‘Lot 9’ plan on Manhattan city commission agenda

By Burk Krohe

City commissioners will consider the first reading of an ordinance amending the preliminary development plan of “lot 9” in the south end redevelopment area Tuesday. They will simultaneously consider the final development plan for several of the smaller lots broken out within lot 9.

The development plan breaks the site, a 4-acre plot just north of Ft. Riley Boulevard, into six smaller lots, which will be developed piece by piece. A Candlewood Suites will sit on Lot 1, a Holiday Inn Express will sit on Lot 2 and a mixed-use building with plans for residential and retail uses will sit on Lot 3. Lots 4,5 and 6 will be parking lots that correspond to the other lots. Flint Hills Square, a local development firm consisting of Colin Noble, a local hotelier, and Gwyn Riffel, a local developer, is developing the project.

The plan went before the Manhattan Urban Area Planning Board earlier this month where members voted to forward a recommendation of approval with one condition. Board members were concerned about plans for a drive-in in restaurant in the mixed-use building. Several members felt such an establishment would not fit into the character the city has worked to cultivate in the south end. The board’s recommendation included a stipulation not to approve drive-in establishments as a conditional use on the lots.

On January 12, in response to the Planning Board’s feedback, Riffel submitted a change amending the planned unit development application to, limit the drive-in restaurant use located at the east end of the ground floor in the mixed use building “to a coffee and bakery restaurant use.” 

City officials feel the change is appropriate and recommend overriding the Planning Board’s recommendation.

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