Archive for Monday, January 15, 1996

BUSINESS SHUFFLE ONGOING

January 15, 1996

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As new businesses move into downtown Lawrence this year, the shuffling and relocating of companies is in full stride.

Pur-O-Zone, a Lawrence janitorial supply distributor since 1944, moved from 708 Conn. to 345 N. Iowa to gain space.

The company manufactures and carries its own line of cleaning supplies.

"Our downtown location worked well, but we outgrew it and ran out of options," said Pur-O-Zone controller Mark Elzea.

Elzea said the company considered adding on to its original building but found too many setbacks with parking made it difficult.

"We would have liked to stay downtown but couldn't gain enough space to make it feasible with the cost," he said.

Elzea said he believes downtown Lawrence is thriving and will continue to do so.

"I think it's an evolutionary process where the mix of things go on, companies come in, move ... and hopefully it will continue for a long time," he said

Replacing Pur-O-Zone at 708 Conn. is Kansas Furniture Factory Outlet. Owner Wayne Martin said the move is tentatively set for Feb. 1, and will give his business an additional 5,000 square feet of space.

In the meantime, it's business as usual at 738 N.H., he said.

The furniture outlet was forced out by the Border's development. Borders is a national bookstore chain with about 125 stores in 35 states. Plans are to demolish and rebuild the block bounded by Seventh, New Hampshire, Eighth and Rhode Island.

Although Martin considered moving his business to the Iowa Street area as well, he found the property too expensive for what he needed.

"That's a great location, but there wasn't any building of size to afford," he said.

The furniture outlet has been a Lawrence business for eight years, and Martin said remaining in the downtown area suits him well.

"The downtown is thriving, and as long as they allow the progress of new businesses, it will continue," Martin said.

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