairs, accessibility modifications, furnace loans and emergency loans. Many projects that don’t involve homes themselves but typically affect low-tomoderate-income residents, such as sidewalk improvements and crosswalk striping, are funded through CDBG, as well. The Lawrence-Douglas County Housing Authority relies on HOME funds in its partnership with the city for tenant-based rental assistance, aimed at transitioning individuals and families from being homeless to becoming stable tenants. The Housing Authority works closely with other agencies, such as Bert Nash, Family Promise, DCCCA and Independence, Inc., to educate and assist the tenants along the way. Unfortunately for the Housing Authority – and, consequently, Lawrence residents in its programs – negative national press about other cities’ handling of the HOME funds led to an unprecedented 38 percent cut in funding for this year.

“The government came to the opinion that local housing authorities had too much in their reserves, so they penalized housing authorities like us that had operated in a fiscally responsible manner, planning for the future,” Oury said. The only bright spot for the Housing Authority is, for the first time, it will receive 20 housing vouchers for veterans, through the HUDVeterans Affairs Supportive Housing (VASH). That means that 20 local veterans and their dependents will be eligible for rental assistance from HUD, plus case management and clinical services provided by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Oury said the Housing Authority applied for the VASH program to help offset some of the loss of HOME funds.


The Housing Authority’s transitional housing program for homeless families to gain a foothold as tenants, which has had up to 30 households in the past, will have a maximum of 23 this year. There are already 20 households on the waiting list for the two-year program. Allan Vette represents the success of the transitional housing program. Vette, 50, will graduate from transitional housing in October. In the past two years, he has both worked and gone to school, earning certificates in air conditioning and welding. He will begin a program to be certified to do railroad freight car service later this summer, which has a 98-percent job placement rate. “It has been amazing to be able to go to school. I never went to school in my life, and now I have certificates to show I’m qualified for a good job,” he said. Vette was homeless and staying in the Salvation Army shelter, when Salvation Army counselor Carol Taylor encouraged him to apply for the transitional housing program and Vocational Rehab, which helped cover his schooling costs. He has lived in an apartment off 23rd St., where he can walk to his job at Checkers grocery store and to the bus stop for the JO bus, which he rides to Johnson County Community College for his classes. Taylor worked with Vette and his Housing Authority counselor, Laurie Hooker, to make sure he would have his needs met while attending school. “If everything hadn’t been in place the way it was, I wouldn’t have been able to go to school,” Vette said. “I’ve loved to work all my life, and I enjoy the fast pace of work. It has been an interesting two years, and I’m feeling really positive about the outcome.” By the end of the year, Vette should be working for the railroad, repairing freight cars and tracks. He most likely will earn enough money that he won’t qualify for public housing of any sort. “That’s why the funding cuts are so devastating,” Oury said. “We’ve really come up with a program that works. For people who have been homeless, our success rate is unheard of. I think it’s because we combine the service piece with the housing piece – we don’t just say, ‘Here’s your housing, goodbye.” Dresslar said that the HOME cuts were one of the toughest things she had had to work through with HUD funding. “These are complete programmatic changes that these agencies are having to make,” she said. “Tenants to Homeowners runs its first-time homebuyers program with HOME funds. So now, there are way less potential homeowners they can get into homes.” ■

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COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT


INTRUST BANK


CHAMBER OF COMMERCE Marking Progress, Maintaining Focus A gentleman who’s greatly admired in the Chamber business recently proclaimed that deliberation about what a Chamber will be in three years is more important than lucky guesses about what the Chamber will do. He asked: Can we, as Chamber leaders, answer the question “What is our Chamber?” without itemizing the many things we do? At the Lawrence Chamber of Commerce, we do a lot. We’re proud that, for 2013, we have developed – and begun implementing – a well-articulated business plan that is full of value-added programs, opportunities and strategic issue priorities that are realistic and marketable. We’re laser-focused on Member Connectivity and Relationships, Advocacy through collaborations and partnerships and Regional Economic Sustainability. We work every day to ensure that our nearly 900 members receive value from business exposure, various networking events, referrals and marketing options. We’re executing events like the Annual Meeting, Taste of Lawrence, Business Expo and Coffee and Conversation with more focus and stronger planning and outreach. We are becoming a stronger voice in Topeka and Washington D.C., identifying and advocating for solutions to matters affecting our members and the potential for economic growth. Through Leadership Lawrence, we’re educating future leaders, encouraging informed, civil engagement. We are altering the conversation in the community. The Chamber has formed a “Voice of Business” Committee that communicates a pro-business message that encourages local officials to take a balanced, common-sense approach to policies and decisions related to economic development. The Lawrence Chamber played a key role in the formation of the Joint Economic Development Council, a new and important public-private collaborative that reviews economic development

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by GREG WILLIAMS, PRESIDENT/CEO LAWRENCE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

programs and strategies, and provides “big picture” guidance and counsel. The Chamber has made strides to get the Lawrence-Douglas County region back on the radar screen of site location advisors, real estate brokers and business decision-makers, emphasizing our location advantages on a national scale. We’re going to the private sector for financial support of our economic development program -- through a three-year capital campaign chaired by Bernadette Gray-Little and Gene Meyer – which will provide us with the resources to do even more. We have established stronger relationships with allied partner organizations like The Economic Development Corporation of Lawrence and Douglas County and the Bioscience and Technology Business Center at Kansas University. We’re leading the conversation about the critical need for adult technical education in the community and there’s now tremendous traction as USD497 and several community colleges and technical schools are coming together to form a training consortium. The Chamber has formed a “Development Issues Input Group” allowing for regular and consistent discussion regarding improvement to the local development process. We’ve initiated an “Existing Business Support” Committee that is working to identify existing business needs and what role the Chamber can play in fulfilling them, all the while seeking new economic opportunities among the region’s existing employers. As I said, we are doing a lot at the Lawrence Chamber this year. And through what we do, we are becoming an organization that plays a key role in the prosperity of this community and region and plays an equally key role, large or small, in the success of our members. ■


OUTSIDE

SPACES

photos by Steven Hertzog

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From the Rotary Arboretum (5100 W 27th Street across from the YSI Sports Complex) to Kansas Insurance (3801 W. 6th Street) to South Park, a big part of Lawrence’s appeal is displayed in the beautiful outside spaces. 69


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1/2 TCK

SPACES


Business of the Year

THE LOCAL

S C E N E

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Theatre Lawrence Grand Opening Gala

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Bowersock North Powerhouse

Pickney Tunnel

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Leadership Lawrence

VanGo Float Your Boat

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N E WS M AKERS

PEOPLE ON THE MOVE. INTEGRITY MEDIA Integrity Midwest Insurance, LLC is proud to announce and welcome Chad Rea as a Sales Executive. Mr. Rea is excited to join the Integrity Midwest Insurance team and will be responsible for new personal and business sales production and completing insurance policy reviews. Chad gained his customer service experience in his 10 years of sales in the construction industry where he learned to pair the resources of the market with his clients needs, both individual and small business. With the opportunity to change his field of focus from construction to financial in 2009, he applied that same passion to listen and evaluate the best investment vehicles to accomplish client goals. Chad worked as a Financial Advisor for a local independent investment firm, Great Plains Financial Group.  In August of 2012 Chad decided to bring his talents and resources to the Insurance industry where he feels blessed to serve at Integrity Midwest Insurance. Clint Kueffer, President of Integrity Midwest Insurance, states “Chad has a genuine heart for helping people whether it be families or businesses. Chad possesses charisma, great character and delivers with authenticity. We are excited that he has chosen to join our team.” Integrity Midwest Insurance, LLC is an independent insurance agency owned and operated by third generation insurance professionals. Based in Lawrence, Kansas, IMI serves clients throughout the Midwest providing insurance solutions ranging from General Liability and Workers Compensation to Homeowners and Personal Auto to Life and Health Insurance.

RECIPIENTS OF 2013 JACK AND LAVON BROSSEAU CREATIVITY AWARDS ANNOUNCED LAWRENCE, KS, April 25, 2013— The Jack and Lavon Brosseau Creativity Awards recognize outstanding creativity and originality among University of Kansas undergraduate students. Open to students in any department for writing and multimedia projects, the awards honor work that demonstrates risk-taking and critical thinking. After poring over a top-tier collection of submissions, the multidisciplinary selection committee announced this year’s honorees, including Sarah Stern of Lawrence, Kansas for her photographic study, Rocinha, Brazil. Stern is a Latin American Studies and Journalism student. For her multimedia project, she immersed herself in a Brazilian community identified by the media as a slum, or favela, and sought to portray a side of the city more often left untold. Stern was named one of Glamour Magazine’s top ten college women in 2012. The magazine reported that, while in Brazil, Stern demonstrated bravery and confidence beyond her years, noting

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that her shots from the trip were slated to be included a largeformat book, which has since been published, and featured in a special collection at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Other 2013 Brosseau Creativity Award recipients are: Jenny Curatola for her performance project titled One Wild and Precious Life and Shawn Patterson for a collection of poetry. Receiving honorable mention are Thomas Birdeno for his short story, How to Grieve a Dead Dog, and Anna Davis and Amanda Schneider for a collaborative installation titled Hello Mother: Just a few lines so that you know I am fine. These awards form part of the Spencer Museum’s mission to strengthen, support and contribute to academic research, as well as to foster interdisciplinary exploration at the intersection of art, ideas, and experience. The Spencer’s contemporary vision is to motivate creative work, object-centered learning, and transformative public dialogue.


FAMILIAR FACE RETURNS TO 6NEWS LAWRENCE AS NEWS DIRECTOR

LAWRENCE HABITAT FOR HUMANITY HIRES NEW COMMUNITY OUTREACH COORDINATOR

Lawrence Habitat for Humanity’s community outreach coordinator Lindsey Slater returned to 6News Lawrence to serve as News Director starting May 13. Slater spent five years at the station, first as a reporter and anchor, then as a producer.

Lawrence, Kan. – Lawrence Habitat for Humanity has named Maddie Hinds as the new community outreach coordinator.

“We are excited to welcome Lindsey back to 6News. Her enthusiasm for local news and her connection to our communities will strengthen our commitment to provide quality, reliable news for our viewers,” said the station’s general manager Ann Niccum. Slater left the news business in April 2012 to become Lawrence Habitat’s first-ever community outreach coordinator. She worked to expand awareness of the non-profit organization through tradition and social media, presentations and meeting with community leaders and members. “I truly believe in Habitat’s mission to eliminate poverty housing,” Slater said. “But returning to 6News as the news director is an opportunity I just couldn’t pass up.”

Ms. Hinds will help develop and enhance Habitat’s relationships in the community. She will also develop strategies to engage community residents in housing related issues. Ms. Hinds will serve as a link between Habitat for Humanity and the Lawrence community. “The Board of Directors and staff at Lawrence Habitat are excited to have Maddie join us as Community Outreach Coordinator,” says Linda Jalenak, president of the board at Lawrence Habitat. “Her enthusiasm and knowledge about the mission of Habitat and the Lawrence affiliate will be extremely beneficial in achieving our future goals.” Before being named community outreach coordinator, Ms. Hinds worked at Lawrence Habitat for Humanity as their Americorps VISTA member. She was in charge of coordinating volunteers and developing new opportunities for youth to get involved with Habitat. She earned a bachelor’s degree in communications from Creighton University in Omaha, NE and grew up in Albuquerque, NM.

THREE ADMITTED AS SHAREHOLDERS TOPEKA, Kan., April 3, 2013- Mize Houser & Company P.A., Certified Public Accountants, is pleased to announce that Susan T. Hammons, PMP, Lori L. Pittman, CPA and Steven A. Talken, CPA have been admitted as shareholders in the firm. Susan is a graduate of Washburn University, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Computer Information Systems and a minor in Accounting. She has also received accreditation as a Project Management Professional ® from the Project Management Institute. Susan joined Mize Houser in 1985 and has focused her career on providing consulting services and project management in the areas of Information Technology and software development for both external clients and internal resources. Susan and her husband, Al, have two children. Lori is a graduate of Eastern Michigan University, with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Accounting. She joined Mize Houser in 2005 and has focused her career on performing audits in the manufacturing, retail and service industries and on employee benefit plans. She is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the Kansas Society of Certified Public Accountants and the KSCPA Metro Chapter. Lori and her husband, Joe, have two sons. Steve is a graduate of Quincy University, with a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting. He joined Mize Houser in 1987 and has focused on performing audits in the construction, manufacturing and distribution industries during his career. Steve also performs audits of employee benefit plans. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the Kansas Society of Certified Public Accountants, the Construction Finance Managers Association and Associated Builders and Contractors. Steve and his wife, Karen, have three children. Mize Houser is a regional accounting and information technology firm with offices in Topeka, Lawrence and Overland Park, Kansas. NEWSMAKERS

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NEW BUSINESSES IN DOUGLAS COUNTY APRIL - JUNE 2013 3-Sisters Jewelry Box, LLC 1821 Golden Rain Dr Lawrence, KS 66044

C S Ranch LLC 3325 Circle S Lane Lawrence, KS 66044

Dominion Medical Management, INC 901 Wheaton Dr Lawrence, KS 66049

Glycoanalytics Solutions, LLC 1601 Troon Lane Lawrence, KS 66047

707-709, LLC 1617 Burning Tree Dr Lawrence, KS 66047

C2 Consulting, LLC 4301 Quail Pointe Rd Lawrence, KS 66047

Donnell Group, LLC 39 Winona Ave Lawrence, KS 66046

Go Hard Sportswear INC 3624 W 24th St Lawrence, KS 66047

Acroterion Books LLC 5305 Harvard Rd Lawrence, KS 66049

Carpenter & Associates, LLC 1850 Tennessee St Lawrence, KS 66044

Goode Services LLC 838 E 12 St Lawrence, KS 66044

Activate LLC 2232 Vermont St Lawrence, KS 66046

Chakrana LLC 640 Arkansas Lawrence, KS 66044

Dos Gingkos, LLC 2137 Tennessee Lawrence, KS 66046 Dsmrentals LLC 1111 Rankin Dr Lawrence, KS 66049

Ad Astra Home Inspections, LLC 302 Homestead Dr Lawrence, KS 66049

Checkmate, LLC. 3801 Clinton Pkwy Lawrence, KS 66047

Dynamic Power & Performance, LLC 740 Ohio Lawrence, KS 66044

Hanna Buffalo Co. LLC 1073 N 100 Rd. Baldwin City, KS 66006

Allconstruct LLC 564 E 1550th Rd Baldwin City, KS 66006

Chlorofields LLC 619 Vermont St Lawrence, KS 66044

Eastland Properties LLC 3224 W 22nd Ter Lawrence, KS 66047

Hongfa LLC 264 Pinecone Dr Lawrence, KS 66046

Ang LLC 1031 Vermont St Lawrence, KS 66044

Clark Brothers Construction, LLC 1948 E. 175 Rd Lecompton, KS 66050

Eastside Village Lawrence, INC 408 Johnson Ave Lawrence, KS 66044

Hoover Real Estate, LC 1128 Locust St Eudora, KS 66025

Electric Power Systems, INC 2127 Biltmore Dr Lawrence, KS 66049

Ian Taylor Trekking, LLC 239 Earhart Circle Lawrence, KS 66049

Electrical Odyssey, LLC 1613 Vermont St Lawrence, KS 66044

Ibaip, LLC 2208 Rhode Island St Lawrence, KS 66046

El-Shaddai Templo De Alabanza INC 2600 W 6th St. Apt. B8 Lawrence, KS 66049

In The Phog Productions LLC 5000 Clinton Pkwy Lawrence, KS 66047

Engue LLC 3224 Saddlehorn Dr Lawrence, KS 66049

Individual And Group Insurance Services, LLC 5200 Bob Billings Pkwy Lawrence, KS 66049

Anthony Chiropractic, LC 1525 Foxfire Dr Lawrence, KS 66047 Antioch Community Church 2104 Prairie Ter Lawrence, KS 66046 Artistry Natural Cleaning, LLC 1224 New Jersey St Lawrence, KS 66044 Attebury Investments LLC 1441 Applegate Ct Lawrence, KS 66049 B Mac Enterprise’s, LLC 5030 Bob Billings Pkwy Lawrence, KS 66049 Black Cat Cafe, LLC 928 Rhode Island St Lawrence, KS 66044 Black Ink Properties LLC 928 Rhode Island St Lawrence, KS 66044 Blue Collar Bbq, LLC 3906 W 10th Circle Lawrence, KS 66049 Bpc Properties, LLC 1026 Drum Dr Lawrence, KS 66049 Brand New Box LLC 1940 Alabama Lawrence, KS 66046 Bruce Precision Arms LLC 2046 E 1400 Rd Lawrence, KS 66044 Bt Electrical LLC 1691 N 1000 Rd Lawrence, KS 66046 Burghart Law LLC 4616 Merion Ct Lawrence, KS 66047

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Clark Neuro Rehab Consultants LLC 515 Canyon Dr Lawrence, KS 66049 Cloud Nine Hookah LLC 840 Massachusetts St Lawrence, KS 66044 Cobbie, LLC 130 Signal Oak Ct Baldwin City, KS 66006 Cookie Peddlers, LLC 732 Massachusetts St Lawrence, KS 66044 Corey Stone LLC 1370 Stonecreek Dr Lawrence, KS 66049 Covey Partners, LLC 364 E. 1600 Rd Baldwin City, KS 66006 Crystal A. Mccomas, Lscsw, LLC 2025 New Hampshire St. Lawrence, KS 66046 Cumulus Design, INC 300 Rock Fence Lawrence, KS 66049 Cv Piedra Stone LLC 2200 Harper Ct Lawrence, KS 66046 Dalton Health Navigation, LLC 1716 Mississippi Lawrence, KS 66044 David Charles Salon & Spa LLC 2124 E 26 Ter Lawrence, KS 66046 Dawn Fiber, LLC 622 High St Baldwin City, KS 66006

Estelle Properties, LLC 700 Massachusetts St Lawrence, KS 66044 F & S Medical, LLC 1773 N 600th Rd Baldwin City, KS 66006 Farmer Family Dentistry, LLC 2348 Iowa St Lawrence, KS 66046 Finlay Automotive Supply, INC 939 Iowa St Lawrence, KS 66044 Foodie Supply LLC 1812 Atherton Ct Lawrence, KS 66044 Fundamentals LLC 2709 Meadows Place Lawrence, KS 66047 Fuzion Four Label Group LLC 1861 N 201 Diagonal Rd Baldwin City, KS 66006 Garrison Concrete, INC 787 E 1500 Rd Lawrence, KS 66046 Glad Properties, LLC 3422 Stone Post Ct Lawrence, KS 66049

Grassroots, LLC 505 Mississippi St. Lawrence, KS 66044

Insurance Consulting Enterprises LLC 1045 E 23rd St #3 Lawrence, KS 66046 Integrated Voting Solutions, INC 300 Rock Fence Place Lawrence, KS 66049 J.M. Self, LLC 1817 Castle Pines Ct Lawrence, KS 66047 Jan Span’s Plan LLC 2002 Quail Creek Dr Lawrence, KS 66047 Jayhawk Janitorial LLC 1508 Greenway Dr Eudora, KS 66025 K And C Concrete INC Rr 1488 Lawrence, KS 66049 Kaninvest Corporation 3616 Harvard Rd Lawrence, KS 66049


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