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Update on student apartment project that plans to locate next to day care center

Although it kind of has the makings of a good reality television show, the idea of a large student apartment complex surrounding a day care center has some obvious negatives. You may recall, though, there is a Lawrence plan that calls for such a project.

Recently I reported on an out-of-state development firm that has begun talking about building a large student apartment complex on vacant land at the southwest corner of Clinton Parkway and Crestline Drive.

I told you then that I would let you know if I heard anything from the proposed developer, Gilbane Development Company. Well, I have gotten a little bit of new information.

You may remember that the proposed project has an odd twist: Plans currently call for the large apartment complex to basically surround on three sides the small commercial day care business Lawrence Child Development Center.

Gilbane spokesman Wes Cotter told me the company is trying to strike a deal with Lawrence Child Development Center.

“We have been trying to work with them to address their comments,” Cotter said in a voicemail. “We continue to do that, and we have offered a fair market value, as well as other options for that property.”

If you recall, Teresa Prost, the owner of the day care, told me the apartment developers don’t currently plan to buy her property but rather plan to build one of the apartment buildings on the north side of her day care and another apartment building on the south side. She doesn’t like the idea of the apartment complex backing up to her business, particularly the playground it has for children.

So, the fact there may be some attempts at negotiation is notable. This may be a situation similar to the HERE apartment project near the Kansas Union. That massive project originally was planning to build around three sides of 91-year old Georgia Bell’s home at 1115 Indiana St. But ultimately the development company reached a deal to buy Bell’s property after the odd situation received quite a bit of public attention. Perhaps that is where this is heading. We’ll see.

As for other details about the project, Cotter said the project was too preliminary to share much information. The company doesn’t want to commit to a size for the project. A previous conceptual site plan showed about 220 apartments spread over two buildings. Based on the size of the parking lot, it looked like those apartments would have a total of about 500 bedrooms. Cotter, though, declined to confirm any of that, saying that those numbers are subject to change as the company continues to hear comments from neighbors and further studies the market.

Cotter, though, did confirm that the apartment complex would have a particular focus on attracting students, although it hopes to be somewhat targeted in that approach.

“We think we’ll have a real strong focus on graduate students and young professionals,” he said.

The company also has tweaked its original concept plan. The new concept plan still shows the two buildings on each side of the day care, but the new plan places some of the outdoor gathering areas farther away from the day care. You can see the plans below. The first one is the new version, while the second one is the previous plan. Neither plan has yet been filed with the city, which will have to give several approvals before the project could move forward.


by Chad Lawhorn


by Chad Lawhorn


Samantha Martin

Columbia Mo, saw the problem and stopped issuing permits for student housing within a mile of campus. The proposal cites “unprecedented growth in the construction of off-campus student housing complexes” and MU’s significant enrollment decline for fall 2016 as reasons for the freeze.

City Council freezes downtown development, places tax increases on August ballot
May 16, 2016

Student apartment complex competition is changing Columbia's skyline
Is it too much housing to handle?
November 17, 2016

May 2016, Columbia City Council froze the issuing of construction permits for multi-family housing complexes within one mile of the MU campus until Dec. 1, 2016.
However, Mayor Brian Treece expects the council to extend the moratorium on multi-family construction permits for about six months.

9 months ago


David Holroyd

Samantha Martin, perhaps, you will recall that particular piece of ground had plans some 30years ago. Apparently Chad won't cover it, but as I recall there were offices planned there
And like most projects in Lawrence it did not happen. I wonder what the zoning is and if it has to be rezoned ?

I should think that Candletree Condominiums might question more rental units as opposed to maybe a condo project for 55 and older of which the location might be better suited.

I do not have handy access to what was planned but it was going to be a "big deal" for Lawrence.. Sadly everything is a big deal but not carried out because the heavy hitters always come from out of town and the commission and Dr. McCullough can't get enough of them..they beg for more ..even if the project is costly to the taxpayers.

No one has said anything about the streets and several blocks of sidewalks,,no non existing not to mention possibly more parking.

Stuart Boley should jump at a chance to have the right of way taken for parking and put meters in $$$$$ for Affordable Housing.

Why the secret about revenue from the meters on Mississippi and Indiana? Wasnt some of that money to go toward affordable housing...and what about the tickets and revenue from them to the city? Surely they have written enough tickets to have some money to start of the Mausoleum Roof?

The commissioners have no pride!

9 months ago


David Holroyd

Why didn't the Journal World report in the article that the zoning is not current for apartments.?

I believe it is Office, but then I don't know much. How does the church Presbyterian support a bunch of student apartments? And the houses to the west? And the candletree condominiums and the public housing 55 and older in back of the church.?

Desperate commissoners will approve anything so that it appears Lawrence is "happening".

Bedford, Texas sometime ago had a moritorium on apartments...but then those folks were a bit smarter than the leaders and planners in Lawrence..

Lawrence gets pizza joints, chicken joints, buildings rehabbed into more shops only to close later all the while an appetite for tax dollars to build jails...! Wonder why the women are two to a cell but the men are not?

Does Chad know.

9 months ago


Michael Kort

This property, as is, is mostly tall grass which retains water which will naturally flow down hill north towards the South Side of Clinton Parkway and I assume on west to some creek ?

The is another day care several blocks west of this site on the south side of Clinton Pkwy that looks to be in a lower spot of land with a creek behind it ?

Remove the grass, add parking lots and roof tops and you get instant large water rain run off amounts..... that go somewhere ?

I see on the newer plan above what looks to be a rain runoff control retention pond on the north east edge of the property to catch run off ?

If that is the case, how well is this retention pond sized for the potential run off of water from this project, as water going down hill and always ends up somewhere ?

Since retention ponds have to drain eventually to be ready for the next storm how fast is too fast or too slow .......what is the design ?

There is roughly a fire hydrant at either end of the project on the Crestline facing side of the property but the drawings don't show any large water line placements onto this site or where fire hydrants would be placed onto the site which have to be accessable and not obscured by parked cars .

However they solve it, there is a need to solve the day care issue on Crestline because the daycare employees park on Crestline, they have insufficient on site parking as is for these employees and Crestline is currently a "take your turn going opposite directions one lane road" ( passing parked employee cars ) durring daycare day hours and adding 500 more cars to that ( making multiple trips daily to that ) is just .crazy !

I don't care if they build it or not .

That is their money and I hope that it works out well for them financially and the community, one way or the other .

But,.......storm water run off, fire protection, water use, reasonable traffic planing for 500 cars making multiple trips daily ( because they can build it there ) and residents of Lawrence having day care somewhere (?) uninterrupted, comes with the jobs of developers and cities and these are issues that need to be resolved some how .

9 months ago


Kathleen Christian

Lawrence DOES NOT NEED MORE STUDENT HOUSING. We need more Affordable Senior Housing for Low-Income residents. NO MORE student housing until Lawrence catches up with the Seniors.

8 months, 3 weeks ago


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