Archive for Wednesday, June 6, 2007

New Wal-Mart plans include native grass, recreational path

Public comment session dates to be scheduled

June 6, 2007


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Wal-Mart officially submits plans for proposed store

Wal-Mart officially submits its plans for a proposed store at the corner of 6th and Wakarusa in NW Lawrence. Enlarge video

Wal-Mart plan

Wal-Mart plan

Wal-Mart plan - South elevation

Wal-Mart plan - South elevation

A native grass area, additional walkways, more landscaping and the use of natural building materials are among major changes to a new plan for a Wal-Mart store in northwestern Lawrence.

Wal-Mart leaders and developers Wednesday discussed new plans they've submitted for a 99,840-square-foot Wal-Mart store at the northwestern corner of Sixth Street and Wakarusa Drive.

"It is a first-class plan," said Lawrence developer Bill Newsome, who owns the property along with Lawrence businessman Doug Compton.

The project, though, has drawn opposition from several area neighbors, who have said the project will create too much traffic and will cause motorists to cut through their neighborhood.

Neighbors and others soon will get a chance to comment on the plan. Lawrence-Douglas County planning commissioners are scheduled to have a preliminary discussion on the project at either their June 25 or June 27 meeting. They then are expected to have a full hearing on the plan at their July 23 or July 25 meeting. Dates will be finalized later this month.

Angie Stoner, a spokeswoman for Wal-Mart, said neighbors and planners will be looking at a plan that is significantly different from one proposed last year by Wal-Mart and ultimately rejected by the previous City Commission.

The size of the Wal-Mart building and four smaller buildings - ranging from 1,800 square feet to 7,800 square feet - are virtually unchanged. But Wal-Mart designers said there have been several changes to how the site is structured. They:

¢ Eliminated a planned 24-unit apartment building on the southeastern corner of Overland and Congressional drives. That 1.6-acre piece of property now would be used as a "native grass interpretative area" that would double as a stormwater detention area for the project.

"We've eliminated about 30,000 square feet of rooftop space and impervious surface from the plan," Stoner said.

¢ Added several amenities, such as seating areas, pedestrian pathway lighting and eight "focal points" made of boulders, trees and plants.

¢ Agreed to design the exterior of the Wal-Mart building to use at least 30 percent "native materials."

¢ Converted 35 parking spaces from the traditional concrete to "green pavers," which are designed to provide a pervious surface for water to drain.

¢ Agreed to replace a 5-foot sidewalk along Wakarusa Drive with a 10-foot recreational path.

¢ Added a site for a future public transit shelter on Sixth Street.

Stoner said Wal-Mart leaders are ready to start hearing from planners and community members.

"We have always understood that it is important to have a store that fits the needs of our customers as well as the community," Stoner said.

Stoner said plans for the store continue to call for the Wal-Mart to have a grocery department in addition to its line of general merchandise. It also would have a 6,147-square-foot garden center, but would not have a tire and car care center.

The new set of plans comes after Wal-Mart and the developers agreed in April to a city request to delay the start of a trial in Douglas County District Court that was set to determine whether the city previously had illegally denied Wal-Mart a building permit.

The city asked for the delay in order to give two new city commissioners - Rob Chestnut and Mike Dever - a chance to weigh in on the Wal-Mart issue. Following the April elections, Chestnut and Dever replaced two of three commissioners who had opposed the previous Wal-Mart plan.

The trial, which could be held if the most recent plans are rejected, is scheduled to start Sept. 10.


Rightytighty 10 years, 5 months ago

I can't wait too see the trailor parks in northwest lawrence thank god i am moving. I do feel bad for those people left in northwest lawrence though.

pz5g1 10 years, 5 months ago

Students have been safely navigating the streets of New York City and Chicago to get to school for decades. Lawrence students wouldn't be able to handle a much less congested trip to school?

KanedaMGM 10 years, 5 months ago

I've get a better idea. Let's just protect our city from development until it dies. That would be great. That would be sticking it to the man.

Weezy_Jefferson 10 years, 5 months ago

You can put lipstick on a pig, but it's still gonna be a pig.

Lawrence Burton 10 years, 5 months ago

We can ask LAST CALL if they would be interested in opening another club so the people from topeka wouldn't ruin downtown and it would be close for them too.

Have a nice day LB

altarego 10 years, 5 months ago

Ya'll need to stop whining about Walmart winning the yard sign wars in the last election that nobody turned out for, and give a little respect. This is a beautiful plan. And when you stand on the rise at 40 and K10 in about 20 years and see gray houses as far as the eye can see, this walmart will be a soothing respite in the CENTER of the suburban wacky wacky. I am concerned however, that they have not yet published the store layout. I can't quite see where the Hooters is going...

average 10 years, 5 months ago

"it has left people around 6th and Wak no choice, but to drive for almost 20 minutes just to get to the Walmart in town."

Seriously? I've never found it to take more than 12 minutes. Google Maps agrees. If you're west of Wakarusa, there's a high-speed bypass called K-10. The intersection with K-10 and 15th Street needs to get done, and the 27th and Kasold at-grade intersections were dumb, but it's not 20 minutes.

Jake Esau 10 years, 5 months ago

I have an idea... let Wal-Mart build the 200,000 square foot store... at the intersection of 6th and the K-10 Bypass.

kramdorf 10 years, 5 months ago

Does anyone truly believe that nothing will ever be built on that corner of the intersection. Something is going to be built there and continue building to the west. So the issue of "traffic" is not up to the developer but to the city planners to allow for the safe travel on "public" streets. If you have a specific issue with Wal-mart, then say it, but don't mask it in a facad of concern over traffic. As for the integrity of our downtown, I have been a Lawrence resident for over 30 years, and remember the debates over the corn field mall in the 70's and can remember thinking how stupid I thought that was at the time. Even though we didn't get the mall, we have ended up with just as much retail development exactly where they wanted to build the mall. And yet our downtown is still in tact. Our problem with downtown is NOT competition, it is the greed of developers and landloards that have bought up chunks of properties and continue to increase leases to the point that the local specialty shops can no longer survive. If you want to protect downtown, then make IT user friendly; something similar to what they have in Denver with their 16th street Mall. I know it would take some imagination on the part of the city, and some long term thinking, but it was that type of thinking that is the reason Lawrence has the thriving downtown it has, when almost every other town and city in the state has either lost theirs or are struggling to bring it back.

imagold 10 years, 5 months ago

Ahhh, the good old days before increased traffic on 6th St caused by the new high school, those lovely lego homes and the turnpike exit. That was the beginning of the traffic problems...urban sprawl. Before that it was nice and quiet at 6th and Wakarusa. After that you get businesses wanting to get in on the action. Go WalMart! I think it's a lovely plan.

Doug Fisher 10 years, 5 months ago

There's no way I'd ever move back to Lawrence if they build this stupid Wal-Mart. The town has already been ruined by sprawl. Adding another Wal-Mart will kill downtown even more.

peppermint 10 years, 5 months ago

Hunter2049 (Anonymous) says: I wonder if this location were to be developed into a Target if the more "well-off" people in our fair city would complain as much::.

Hunter: Almost as much. Sure, Wal-Mart is a hideous neighbor in countless communities. But even a Target would be objectionable. It is the wrong kind of store for that corner. Three corners are already saturated with retail and Mercado down the street. It's enough traffic. A high-volume department store makes a high volume of traffic. That corner and that neighborhood cannot handle it. It would be merely inconvenient and stressful if not for the schools. Because of the schools and the safety issue it is unconscionable.

lounger 10 years, 5 months ago

Many people including myself do not want it here. If it does happen though please make the organic section better than the Iowa store's organic section. Talk about an obligitory poor effort!

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 10 years, 5 months ago

It's quite interesting that Wal-Mart has prettied this up for the new commission that they helped buy. Why? Could it be because their lawyers are telling them that they'd lose if this goes to court?

ksmom 10 years, 5 months ago

WHAT????? Do I see a ::::::oh no:::.! I do see a-a-a-a- ahhhhhhhhhhhhh! A Round-a-bout! noooooooooooooo!!!!!

Lawrence Burton 10 years, 5 months ago

*Why don't we just tax the students at K.U.. This would be a good way to get lots of money for roads, a library or evan roundabouts with a foutain. They do use our roads and sidewalks that are being damaged. But wait they also pay taxes on all the other purchases made in town, if it wasn't for the students we would not have a downtown to talkabout. So this makes as much sense as to tell a multi billion dollar buisness thats knocking on our door to leave. If you want to make your town a better place in your MIND, then do something about it. Try saving on utilities, gas, expensive cuts of meet and oh ya bottle water. Then give your savings to projects like fixing roads, mowing parks, building unneeded libraries and fixing downtown that is already infested with bars.(This is also the only reason most people go downtown) I LOVE LAWRENCE AND I LIKE WALMART ALOT TOO! BRING ON ANOTHER TARGET*

Have a nice day LB

Hunter2049 10 years, 5 months ago

I wonder if this location were to be developed into a Target if the more "well-off" people in our fair city would complain as much.......

I wrote Wal-Mart and suggested that this new location become a Sam's Club. Unfortunately, I received no response to my suggestion. But perhaps once that Wal-Mart thrives (and it will, you can't immagine how many Free Stater's and people from that neighborhood are going to go there or to the future parking lot restaraunts for lunch and for shopping) they'll close the current one and put up a Sam's Club over here. Wal-Mart's not completely against wasting money, I hear, so the fact that they just redeveloped the current one should matter very little...

DonnieDarko 10 years, 5 months ago

You can put a dress on a pig, but it's still a pig.

Michael Capra 10 years, 5 months ago

now the hippies will have a place to go dont call it walmart call it TREE HUGGER CENTRAL

Lawrence Burton 10 years, 5 months ago

I know what we can put in one of those 7000sq ft buildings how about a strip club. Then those people on the west side wouldn't have to drive so for. It would evan save them money on insurance. They would be less likely to get a DUI on the way home.

Have a nice day LB

Terry Jacobsen 10 years, 5 months ago

Just save the money that a losing trial will cost us and approve the plans. We need the tax revenue to fix our streets.

Baille 10 years, 5 months ago

It's a department store. It's too big. It will hurt downtown and local retail. It will not add tax revenue. Wal-Mart, go home.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 10 years, 5 months ago

The neighbors who are complaining so loudly elected the officials who are pro developers,so they can't be too worried about the project. Go ahead and build it, but the green space is laughable. It will be filled with plastic bags in no time, just like the southside store. They cleaned things up the first couple of years, then let the bags and trash fly. It won't be any different over there. If they build it, compete with themselves, close one of the stores, then we can get someone better in, unless Compton and his cronies just let it sit idle like his downtown properties. Talk about a slum lord.

blackwalnut 10 years, 5 months ago

Let the traffic jams begin.

Then when a school kid gets killed trying to get to Langston Hughes or Free State High, let every commissioner who voted to make a dangerous situation face a lawsuit and be held personally liable.

These people have a responsibility to us and our children.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 10 years, 5 months ago

I'm sending this compromise to the commission. Wal Mart can build their store if they give the city 100 million dollars to be set up in a trust fund, whose earnings will help support the T. That way Wal Mart workers, who aren't paid enough to buy a car, can get to work, Wal Mart shoppers are happy, and I get to retire in a city where I don't have to drive my car. Now there is a win-win.

blackwalnut 10 years, 5 months ago

dorothyhr mentions "...unless Compton and his cronies just let it sit idle like his downtown properties..."

I wish Compton would do something about that ugly mess he felt compelled to slap over the entrance of the beautiful Masonic Temple on Mass Street. If I nailed rotting particle board to the front of my house, I'd be in violation of covenants and probably some city ordinance and it wouldn't be allowed. But Compton is allowed to let rotting particle board deface the main street in town, for many months, it might even be going on years now. Why can't Compton hire a real carpenter and slap on a coat of paint? It's an ugly eyesore and cheapens everything around it.

That ought to tell everyone what they can expect from Compton in the way of civic pride and responsibility after he leases 6th/Wakarusa to a Walmart. It will be the ugliest eyesore in town, in no time.

Prairie grass - what a laugh.

coneflower 10 years, 5 months ago

The public hearings are just a show, the deals are already made, and the city will ruin a neighborhood with extreme traffic and compromise everyone's safety.

Two schools and a pool are affected.

KDoT has said this corner's traffic will as congested as 23rd/Louisiana.

Sigmund 10 years, 5 months ago

KDOT address the traffic, its not a concern. The improvements on 6th and at the intersection of Wak are sufficient. BUILD IT!

coneflower 10 years, 5 months ago

Sigmund: KDoT admitted their traffic study is outdated. It was done in the summer when the two nearby schools were not in session. It omitted a whole category of traffic. I heard KDoT is doing another traffic study, I hope they are, and I hope the city won't approve this project until that information comes in. The problem is, there is nothing they can do to that corner to make the traffic better - it is already 4 lanes plus turn lanes - and there is nothing they can do to keep Walmart traffic from cutting through the neighborhood. They can't widen Harvard to handle it either. It is simply too much traffic on top of Bauer Farms and Mercado when those are finished.

Mkh 10 years, 5 months ago

This "plan" is absolutely Hilarious.

frkshow 10 years, 5 months ago

blackwalnut mentions..."Then when a school kid gets killed trying to get to Langston Hughes or Free State High"

This walmart can't be nearly as risky to get to school around as the 23rd St. traffic and suicide lane is for Schwegler students! Just build it and use the money saved from giving up the fight to follow through on safety changes proposed for 23rd St.

janeyb 10 years, 5 months ago

The native grass can catch the plastic bags and other trash blowing off the parking lot. It serves a purpose.

blackwalnut 10 years, 5 months ago

Hey do you think Walmart is going to hire someone at minimum wage to fish the ugly plastic bags out of the native grass?

I don't think so. This will all be ugly as hell. Northwest Lawrence is going to be in a snit when it's all over.

peppermint 10 years, 5 months ago

The native grass is only temporary because Wal-Mart will ask to expand the store the second it is built.

They should just build the 200,000 s.f. store now and get it all over with. Those who voted for these No Developer Left Behind commissioners, and the ones who didn't get out and vote, deserve this.

Overdevelopment is self-correcting like wars are self-correcting. Some losses cannot be recovered.

stuckinthemiddle 10 years, 5 months ago

KanedaMGM The idea of "grow or die" doesn't apply to towns with large, thriving universities.

Lawrence could have stayed at a population of 40,000 indefinitely but it was such a great town that people thought there must be some way to cash in on it. And some have. Pretty much all the growth over the past 25 years has been nothing but people cashing in.

Lawrence is still a great town, as long as you don't venture west of Kasold, where the bulk of the cashing in has taken place.

And as far as the Walmart goes, it's really too bad that they're building it so close to the schools. I have a soft spot for kids. Other than that, it's just another part of the look-like-Olathe cashing in program.

bullistic 10 years, 5 months ago

I have heard and can agree with many oppositions to this walmart. However, I am sick and tired of people saying that it will do damage to downtown. I do not go downtown to buy groceries, toilet paper, lawn mowers, microwaves, coffee pots, etc. I couldn't find one person out of five who would buy any of those things from a downtown vendor and Walmart is often cheaper than Hyvee or Dillons for some of these things (maybe not Checkers, but that's a different discussion).

The reason NW Lawrence needs a Walmart is because the town has messed up so many times with urban planning that it has left people around 6th and Wak no choice, but to drive for almost 20 minutes just to get to the Walmart in town. Our streets are poorly laid out. Our traffic control is a joke. These are real problems.

Do I think that 6th and Wakarusa is the best place for the Walmart. No. I like the suggestion I read earlier of putting it at 6th and K-10. The area around it will be built up in a little over a year and It could help mitigate the number of businesses being squeezed right next to the schools. That is my rant for the day.

werekoala 10 years, 5 months ago

This is hysterical:

"Then when a school kid gets killed trying to get to Langston Hughes or Free State High, let every commissioner who voted to make a dangerous situation face a lawsuit and be held personally liable."

Ah, yes. And if a small child is killed running across the street to Local Burger, I can assume you'd be just as in favor of tar and feathers for the owners of that establishment and the commissioners who approved it?

If you were REALLY concerned about traffic congestion causing fatalities, you'd be campaigning for the SLC as hard as you can. But trying to blame hypothetical deaths on the EVIL that is Wal-mart? You lose all credibility.

Bubbles 10 years, 5 months ago

This second WM is going to destroy all those good paying mom and pop jobs being created out there. We need to stop this second WM so all those mom and pop businesses can flourish.

This is a dad gum shame!

werekoala 10 years, 5 months ago

Way I see it, a budget crisis is no time to be turning away profitable businesses who will be guaranteed to produce sales tax revenue at a time when it is dearly needed. I agree with many of the criticisms that have been leveled at Wal-Mart's corporate policies, but there are ways around those criticisms.

Concerned about benefits/health care for the employees? Pass an ordinance that requires stores with retail space greater than 50,000 sq.ft. to pay a living wage with benefits to half-time or greater employees.

Concerned about downtown? Protect it with fire sprinklers, then work to lower the rent payments the specialty shops must pay. Get the city commission and CofC to work on support kits for people thinking of opening a business downtown.

Concerned about our overall economy? Then we need to get more employers in Lawrence, period. We've got far too much housing, valued far higher than local employers can support. And as gas prices continue to go up, Lawrence is going to be less and less sustainable as the bedroom community it's been built up into. Hence, the only way we're going to avoid one mother of a local depression when gas hits $5 a gallon is to already have enough strong local employers to support our population. That's why I voted for the new city commission - long term, we NEED growth, at least in terms of business growth to sustain the residential growth that's already happened.

I certainly understand the people who wish we were back as a 40,000 pop. college cowtown, but those days unfortunately, are forever behind us. And attracting new high-paying employers is where our civic focus should be for the next 3-5 years. Not squabbling over developments that are foregone conclusions, because we hate big corporations. News Flash: not every company is Ben & Jerry's or Newman's Own. And unfortunately, we still have to work with them and be friendly with them if we as a city want to survive with any kind of quality of life. The attitude displayed by many on this thread is so unwelcoming, if I were thinking of bringing 500 jobs to the Lawrence area, I'd as soon base my business in the 'Dot.

Tiger33 10 years, 5 months ago

Lawrence needs to wake up and smell the coffee. I have never lived in a city with so many people who are content with shooting themselves in the foot. Lawrence has DECREASED in population over the last 5 years...something unheard of for a town of its size. This is most likely due to the fact that local citizens and elected officials spend so much of their time fighting with each other that nothing ever gets accomplished. People don't want to live in a city that is regressing. This Walmart proposal is the most recent example, but the South Lawrence Trafficway is the most well-known. I am sensitive to the Haskell Indians' argument, and believe that the highway should avoid this area, but Lawrence residents continued to complain about every alternative proposed. So now 23rd street continues to be a mess, doesn't accomodate pedestrians or those on bikes, and makes Lawrence an atrocious city to navigate. This walmart proposal is just another ramification of that same anti-progress, anti-convenience mindset. Let's fight off a grocery store that would enable lower income residents to actually purchase items that are marked up at locally owned stores, all in the name of keeping everything "local." I would be willing to bet that all of those in favor of preserving local grocery stores don't have to worry about making ends meet. I am not a proponent of paying employees unlivable wages, but I do realize that having A job is better than having NO job. Similarly, I don't think groceries should be a luxury. Dillons, Hyvee, and other smaller stores are EXPENSIVE to those with a low income. How about all of the NIMBYs in NW Lawrence and the upper middle class and upper class people fighting down this store stop and think about others for a change. Our city should accomodate the needs of ALL citizens, not just those who insist on fighting development because it doesn't accomodate THEIR ideaologies.

sourpuss 10 years, 5 months ago

You get what you pay for, blue73harley. Good luck with the trees.

Personally, I have found that the cheaper the plant, the more likely it has been incorrectly raised - over fertilized, root burn, etc. As well, Wal-Mart can afford to undercut local stores because they have $20 trees in a city with no competition. Try buying quality plants at a local nursery rather than at a department store.

Also, "altarego (Anonymous) says: And when you stand on the rise at 40 and K10 in about 20 years and see gray houses as far as the eye can see, this walmart will be a soothing respite in the CENTER of the suburban wacky wacky."

Wow, why does ANYONE live out there? How depressing if Wal-mart is the most beautiful thing you have to look at. A prison-like school, a Wal-mart with dry grass (oh, sorry, PRAIRIE grass) and the plastic bags of course, and identical housing ranging from tan to taupe. Beautiful city there folks.

Personally, I am in favor of cutting Lawrence in half down Iowa. Let the Johnson County refugees have their own town because the FSM certainly knows that North/East/Central Lawrence and West Lawrence are not the same town at all. I think we should rename West Lawrence "Comptonville" or "Fritzelburg".

stuckinthemiddle 10 years, 5 months ago

Again, today, we are seeing folks proclaiming the economic benefits of a Walmart at 6th and Wakarusa, sales tax revenues and jobs.

The increase in sales tax revenues could be, and I suspect will be limited and certainly less than enough to justify the city's expenses in the required additional infrastructure. There is a chance, that with respect to sales tax revenues Walmart won't even pay for itself.

With regards to new jobs, first off, some old, better paying jobs might be lost, as this Walmart could force some competition out of business. Also, the vast majority of jobs added will be rather low wage, and not high enough for someone to afford to purchase a home in Lawrence. Lawrence already has more than it's share of $7 to $10 an hour jobs. Walmart is likely going to have to count on a considerable amount of out-of-towners to staff this store.

I don't see the economics of this, other than for a small number of folks who will make a bundle, as anything but a wash.

Bud Stagg 10 years, 5 months ago

Imagold, it used to be that way at 6th & Kasold when I first moved here. It's called GROWTH people. It's not this commission that is the problem, it's the planning that was done way before. If it's not this walmart, its a kohls or Penny's or Lowes, etc. That corner is zoned commercial and something commercial is going to be built there. I live across the street, I knew that when I bought my house. It's why I bought my house, convenience.

STOP the traffic argument, it does not hold water. There are car accidents in front of every school in town. STOP the WalMart argument. If not Walmart then it's somethingone else. Get better planning but don't penalize the developer who bought the property because it was zoned commercial and wants to build a commercial building there.
STOP fighting this, it was lost years ago. The battle was years ago when the planning was done. Fighting now just makes you look like poor losers, and dumb ones at that. Quit wasting my tax dollars fighting this and spend the taxes on better planning.

average 10 years, 5 months ago

blue73harley -

I live in very most eastern Lawrence (next to the cemetery). It does not take 20 minutes to get to WalTargGoodwill. North Lawrence on a bad day might be close to 20 minutes, but it would take rather exactly the same length of time to get to one on 6th and Waky.

So, we have to grow. Can't stop growing. Wolves will eat us. 200,000? Not enough. 1 million? Not enough.

According to most demographers, world population will start shrinking within the next 50 years. Many advanced nations are already below population replacement. Sooner or later, you have to realize you are on a finite ball of rock and infinite growth is not a long-term strategy

sourpuss 10 years, 5 months ago

From the NYTimes online:
Among Wal-Mart's deeper troubles sapping its sales gains: Wal-Mart is contending with more competition as it advances from the rural markets it dominates into denser, urban markets. As well, Wal-Mart has opened new stores in some markets so close to established stores that the new stores siphon sales away from their older counterparts. ( )

I think the thing this new store will hurt worst is the old Wal-mart. Then we'll have an empty big-box that Wal-mart will refuse to see to a competitor, so it will sit empty, be ugly, and have to be demolished (along with the "recycling center").

stuckinthemiddle 10 years, 5 months ago

I agree with sourpuss and JOEHAWK Let's end the fight and just do what sourpuss has recommended. Split the city.

For the most part, I've already done that.

Linda Endicott 10 years, 5 months ago


Sales tax at the expense of what?

If they build another store, won't Wal-Mart be receiving corporate welfare? Won't the nice city be giving them tax abatements for years?

This is ridiculous. Wal-Mart is a huge corporation, and has plenty of money to build new stores, and pay for any and all improvements to the properties. (sewer, etc.)

They certainly don't need a tax abatement. It's not like they have to take awhile before becoming an established business, and need all the help they can get. They're already rich.

Probably the main amount in taxes that would help the city the most from a new Wal-Mart would be from property taxes, not sales tax. But I'll bet you that the city, if it allows this new store, will give them a tax abatement, which will ensure that nobody will receive any property tax from Wal-Mart for years and years.

Are they paying property taxes on the Iowa store yet?

Although property taxes probably benefit the county more so than the city.

Oracle_of_Rhode 10 years, 5 months ago

The native grasses will be imported from a Chinese sweatshop.

Linda Endicott 10 years, 5 months ago

When we had the sudden freeze again this spring, the Wal-Mart here had already put out their yearly offering of potted flowers and plants.

They knew the freeze was coming. Everyone knew it was coming. Did Wal-Mart put the plants inside to protect them? No. They left them all outside, and just tried to cover them all up with plastic (which you should never use...use cloth instead).

And after the freeze was over, they kept what ratty, browning plants that survived and continued to sell them, at the regular price.

Sounds like a pretty idiotic way to do business to me. But if you want to buy brown plants at the regular price, more power to you.

brotherskeeper 10 years, 5 months ago

I say build it... then maybe I can recycle some place nearer my house. Thanks Wal-Mart.

Oh... and it might do some of you some good to get out and get yur travel on.

Oracle_of_Rhode 10 years, 5 months ago

Soon, when the party is over, we in sustainable Lawrence can use the WalMart structure for scrap and fuel before this intersection is returned to meadow...just like we will use your worthless, poorly built McMansions in West Lawrence for kindling and scrap while you obese fascists go begging for food.

Sean Livingstone 10 years, 5 months ago

For those who hate Walmart, no one realizes it helps cut down costs from the less efficient K-Mart who pay their executives millions from your own pockets. It may hurt our small businesses, but not to the extend of killing them all. I won't buy Kraft Cheese from a neighborhood store, but will spend a little more to buy a unique cheese, I love the bread from the small shop that sells bread downtown, and I will spend a little more money there. Walmart should be treated as a compliment...

For those who think that it will endanger our children and jam our traffic, hey, I moved here from a congested city, Lawrence, KS even at its worst traffic conditions, is even better than the "smooth" traffic I faced in that city! What makes people move into the city is not just the uniqueness, but the job too. Chicago, Austin, San Francisco, New York... they all have their flavors and their job markets. Lawrence is unique, but it won't be unique any longer if it doesn't have the job to feed its population.

stuckinthemiddle 10 years, 5 months ago

livingstone Are you going to go get a job at the 6th Street Walmart when it opens?

You might be able to get on at the one out on Iowa, now.

stuckinthemiddle 10 years, 5 months ago

Is anyone here planning on applying for a job at the new Walmart?

Linda Endicott 10 years, 5 months ago

I have no idea whether the new store has requested or whether it would receive any subsidies. But it seems to be a common trend in business anymore.

A lot of communities offer subsidies now, in order to lure in businesses such as Wal-Mart.

In Ottawa, Wal-Mart received a $19 million abatement to build their distribution center. The city and state spent more than $1 million on infrastructure improvements, and the city gave them a ten year property tax exemption.

And since they built the distribution center, the price of homes and rent has skyrocketed.

Of the 90-some distribution centers that Wal-Mart has built, only about 7 of them have not received an subsidies.

It's not at all uncommon for Wal-Mart to request property tax abatements and/or sales tax abatements when they build a new store. It's also not uncommon for them to expect to be reimbursed for any infrastructure costs.

Do you have any proof that the new Wal-Mart in Lawrence will NOT include subsidies?

Larry Sherraden 10 years, 5 months ago

Go Walmart. From someone who lives in northwest Lawrence, I can't wait to not have to drive to the other side of town to shop. When will you open?

werekoala 10 years, 5 months ago

"crazyks (Anonymous) says:

I have no idea whether the new store has requested or whether it would receive any subsidies. But it seems to be a common trend in business anymore."

In other words, you're talking out your arse, son.

"Do you have any proof that the new Wal-Mart in Lawrence will NOT include subsidies?"

Do you have any proof that invisible pink unicorns DON'T exist?

See, the problem you have is that you're acting and talking like a fanatic. Yes, there are many good and reasonable complaints about the corporate practices of Wal-Mart as a whole, that I tend to agree with. But none of those complaints are particularly germane to the conversation we're having. This isn't a distribution center, nor is it Ottawa, KS. If you or anyone else would like to sponsor a bill that mandates a living wage and comprehensive health care for employers with a retail space or net worth greater than X, I'd be all for that. I'm against most corporate welfare. And if there was a proposal to give tax abatements for the store, I'd be against that.

But with all the wailing and gnashing of teeth that's gone on in the process of this development, I'm sure we'd be familiar with it. And so you come off like you're grasping at straws, because you hate the evil empire.

But I don't want to live in a society where before any business opens, everyone else in town gets to vote on whether or not to allow it. That's why I was opposed to Naughty but Nice being forced out. It's the same mentality with a puritanical flavoring. People vote with their dollars. And if the store fails, well, then the people have spoken. Same as if it remains open.

Linda Endicott 10 years, 5 months ago

I don't think there's any need for a second Wal-Mart at all. I don't think there's enough population to support two stores.

Bud Stagg 10 years, 5 months ago

Hey CrazyKS, Ottawa gave them 19 million over how many years? How many jobs did that distrubution center create? Hundreds I bet. Those people who have those jobs now buy things in Ottawa which generates sales tax. They now own things in Ottawa which generates property taxes. I bet that 19 million doubles the tax revenue to Ottawa over that same period of time. So you give away 19 get 38, that is 19 million in tax increase that you did not have. I wish you idiots in Lawrence would figure this out.

Linda Endicott 10 years, 5 months ago

The tax abatement was for ten years.

Jobs? Yeah, it created new jobs. Which nobody seems able to keep. They're constantly advertising for new people, so I guess the ones they already have working there don't stay long.

Do the jobs make it worth it? Since housing prices have gone way up? I don't know. Unfortunately, those housing prices went up for everybody, not just those who worked at the distribution center.

You guys really sound like you need to work for Wal-Mart. You're so vehemently rah-rah Wal-Mart, I bet you'd enjoy those morning meetings where everyone sounds like conversions to the new cult.

Ever seen one of those meetings with the employees? I have, numerous times. Brainwashing at it's finest. Kind of creepy, too.

Sean Livingstone 10 years, 5 months ago


My wife used to work for Walmart. It's an ok company, though not the kind that you expect a lot of stuffs, but sometimes, there are worst companies than Walmart. Walmart makes the headline simply because it's too big. It's the same reason why some countries hate America... it's too successful. Walmart is too successful that everyone who hates it will get an "endorsement". What's the difference between Target, K-Mart, and Walmart? They are all the same, the only difference is that the executives at K-mart got more salary out of anyone's pockets.... Go down to ask Dillions how they pay their workers? It's the same.....

Sean Livingstone 10 years, 5 months ago


Yeap, that's true, Ottawa benefits from Walmart. I just wonder why people cannot differentiate the things that Walmart sells and those small shops sell? I won't go to Walmart to buy unique gifts for my friends. Walmart is selling things for mass consumption. It's just like I won't go to a small shop to buy a big screen TV. Time changes, we all need to change and compete. The only way to bring Walmart down is to compete with it economically, sell cheaper than them, or lock away unique products that Walmart cannot sell. Using the laws to fight Walmart, will make us more socialist... which is against the idea of democracy and capitalism.

WWoftheW 10 years, 5 months ago

It is the same plan as the other three, only the size was changed. Oh and some real rock instead of fake rock.

WWoftheW 10 years, 5 months ago

Oh gee, even the size didn't change this time. Wow, now that is a really signifcantly changed plan.

WWoftheW 10 years, 5 months ago

Oh, I get it. Wal-Mart doesn't have to follow the new codes, that require a design standard and traffic impact studies and Market impact studies. That is how come the new plan is significantly different.

WWoftheW 10 years, 5 months ago

No, Wal-Mart has never followed the codes or agreed abatement plans. Still don't see the significantly different plan that the affidavit says they are following.

werekoala 10 years, 5 months ago

"let's wage the future of lawrence on your "bet""

Yes, as we can all agree, a second wal-mart will bring plague, famine, fire, and hailstones to our fair city. Locusts will descend upon us, and the Kaw will run red with the blood of the innocents. Dogs and cats, living together!

Or you could grow up and realize that this new business is neither a blessing or a curse, but simply another example of a legal business seeking to expand its customer base. The end times are not upon us.

"I don't think there's any need for a second Wal-Mart at all. I don't think there's enough population to support two stores."

Well, then it will fail, and you will have won a decisive victory over the forces of evil. Hurray for you!

I really don't get this cognitive disconnect -- you hate the store because it is going to succeed, and destroy downtown; yet you also think it will fail because no one will go there. Hey, if it fails, fine by me. But if it succeeds, well, that's fine by me too.

I think this is just an example of people who feel their lives spiraling out of control trying to lash out at a tempting target. And God knows, Wal-Mart is no saint. But it is a legal business, and I can't think of a compelling reason not to let them build there, other than "OMG WalMurt is teh EV1L!!!!"

It just comes off as childish and petulant at a time when we really need to be seriously looking at the obstacles we can expect to see in the next 5-10 years; and planning for them so that we can maintain the quality of life that has made Lawrence a great place to live. Unchecked growth is not the answer, but neither is trying to run off any business that doesn't provide its employees with free granola and hemp-oil. There is a middle ground. Learn to see it.

WWoftheW 10 years, 5 months ago

The 24 unit apartment complex was removed in the last denied plan. Green parking. They tried that at the Iowa store and it was a total failure. A second store doesn't even benefit Wal-Mart. They are just mad that someone told them no.

pz5g1 10 years, 5 months ago

I hear the Walton's like to kick little puppy dogs, too.

WWoftheW 10 years, 5 months ago

Glad to see you all finally figured it out.

Richard Heckler 10 years, 5 months ago

It's all about economic displacement which cosmetic features will not fix. Nor will cosmetic features alter the wild driving habits and other safety issues. It's still a Wal-Mart no matter what it looks like.

"Always low prices,Always low end merchandise, Always Low Wages and Always bad for business"

Linda Endicott 10 years, 5 months ago

Werekoala, I'm not one of the posters who have been saying that another Wal-Mart will kill downtown. Look through the posts.

I don't think Lawrence can support two Wal-Marts. In which case, one will fail, and the principles of free enterprise will be held to be true.

Do I like Wal-Mart? Not particularly. I think the company is arrogant and pushy, and they don't give a rat's a^^ about their customers, only their bottom line.

But then, I don't suppose that's a whole lot different than a lot of other companies, like AT&T, Sprint, Best Buy, Home Depot, and all the oil companies.

Maybe it seems worse, and more prevalent, because there are already so many damn Wal-Marts around. It almost seems like an invasion at times.

When will they think they have enough stores? They already make billions in profit every year. With the stores they have as of today, even if they never built another one, they could still make enough for years to come for all the heirs to the company fortune, and the shareholders.

So, will there ever come a time when they'll stop building new stores? If not, why not? How much money is enough for these people?

coneflower 10 years, 5 months ago

This new Wal-Mart is just like the war in Iraq: the people pushing it had it all planned and decided before they even took office. This whole dragged-out application and approval process is just a show. They even found some yellowcake, er, "prospective budget shortfall" to bolster their position.

"Jobs and tax revenue" sounds a lot like "sweets and flowers."

coneflower 10 years, 5 months ago

And why didn't this headline read, instead, "New Wal-Mart Plan Fails to Address Traffic Concerns?"

Answer: The Journal-World is on board with this project and has the journalism to support it.

Godot 10 years, 5 months ago

The obvious solution is to relocate the Merc to 6WAK. That will assure there will be absolutely no increase in traffic.

blackwalnut 10 years, 5 months ago

Within 3 years Wal-Mart will either have abandoned this building, or been granted a rezoning to double the size of the store and there won't be a blade of native grass left.

Either way, it will leave an ugly legacy to the present city commission. They'll be remembered for this, and not fondly. The Wal-Mart commission. The slash and burn commission that raised taxes, cut services, and build a giant ugly shrine to greed and overconsumption.

The economy of Lawrence will not be helped by this.

That neighborhood will regret this.

peppermint 10 years, 5 months ago

Build the 250,000 sf model and get it over with. Then WM will lose even more. Bill them for the full property taxes, though.

What kind of tax abatement is Sue giving them?

peppermint 10 years, 5 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

peppermint 10 years, 5 months ago

Hack and Dever should not vote on this issue because their objectivity is compromised by their business relationships with one of the developers.

The city commission is charged with representing the citizens and taxpayers of Lawrence. Don't they take an oath to serve the people?

altarego 10 years, 5 months ago

"Hack and Dever should not vote on this issue because their objectivity is compromised by their business relationships with one of the developers."

Refer me to your source. Unless this is about yard signs. Then never mind.

WWoftheW 10 years, 5 months ago


The slash and burn commission that raised taxes, cut services, and build a giant ugly shrine to greed and overconsumption.

I fondly call them the hack and slash commission. :-)

Sean Livingstone 10 years, 5 months ago


It's unfair to compare Walmart in Lawrence to the war in Iraq. It's our responsibility to help Walmart develop good visions for the future. Our city lacks the necessary planners and controllers to ensure Walmart comply with every rules that are imposed on them. That doesn't mean that Walmart should be allowed to do anything they like. I'm not all for a new Walmart, but again, I'm not totally against it. It's going to affect the value of the houses that are around it, but it's going to bring value and money to Lawrence. Thus, we should not avoid the real issues here, it's not the traffic, it's the house values. How can we deal with it? Why don't we take a look at development in other cities? I bet the $250,000 spent on the consultants do not help at all! There are many planning faculties at KU, who costs a lot lesser than $250,000.... and will benefit our KU students, and they really appreciate the impact of a Walmart on West Lawrence. Yet, what did the city do to help KU education? Not much.

Yes, the Walmart is needed, but the city should not avoid the real topic to addressing the impact of Walmart in the region, i.e. the tax dollars generated by the new Walmart should be used to build new facilities or to boost up the values of properties in the area.

BTW, I don't stay there, I stay in Old West Lawrence.

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