To the editor:
Construction of the Riverfront outlet mall and the Tanger outlet mall were proceeded by comments similar to Commissioner Mike Dever's outlook for new retail development at Sixth Street and the South Lawrence Trafficway: "I think it is going to add an opportunity for people outside of Lawrence to come shop : I think we're going to attract people to come to Lawrence."
Both of those previous retail developments failed to increase Lawrence's retail business or sales tax income in the long term, and the structures were converted to other uses.
Destination shoppers will only come to Lawrence for unique experiences, not to visit a retail area anchored by a big-box store they can find in their own community and surrounded by the same retail businesses to be found across the country.
The trend in most new shopping centers being built in the United States is to create a faux downtown or outdoor pedestrian ambiance. This community is failing to capitalize on that shift in retail style by allowing our downtown to be marginalized and continuing to sprawl to the west.
Sally Hayden, Lawrence