Archive for Sunday, June 10, 2007

Legends leakage

June 10, 2007

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To the editor:

Much has been written lately about our drop in sales tax and about the Wal-Mart that is going to be shoved down our throats.

I'll bet if research was done, it would be clear that much of our retail sales are being lost to the Legends in Wyandotte County. It's not far, and many of our out-of-town shoppers are probably going there instead. So our answer to that is to build another Wal-Mart? I'm real sure this is going to tear shoppers away from the Legends. People will drive from miles around for a unique shopping experience.

We need to lower the property taxes on buildings downtown, and even (I can't believe I'm saying this) get more corporate stores to come in, but still encourage a mix of unique locally owned stores. Then advertise the shopping experience of downtown Lawrence in the surrounding cities. More events like the Film Noir series will help.

Also, has anyone considered opening a children's center where people can leave their children with caregivers while they shop? There are better ways to increase our retail sales than building a duplicate of a store that already exists.

Even a Costco or a Lowe's would be better than Wal-Mart.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed,

Lawrence

Comments

Ragingbear 8 years, 2 months ago

Why doesn't Lawrence have a real mall? These things they try to call malls are not malls, but are strip malls, a completely different concept. I am talking about a massive enclosed environment linking several different stores where you can go to JC penny, Shopco, Payless, Radioshack and get an overpriced pretzel all in one place without leaving the comfort of reconditioned air.

Ragingbear 8 years, 2 months ago

Yeah. Those are all mainstays and part of the mall culture. They develope their own ecosystem, with a mixture of the parents that take their 4 year old on 12 hour shopping trips to the rare and elusive mall-walker.

The cheap food and overpriced video arcade are all part of the experience. Still boggles my mind when I found out Lawrence didn't have one. We had a nice one in a town of 29,000 people. So why not here?

erod0723 8 years, 2 months ago

I gotta say, I sometimes prefer the Legends to Lawrence shopping. There is just so much to do there. You can catch a tbones game, tap your kiddie side at Dave and Busters, and see some nice, err wings, at Hooters. What does Lawrence have to offer? A quaint little downtown. I love our downtown, but it isn't going to keep the big spenders coming back like the Legends will. Plus, Lawrence just can't compete with Cabelas when it comes to prices on shells for my 30 aught 6.

erod0723 8 years, 2 months ago

Don't forget the cheap arcade, the food court full of horrible food and teenagers, and the requisite photo booth.

Kookamooka 8 years, 2 months ago

We used to have two outlet "malls" that over priced everyone on second rate, poor quality products. The Riverfront mall was a really nice building. There was a perfume pizzaz, a J Crew Outlet, a Dress Barn, a Hanes Outlet, A cheap book store, an Oneida shop, a Mikasa China store, a Corning ware Outlet, a Big Dog store, what else? Some shops were good but not good enough to carry the whole place. I chalk it up to mismanagement. As I recall, the rents for the stores went up as sales went down and the merchants just said no thank you. End of story.

blackwalnut 8 years, 2 months ago

"Also, has anyone considered opening a children's center where people can leave their children with caregivers while they shop?"

Fred Meyer discount department stores have a day care center. A Fred Meyer would give Walmart a run for its money.

Lawrence isn't that kid friendly - no little zoo, no children's museum, not many stores featuring children's things. Not much playground equipment in the parks. Oh well, can't be all things to all people.

The Legends? Ugh.

blackwalnut 8 years, 2 months ago

right_thinker? You don't even live in Lawrence? Why do people not living in Lawrence have so much to say about matters involving our taxes and our town?

classclown 8 years, 2 months ago

I've never seen or heard of a Fred Meyer outside of Oregon and Washington. I remember them well though. They were around long before I even heard of Walmart. They were completely one stop shopping before it became all the rave across the country. And Yardbirds. G.I.Joes was a neat store as well.

Darn I miss the coast.

Amy Bartle 8 years, 2 months ago

Googols of Fun at 6th and Wakarusa offers a drop and shop service- you can drop your kids off there and shop.

Richard Heckler 8 years, 2 months ago

So many other cities are spending big bucks to revitalize their downtowns. Why let ours go down the tubes.

"We need to lower the property taxes on buildings downtown, and even (I can't believe I'm saying this) get more corporate stores to come in, but still encourage a mix of unique locally owned stores. " Excellent points. Spread out two or three more big name stores to say at the south end of downtown to encourage walk by traffic throughout downtown. Local shops and some big name stores can thrive off each other. When I was growing up more locally owned shops surrounded the fewer big name stores.

Wal-Mart on the other hand is quite an aggressive predator and will not actually increase retail sales numbers. I speculate retail sales will drop at the 23rd and 31st and Iowa retail corridors. Downtown as well. Then bringing Baur Farms and Mercado on line will further cut into existing retail sales throughout Lawrence...not only downtown. Bad planning!!

Ragingbear 8 years, 2 months ago

When the Riverfront Mall was still popular, did we have the same trouble with the Marriot somehow staking claim to the entire upper parking lot like they do now? I am tired of every time I have business out there that I have to try to figure out where to park.

Besides, a true mall does not require you to go outside to go to another store or area. To go from one end to another of that place requires me to go outside via a hallway with no ventilation (thus heating up to about 150 degrees in summer) and walk to the other side of the place.

deec 8 years, 2 months ago

You do realize that all that commercial development in western wyco is subsidized by the taxpayers, right? Most if not all the land was seized under eminent domain, the largest businesses get sweetheart deals on their utilities, and either their property tax or sales tax (I forget which) are kept by the businesses under the TIF scam. Meanwhile property tax rates for the long-term residents have skyrocketed.

A_Guy 8 years, 2 months ago

Actually, property values in Wyandotte County have grown while property have dropped by 25% since 1997. Go to first page of the summary and read here:

http://www.wycokck.org/static/cty.admin/budget/Budget%20Highlights%202006-2007.pdf

The property and sales tax increment were captured to help pay for the development, so the taxpayers did not loose anything. They just have to wait a few more years to get a lot of the gain. However, the spill over affect is bringing in lots of extra revenue to the County, meaning that the County does see immediate benefit. When the bonds are paid off, the City will have more money than it knows what to do with (and they're scheduled to pay off the bonds years ahead of schedule too.) That's why it can be important to invest in tourist destinations.

A_Guy 8 years, 2 months ago

Correction, it should read:

"while City/County property tax rates have dropped by 25% since 1997."

Janet Lowther 8 years, 2 months ago

Well, the only time I go to The Legends is when I want to see a main-stream movie. The theater at The Legends has comfortable seats and a good row spacing, unlike the cramped theater with back breaking seats on south Iowa. (The first and last time I went there I had to have the chiropractor put my back back together.)

West Village I hit more often, Cabela's several times a year and an occasional stop at Nebraska Furniture Mart or the Arthur Bryants.

deec 8 years, 2 months ago

"When the bonds are paid off" being the operative phrase. With skyrocketing property values in the whole county, taxes are going up crazily. When I owned a house in inner city KCK the property taxes doubled in the 5 years I owned the home. There were no improvements such as increased police enforcement, new fire stations etc. All that stuff went out west to the suburbs.

Wilbur_Nether 8 years, 2 months ago

The Legends reminds me of a papier-mache Mephistopheles.

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