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Kansas / Residents concerned with proposed $50 million Anderson Village project

Residents concerned with proposed $50 million Anderson Village project

MANHATTAN – More than 30 people on Tuesday flocked to a neighborhood meeting to express concern about a proposed residential and commercial complex at 1445 Anderson Ave.

Concerns about parking and traffic in the area were at the forefront of the conversation about Anderson Village, a proposed six-story structure with retail spaces, a 725-bed apartment complex, 125 hotel rooms and a 378-stall parking garage. The project would sit on two-and-a-quarter acres along Anderson Avenue between 14th and 16th streets.

“It’s a constant battle of parking,” said Meridith McKee, general manager at the nearby Holiday Inn at the Campus.

In her position, McKee said she sees nonguests who park in the hotel’s lot, which is directly west of the proposed property.

McKee suggested that the construction of this complex could worsen the parking situation. There are 113 rooms in the Holiday Inn at the Campus.

“We’re going to see it in my parking lot. We’re going to have to find another way to monitor it,” McKee said.

The construction estimate for the project is $50 million, according to Chris Elsey, project developer. The property value is $3.2 million, according to Riley County GIS records.

The property owner is listed as Calvin Emig, owner of Wildcat Property Management.

“We’re excited about it. We feel like it’s a really great location,” Elsey said.

The plan includes an intermingling of hotel guests and apartment residents in the “family room,” or ground floor space.

“The idea is that those merge together,” Elsey said.

The residential part of the complex is aimed at Kansas State University students, who would be close to campus.

Genae Denver, Manhattan Christian College director of alumni relations, wondered about the risk of removing businesses in the current location, including Sparrow Speciality Coffee and other businesses.

“It is a very beautiful building,” Denver said of the proposed project. “It’s just very big, and the fact that it takes up that entire space, that takes all that green space away.”

The project also proposes a rooftop deck, pool, gym and basketball court. Those who live in the building will have access to the facilities, while other Manhattan residents can pay a “small membership fee” towards using the areas, according to the development plans.

Additionally, the plans for the complex include a car valet service for hotel guests. Residents will need to purchase a parking permit from the complex, Elsey said.

Despite citizens’ concerns, Elsey said he thinks the complex will be an asset to the community.

“I just think it’s a real opportunity for the city of Manhattan to move forward with things,” Elsey said after the meeting. “We acknowledge it’s certainly a more progressive idea.”

The developers will have to submit a formal application with the city for rezoning consideration, said Ron Fehr, city manager.

Elsey said the next steps for the project include a traffic study.

“I live here, and I’m invested in this community,” he said. “And I know I’d certainly like to do it.”

Hailey Dixon

Hailey Dixon

The Manhattan Mercury