The Crossing at KU

Curious Minds Collide

A dynamic addition to the west side of the University of Kansas, The Crossing at KU brings together academia, citizens and visitors to seed innovation, spur curiosity and strengthen the entire community. A mixed-use development with retail, dining and living spaces, The Crossing is a unique environment to live, work, play and discover.

The Crossing at KU is centrally located at the intersection of 21st and Iowa Streets in close proximity to the research and office facilities of KU Innovation Park. This development aligns with the strengths and opportunities created by a major international research university, and will engage the community, attract new business, and position the region for future growth.


KU Endowment established The West District Improvement Company, LLC. as a wholly owned subsidiary to act as the master developer for The Crossing at KU.

This project is intended to attract and retain companies, researchers and entrepreneurs that align with KU. In doing so, we hope to build a thriving, vibrant community on the western edge of KU’s campus that becomes the hub for those who want to live, work and play in a dynamic area of town.

KU Endowment acquired much of the property (today known as West District) in 1942 with the intent to support the university.

The economic impact of this project is still being determined. However, the project is expected to bring new businesses to the Lawrence market offering products and services that do not currently exist or are underserved in the area.

The University of Kansas and the City of Lawrence are not expected to provide any funding or incur any costs in connection with the construction of The Crossing at KU.

The funding for this project will come from two primary sources: rental income from tenants and start-up funding advanced by KU Endowment for the initial investment in infrastructure (roads, sewers, traffic controls, etc.). The West District Improvement Company initiated the process with the City of Lawrence to form a Tax Increment Funding and Community Improvement District to offset some of the infrastructure costs associated with the project.

The initial investment in the infrastructure will cost about $17M.

Determining who will occupy space in The Crossing is one of the more exciting aspects of this project. We have the opportunity to create a destination that reflects the unique character and charm of Lawrence while giving visitors new experiences. To assist with securing tenants, we’ve retained AREA Real Estate Advisors, a retail broker that will help manage this process.

KU Innovation Park is a nonprofit supported by KU, the City of Lawrence and Douglas County. KU Innovation Park operates three research and office facilities in the West District, and is in the process of planning a fourth facility.

Shenk Fields are owned by KU Endowment and operated by KU’s Recreation Services. Some of the fields are going to be impacted by the first phase of construction. The West District Improvement Company worked with Recreation Services to develop a plan to replace two of the fields with two lighted synthetic turf fields that can withstand a much higher frequency of use.

There are currently no plans to modify School House No. 6.

Yes, in accordance with the zoning requirements for the area, a community advisory committee was formed and will meet throughout the project to provide community input.

The University pays for the use of the city sewer and water systems, much like other commercial users.

The city is not funding any infrastructure for the project. The Crossing at KU project is funding all of the on-site and off-site utility and street improvements necessary for the project. The off-site sewer improvements will benefit the development as well as existing neighborhoods to the west.

The vast majority of the work will be hundreds of feet away from the adjacent neighborhoods. However, the neighboring areas will undoubtedly have some disruption from the construction. The off-site sanitary sewer improvements will likely be the most impactful. This work will be occurring in the City Right of Way but will require temporary lane closures from time to time.

The Crossing at KU off-site sewer improvements are designed to increase capacity to address some pre-existing issues experienced in the Atchison Creek system.

There is no planned vehicular connection to the Marvonne neighborhood that would allow traffic to use the neighborhood to access The Crossing at KU.