Archive for Thursday, January 20, 2011

Eudora school district, city hope to see redevelopment of school site off Kansas Highway 10

January 20, 2011

The city of Eudora and the Eudora school district are trying to catch the attention of Lawrence developers and others. They have what may be a pretty enticing carrot: 15 acres of property along a busy Kansas Highway 10 interchange. The city and school district are seeking proposals to redevelop the site of the former Nottingham Elementary and the district’s former football stadium, which are located on Eudora’s Church Street interchange on K-10.

The city and school district hope that a successful retail development can be located on the site. Eudora City Administrator John Harrenstein said a study found Eudora is losing at least $7 million of retail sales a year to other communities. He said if a development could capture $4 million to $5 million of those lost sales, it would be a great boost to the Eudora economy. But the city and the school district will be open to proposals other than retail development.

“I think the city and the school district both understand the market will dictate what goes on that piece of property,” Harrenstein said. “We want to leave it to the experts to tell us what will be successful on that spot.”

The property — adjacent to the city’s new recreation center and across the street from the city’s grocery store, Dairy Queen, Kwik Shop and other commercial businesses — is located on what is generally considered the busiest corner in Eudora. But Harrenstein said he thinks the right type of development could also attract commuters off K-10.

The city is seeking proposals by March 15. Then the school district, which owns the property, will have to decide if an acceptable purchase price has been proposed. At that point, city leaders will have to determine if the project meets planning guidelines, and also deal with any incentives requests that may come with the proposal.

“We haven’t identified any specific incentives, but we understand in this economic environment developers likely will be requesting them,” Harrenstein said. “The city council is open to discussing them.”

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