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Old 07-18-2017, 07:54 PM
 
Location: Kansas/China
3,569 posts, read 1,631,098 times
Reputation: 2436

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Topeka has a couple new developments which is great news for the city. NOTO and downtown continue to grow and a $100 million development was just announced and approved for 29th and Fairland. It is Topeka first mix use development. Hotel, condos/apartments, movie theatre, restaurants, and a bar.

New $100 million Wheatfield Village development planned for 29th and Fairlawn to include movie theater, new restaurants | The Topeka Capital-Journal

I think Topeka is going to see some good growth this next decade. Downtown revitalization continues to gain speed. Just a few years back downtown was dead, even on a Friday night, only a couple places open after 8:00 pm. Now most of the parking is full and many store fronts that were vacant are back in business. There are events downtown almost every other weekend. Just like the last few years the city has had millions left over from a budget surplus and has put that money toward street repairs and new sewage systems in the poorer neglected downtown neighborhoods.

The west side of town has great new streets and roundabouts. A brand new city water park and a handful of small developments going on.

Ive always wanted to do a thread on the continual growth of Topeka, so I plan on adding to this thread whenever new developments occur.

I think Topekas downtown will rival Manhattan and eventually Lawrence's downtowns in a few years, perhaps a decade to catch Lawrence. The City of Topeka loses too much revenue to our neighbors with having poor nightlife and entertainment and I think residents of Topeka are finally starting to realize we should work on keeping those revenues in our city.
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Old 07-21-2017, 09:50 PM
 
Location: Hays, Kansas
641 posts, read 679,300 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mattks View Post
Topeka has a couple new developments which is great news for the city. NOTO and downtown continue to grow and a $100 million development was just announced and approved for 29th and Fairland. It is Topeka first mix use development. Hotel, condos/apartments, movie theatre, restaurants, and a bar.

New $100 million Wheatfield Village development planned for 29th and Fairlawn to include movie theater, new restaurants | The Topeka Capital-Journal

I think Topeka is going to see some good growth this next decade. Downtown revitalization continues to gain speed. Just a few years back downtown was dead, even on a Friday night, only a couple places open after 8:00 pm. Now most of the parking is full and many store fronts that were vacant are back in business. There are events downtown almost every other weekend. Just like the last few years the city has had millions left over from a budget surplus and has put that money toward street repairs and new sewage systems in the poorer neglected downtown neighborhoods.

The west side of town has great new streets and roundabouts. A brand new city water park and a handful of small developments going on.

Ive always wanted to do a thread on the continual growth of Topeka, so I plan on adding to this thread whenever new developments occur.

I think Topekas downtown will rival Manhattan and eventually Lawrence's downtowns in a few years, perhaps a decade to catch Lawrence. The City of Topeka loses too much revenue to our neighbors with having poor nightlife and entertainment and I think residents of Topeka are finally starting to realize we should work on keeping those revenues in our city.
I do agree that Topeka does have some positive developments going on at the moment, but it would take many, many, decades for downtown to come close to what Lawrence does, and it would come at the expense of West Ridge Mall. Lawrence doesn't have a vast swath of rundown neighborhoods and crime-ridden areas around their downtown, their downtown is near the university which is quite larger than Washburn, their downtown didn't see the massive amount of demolitions for the sake of "urban renewal" and parking that Lawrence did, and Lawrence fought off a large mall that was to be anchored by Sears, JCPenney, and Dillard's to protect Weavers department store and the rest of their downtown and try to convince national retail chains to locate on Mass Street rather than south Iowa. If Topeka could get the interstate out of downtown and develop the river, then I see downtown having a lot more potential. Even Wichita has been able to utilize their river by landscaping it well, putting in trails, Exploration Place, the Hyatt is opening a riverfront restaurant, etc. Lawrence really can't use their riverfront on the downtown side because of the railroad. The best thing they tried to do was build the Riverfront Mall on the other side of the tracks and have it overlook the river, but that bombed fast.

West Ridge Mall needs to be torn down and re developed ASAP while Dillard's and JCP are still there. It would make a nice "lifestyle center" with Eddie Bauer, Old Navy, American Eagle, Buckle, Topsy's, Maurices, Bath & Body, Dillard's, JCP, Furniture Mall, Burlington, Petland, GAP Outlet, and whoever else wants to sign on. It actually might bring some new tenants into the market and bring back some who left. West Ridge Mall is too large for Topeka and has one weak anchor in Sears, two that don't help bring in traffic to the mall like Burlington, and Furniture Mall, and two anchors that are aren't reaching their potential in Dillard's and JCP. This project could have happened at the West Ridge Mall sight if the city and the owner had the drive to push for it. The city put all of their eggs in one basket on Wanamaker with the opening of Hypermart and the planning of West Ridge. Anyone with any brains knew it would be the death nail for White Lakes and that it would be poaching Sears and JCP from that mall as well as the Ward's store from downtown.
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Old 07-25-2017, 05:20 PM
 
Location: Riley Co
39 posts, read 15,736 times
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Originally Posted by Mattks View Post
I think Topekas downtown will rival Manhattan and eventually Lawrence's downtowns in a few years,
We ate @ Hibachi Hut in downtown Manhattan today (you do know "downtown" on Poyntz is only 4 blocks long? I suppose one can count the Mall, but there have been a # of biz leave the Mall since SEARS) I'm not sure IF the Tallgrass Tap House is open. There is a sign above restaurant space to lease. The Mercury ran an article that new mgmt from Harry's Restaurant was taking over.

Four Olives Wine Bar closed downtown. The Stevens bros. from Wichita will open a new wine dive there.

The North & South ends Redevelopments => originally presented as walkable from downtown & vice versa, is less than convenient for today's shopper envisioning parking directly in front of a business.

There IS A LOT OF CONSTRUCTION going on in Manhattan. There are new subdivisions where the rice paddies from the Flood of '93 were on Casement. There are a couple new subdivisions dumping stormwater runoff into Wildcat Creek & thus flooding their neighbors' homes.

I would doubt that, with Academy Sports opening, that Hibbets, Dick's & The Pathfinder (purchased by a small Missouri chain) can all survive. These 4 stores are actually within "hiking" distance of each other.

The Manhattan Mercury is pretty tight-lipped about businesses closing. Often, we pull up to discover a "Closed for Good" sign on display.
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Old 07-25-2017, 07:04 PM
 
Location: Kansas/China
3,569 posts, read 1,631,098 times
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Manhattan is interesting because for a small town it has two distinct areas that could be considered downtowns and both are vibrant for a town that size. Sears is being replace by an IMAX, so not a downgrade at all. Restaurants come and go, so if one closes and a new one replaces an old one, it's not really an indicator of anything economic.
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Old 07-25-2017, 07:24 PM
 
Location: Kansas/China
3,569 posts, read 1,631,098 times
Reputation: 2436
Quote:
Originally Posted by empires228 View Post
I do agree that Topeka does have some positive developments going on at the moment, but it would take many, many, decades for downtown to come close to what Lawrence does, and it would come at the expense of West Ridge Mall. Lawrence doesn't have a vast swath of rundown neighborhoods and crime-ridden areas around their downtown, their downtown is near the university which is quite larger than Washburn, their downtown didn't see the massive amount of demolitions for the sake of "urban renewal" and parking that Lawrence did, and Lawrence fought off a large mall that was to be anchored by Sears, JCPenney, and Dillard's to protect Weavers department store and the rest of their downtown and try to convince national retail chains to locate on Mass Street rather than south Iowa. If Topeka could get the interstate out of downtown and develop the river, then I see downtown having a lot more potential. Even Wichita has been able to utilize their river by landscaping it well, putting in trails, Exploration Place, the Hyatt is opening a riverfront restaurant, etc. Lawrence really can't use their riverfront on the downtown side because of the railroad. The best thing they tried to do was build the Riverfront Mall on the other side of the tracks and have it overlook the river, but that bombed fast.

West Ridge Mall needs to be torn down and re developed ASAP while Dillard's and JCP are still there. It would make a nice "lifestyle center" with Eddie Bauer, Old Navy, American Eagle, Buckle, Topsy's, Maurices, Bath & Body, Dillard's, JCP, Furniture Mall, Burlington, Petland, GAP Outlet, and whoever else wants to sign on. It actually might bring some new tenants into the market and bring back some who left. West Ridge Mall is too large for Topeka and has one weak anchor in Sears, two that don't help bring in traffic to the mall like Burlington, and Furniture Mall, and two anchors that are aren't reaching their potential in Dillard's and JCP. This project could have happened at the West Ridge Mall sight if the city and the owner had the drive to push for it. The city put all of their eggs in one basket on Wanamaker with the opening of Hypermart and the planning of West Ridge. Anyone with any brains knew it would be the death nail for White Lakes and that it would be poaching Sears and JCP from that mall as well as the Ward's store from downtown.
That's a great idea for West Ridge Mall. There are always rumours that's someone will come in and renovate White Likes Mall, but it just needs to be torn down too. Topeka has the same problem with the rail being on the river, but they have talked about doing a riverfront east of Topeka blvd. They just demolished one old building on the river, so perhaps they will get around to developing that area. There are a few art galleries and a jazz place down there. But there is still some manufacturers there and a few new warehouses. It's still an active industrial area and really isn't too bad like the old industrial areas of Wichita. The housing around downtown is the biggest problem. Crime has been decreasing, but it's still a crappy area. St Francis hospital was slated to close, but got saved in the last minute, that would have set downtown back a decade. Washburn University is growing and College Hill is finally growing and there is only a few business vacancies in that area now, but the surrounding neighborhoods are still awful.

Holliday Park neighborhood used to be one of the worst neighborhoods of Topeka and they have seen a lot of renewal of some of Topekas oldest streets. There are still sketchy areas there, but a handful of half million dollar houses as well.

Topeka introduced a master plan last year to reroute I-70 out of downtown, but it didn't get very far, but they will be rebuilding that section of interstate or moving it starting in the next couple years. Our mayoral race this year will be very important and we have at least 2 good candidates. So I remain optimistic about the future. Topeka really needs new jobs more then anything but our city government is doing a pretty good job.
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Old 07-26-2017, 12:53 PM
 
Location: Riley Co
39 posts, read 15,736 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mattks View Post
Manhattan is interesting because for a small town it has two distinct areas that could be considered downtowns and both are vibrant for a town that size. Sears is being replace by an IMAX, so not a downgrade at all. Restaurants come and go, so if one closes and a new one replaces an old one, it's not really an indicator of anything economic.
The IMAX complex opened some time late last year. We've gone to see one movie. I spent my youth, 1969-74, working with Bill Warren, of Wichita fame. I spoke to Bill when Manhattan was trying to entice him to build here. He stated Manhattan was not a big enough market to meet his standards. His theaters are quite plush compared to what Carmike has here.

As for restaurants => the downtown ones don't have the convenience of sending walking drunks home from Aggieville. Empty restaurants downtown are not replaced nearly as often as in Aggieville. Tallgrass Brewing Co's restaurant's failure & need for new mgmt was disappointing. I've known Tricia Gill since before they started the brewery.

Imagine IF you live in a town of ~ 60K & the majority of non-chain restaurants are owned/managed by just 2 entities: Cox Bros (Hibachi Hut, Cox Bros BBQ & Coco Bolos Wood-Fired Grill & Catina) & Kathy Haynes (Harry's, Rock-A Belly Bar & Deli, and now Taphouse).
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Old 07-26-2017, 02:57 PM
 
Location: Kansas/China
3,569 posts, read 1,631,098 times
Reputation: 2436
Quote:
Originally Posted by KSinmyrearviewmirror View Post
The IMAX complex opened some time late last year. We've gone to see one movie. I spent my youth, 1969-74, working with Bill Warren, of Wichita fame. I spoke to Bill when Manhattan was trying to entice him to build here. He stated Manhattan was not a big enough market to meet his standards. His theaters are quite plush compared to what Carmike has here.

As for restaurants => the downtown ones don't have the convenience of sending walking drunks home from Aggieville. Empty restaurants downtown are not replaced nearly as often as in Aggieville. Tallgrass Brewing Co's restaurant's failure & need for new mgmt was disappointing. I've known Tricia Gill since before they started the brewery.

Imagine IF you live in a town of ~ 60K & the majority of non-chain restaurants are owned/managed by just 2 entities: Cox Bros (Hibachi Hut, Cox Bros BBQ & Coco Bolos Wood-Fired Grill & Catina) & Kathy Haynes (Harry's, Rock-A Belly Bar & Deli, and now Taphouse).
Warren Theatres are some of the best theatres I have ever been to, they do have high standards and are mainly in larger markets. It's too bad they wouldn't go to Manhattan. I lived in Wichita for 2 years and moved away the year they built the Warren IMAX, I saw Tron in 3D and it was visually quite a masterpiece imo. Bill Warren spoke just before the movie started, then they showed a Soyuz rocket launch and it was pretty cool experience.

We like to go to the Four Seasons Korean restaurant in Junction City about once a month and when we do we typically stop at the Asian Market in Manhattan. I worked as a private contractor at KSU and a local high school for a few years. I've never lived in Manhattan, but I commuted daily from western Shawnee county for a couple years.
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