Moving Steel And Pipe Fits Downtown Tomorrow Plan
By Jon A. Brake
Downtown Manhattan is set for change, a lot of change. The traffic problems
at 3rd Street and Bluemont will be
gone. It will be easier to get from Tuttle Creek Blvd to downtown and there will not be a problem with big trucks
on 3rd Street. There will be no 3rd Street.
Last week the Free Press reported that Steel and Pipe is looking for
a new location for their Manhattan
warehouse. The company has been looking for land on the south side of the Manhattan Airport. If they can locate
there, tax money will stay in Riley County. If they are unable to find a land in Riley County a location in
Pottawatomie County would still provide more than 100 jobs for Manhattan residents.
Third on the list is Colby, Ks. The City of Manhattan and the Riley
County Commission should work together to
keep Steel and Pipe in this area.
Last month the City of Manhattan received a plan from the Downtown Tomorrow
Committee in which the
redevelopment of the North 3rd Street Corridor is a major theme.
If this area is developed, look for a large Target type store along
with a large grocery store, and a theater
complex. Here is what the Downtown Tomorrow Committee said about the area:
North 3rd Street Corridor:
The North 3rd Street Corridor, which is the area north of Leavenworth
Street, between 4th Street and Tuttle
Creek Boulevard, is also a prime downtown redevelopment area. The single ownership of the majority of the land
in the North 3rd Street corridor provides an opportunity for a public/private redevelopment partnership with the
potential for assembling a large tract of land for commercial uses close to the Manhattan Town Center and
Shifting the collector function from North 3rd Street to North 4th Street,
between Leavenworth Street and
Bluemont Avenue, would improve traffic movement through the downtown and provide an opportunity to create a
larger more viable redevelopment area along the North 3rd Street corridor. The potential impact on the
residential neighborhood to the west of the North 3rd Street corridor must be taken into account when
considering redevelopment options and the possible reallocation of the traffic collector function to North 4th
Street. Appropriate land use patterns must be ensured, with effective transitional buffers and sensitive use of
urban design along the east of 4th Street, between the existing residential uses to the west and any future
Any redevelopment project suitable for this area should be supported
through the creation of a new TIF district
or through redevelopment incentives provided for by the Neighborhood Revitalization Act.
The 4th Street Corridor:
The 4th Street corridor forms a natural link between Fort Riley Boulevard
in the south and Bluemont Avenue in
the north providing access to the downtown and Poyntz Avenue from K-177, Fort Riley Boulevard and Tuttle
East Side 4th Street:
Due to its location and high visibility at the entrance to Manhattan,
the east side of 4th Street is considered a
prime future commercial/office redevelopment area. Ideally the land to the east of 3rd Street should be
considered for a larger single commercial/office development or a medium sized convention center and hotel. To
gain optimal use of the confined land at this strategic location, an integration of uses on multiple levels as well as
vacating public rights-of-way should be seriously considered.
Along the 4th street corridor, potential uses that could enhance this
area include an entertainment and theater
complex. The area surrounding the intersection of 4th and Pierre Streets should be developed as a focal point to
Establishing a permanent group to enter into discussions with the major
land holders would be an important step
toward exploring and realizing possible options for downtown redevelopment.
A celebration of the community’s river and its physical and historic
association with Manhattan should be an
important long term objective. Establishing a greenway that will connect Fairmont Park, the Kansas River,
Southeast Park and the Linear Park Trail, to Downtown Manhattan would provide an important recreational link,
and access to many of Manhattan’, natural resources and diverse historic sites.