Manhattan Kansas…tabula rasa
Posted: 11 August 2013 07:43 PM   [ Ignore ]
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For the last twenty-five years, various city commissions have been methodically offering up Manhattan as a tabula rasa to developers and franchise operations.  The intensity of this effort has increased dramatically in the last ten years. A good part of the city has been handed over to developers in the name of progress.  Much of what made Manhattan unique is already gone, and the rest will come soon.
The decision to destroy Thurston is only the latest in a series of attempts to obliterate old neighborhoods.
I will tell you now.  Everything from Bluemont on the south to Claflin on the north, and from Juliette on the east to Manhattan Avenue on the west is slated for demolition.  Within thirty years, you will see acres of multi-plexes, and maybe a few more condos thrown in.  The old bungalows will exist only in photographs.
When they are finished with that, they will move south from Bluemont to Poyntz and from 11th to Juliette. All of that area will be destroyed, and we will have McManhattan which is what the city wants.  Why? Simple $$$$$...those franchises and multi-plexes generate more revenue.  I won’t be around when all of this is completed.  Neither will Manhattan….but, it still won’t be Overland Park.  It will just be acres and acres of useless, tasteless crap…and the Manhattan residents will tout it as progress.
When I moved to Manhattan back in the seventies, it was a unique and colorful city filled with all kinds of local treasures.  Wonderful, one of a kind shops restaurants and bars. Those are all gone.  Everything has been sanitized and franchised.  Aggieville is like one big fern bar.  The downtown has remained the same…dead. I suspect in thirty years or so, they will tear it down as well.  Perhaps they should have started there instead of wasting millions to rejuvenate it.

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Posted: 11 August 2013 08:23 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Oh, if I lived west of College Avenue and south of Kimball, I would also be worried.

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Posted: 12 August 2013 12:21 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Dickens to Claflin… Seth Childs to College… Will conitnue to fill in with multi-plexes or commercial.  Leavenworth, north… Manhattan Ave to Juliette… Will continue to fill with multi-plexes.  Wildcat Creek flood plain will continue to fill with commercial and multi-family… if you are ONE of the favored developers in town.  No elected official is large enough to stop that infill, even if they wanted to.  Today, we have at least four of the commissioners begging to do the bidding of the Chamber.  As long as there is development, the Chamber can claim its coveted eco-devo position as THE driver of that train. 

A few older dwellings will remain lining the first couple of blocks north and south of Poyntz.  We have to have that for show.  From Pierre, south, we will continue to see decline.  One of our former mayors said the Community is becoming entirely too diverse.  Gotta have some place to push those who we really don’t want seen as the Chamber gives their tours.  The recent newspaper article said the Chamber was hosting tours for the Department of Ag employees and their families.  Guess we’re trying to get them to all move here from Topeka.  Wonder how often Colorado south to El Paso is included in that tour?  Wonder if they replay City Commission meetings where there is bickering over funding of social service programs. 

Manhattan is a great community.  Not every contributor to the dynamic personality of this community is attached to the University or is a business mogul.  There are thousands of mighty fine people in our community who, it appears, are the proverbial “red-headed step children” to community leadership.

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Posted: 12 August 2013 12:49 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Larry,
I don’t think the area south of Poyntz is much of a worry unless the hotels need more parking space.  No one cares about that area, and they haven’t since I have lived in Manhattan.  For the most part, the houses are derelict, and were never much to begin with.  They haven’t improved with age.
When I moved to Manhattan, that area was considered the black/military area and was to be avoided.  I don’t think it has changed much since then.  I am sure there are nice people who live in that area, but, it is high crime.  It is a shame that the multi-plex people and the city did not condemn that area and pay the residents big dollars. However, apparently no one wants to live down there. It is too far from the university.
There are a few nice homes but the neighborhood has a bad reputation.  I wouldn’t walk down there at night on a bet. Of course, I wouldn’t walk down an alley in Aggieville either…used to do it all the time.  I lived on Fremont in the Avalon and walked the alleys every night. I wouldn’t even consider that today.

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Posted: 12 August 2013 03:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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“South of Poyntz” is a large area to generalize about.  So does “No one cares about south of Poyntz” mean that no one will consider the area for redevelopment or no one cares whether or not redevelopment is done in a compatible manner?

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Posted: 12 August 2013 03:56 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Kathy,
I am sure it has been considered for redevelopment…but not the kind you might enjoy. I am thinking Muffler places, Car parts, a few fast food joints….maybe some used car lots. If it expands or changes it will be from FT Riley Blvd….not from Poyntz. Sorry, but that is way it is. I didn’t make the rules. If you can bulldoze Vattier and Thurston and Bluemont, you can certainly bulldoze that area. My best guess is that the city will want to add a few more lanes to Ft Riley Blvd so that maniacs can drive even faster on their way to the fort…at least those who are left at the fort.  Amazing that no one seems concerned about the downsizing of the fort.  It IS going to happen, and some developers are going to be left pissing in the wind.  But, not to worry, the city, I am sure, will bail them out.

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Posted: 13 August 2013 07:17 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Kathy,
You are right. I grossly over-generalized.  In general I was referring to an area from 17th eastward and south of Pierre bordered by Ft Riley Blvd to the south.  The houses on Houston and up the hill from 17th are some of the finest in town. One of my close friend’s grandparents, the Burtis’, lived at the top of Delaware in that old ranch style house.  In the winter we would sled down Rockhill.

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Posted: 13 August 2013 04:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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“The houses on Houston and up the hill from 17th are some of the finest in town.”  Damn straight!  :)

The TNO developed as a result of the superduplexes, which first sprouted up south of Poyntz, and posting signs on properties that will be having public hearings came from complaints about a development south of Poyntz.  You could argue that the original problematic developments occurred on the south side because no one cared, but you could also argue that the resulting changes in zoning and policies happened because there was concern about what happened south of Poyntz.

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