The president of the local Chamber of Commerce said construction projects that began in 2013 will help stimulate economic development in downtown Leavenworth and the city of Lansing.
"I think 2014 is going to be an exciting year," said Jennifer Daly, president of the Leavenworth-Lansing Area Chamber of Commerce.
She said the ongoing projects may lead to more interest and excitement about the community and result in the opening of more businesses.
Daly said she always loves seeing new, local businesses, but she wants existing businesses to thrive as well.
"I really want to see them be successful," she said.
Daly pointed to work on Stove Factory Lofts as one of the economic development highlights of 2013 that will benefit downtown Leavenworth.
The Stove Factory Lofts development is located at the former Tire Town complex in the area of Choctaw and Esplanade streets.
Steve Foutch, who is the managing director of the developer Foutch Brothers, has said a majority of the multi-building complex will be used for residential apartments. There also will be office space and a restaurant.
Planning for the project began several years ago, but 2013 saw major construction work at the complex.
"Our downtown really needs more foot traffic," Daly said.
She said downtown businesses are providing quality shops and restaurants, but would benefit from more customers. She said a great way to make this happen is to have more people living in the area.
Daly also pointed to hotel projects as another highlight in 2013.
A Fairfield Inn & Suites is under construction at Fourth Street and Metropolitan Avenue in north Leavenworth. Another developer is planning to build a Hampton Inn at 405 Choctaw St. in downtown Leavenworth.
The city of Leavenworth recently purchased the former Nights Inn property at 101 S. Third St. in downtown Leavenworth. The city will have the building torn down, and officials hope a developer will construct another hotel at that site.
City Manager Scott Miller said developers have expressed interest in building an extended stay hotel at that location.
Daly pointed to the new Lansing High School as an economic development highlight in 2013 for the city of Lansing. Groundbreaking for the 220,000 square-foot high school was in September. The school is scheduled for completion in August 2015, according to school officials.
The high school and a surrounding athletic complex are being constructed on a 154-acre site on 147th Street, south of 4-H Road.
The school is being constructed as part of a $73 million bond issue that was approved by voters in 2012.
The bond issue also will pay for improvements at the existing Lansing High School, which will become a middle school.
Page 2 of 2 - Daly said when a company is considering moving into an area, one of the factors considered is school quality.