To the editor:
I would like to say a very strong "ditto" to Angela Conrad's letter regarding David Schauner's comments regarding "outsourcing" downtown. People living here who haven't been downtown? Why are they here? There are hundreds of places to live if people want chain stores close to home. Living here is an option, not a requirement.
The pricey condominium and arts center are downtown because people want to enjoy the unique downtown area. Who hasn't taken a visitor to our downtown and had them delighted with the vibrancy and dedication to our downtown? Why do shoppers come over from Kansas City? Certainly not to shop at Chico's or the restaurants at Sixth and Wakarusa.
Wonderful stores have left downtown because of rent prices. It is still fun to shop there, but gets less so every day. I would entertain abatements, sensible landlords or other options that encourage and help the small, yet most important, of our retailers that cater to all age groups, not just club-goers.
It's good to have retail out in the community; everyone wants some of that. But keeping our downtown a source of pride, fun, joy and affordability is what I believe most Lawrence citizens consider a priority.