Archive for Saturday, June 23, 2007

Business park near airport proposed

Developer says area well suited for industrial growth

June 23, 2007


Rick Bryant discusses how the city's airport could impact future economic development

Hear Rick Bryant, chair of the city's Aviation Advisory Board, discuss how the Lawrence Municipal Airport could play into future economic development efforts in the city.

New traffic could be developing near the airport

A Lawrence developer filed proposals with county planners to convert 900 acres near the Lawrence Municipal Airport into a hub for distribution centers, warehouses, light manufacturing plants, and offices. Enlarge video

A Lawrence developer wants to build a 900-acre business park near the Lawrence Municipal Airport.

Jes Santaularia and his real estate company, Diversified Concepts, are filing proposals with Lawrence-Douglas County planners to convert the area south, east and west of the airport into a hub for distribution centers, warehouses, light manufacturing plants and offices.

"This will be the employment center for Lawrence, Kansas, for the next 25 years," Santaularia said.

Santaularia said he anticipated it would take more than two decades to fully develop the park, but it eventually would house 10,000 employees.

His company hopes to start construction on the first phase of the development by the end of the year. Santaularia has entered into a partnership with the Roger Pine family to develop about 140 acres around the intersection of U.S. Highway 24-40 and North Seventh Street. That property, which is just southwest of the airport, would house both industrial and neighborhood commercial uses such as restaurants, gasoline stations, dry cleaners and other businesses designed to draw business from North Lawrence residents.

Pine, whose family has been farming in the North Lawrence area since 1868, said he plans to relocate his company's sod farm operations if plans for the industrial development are approved. Pine, who is a state senator, said deciding to redevelop the property was difficult.

"We've been on the edge of the city for 15 to 20 years now," Pine said. "We felt like they city was going to come see us one way or another. We felt like it would be better to make that choice ourselves, and really try to do something with the land that we thought would be beneficial to the entire community."

Santaularia hopes that the Lawrence-Douglas County Planning Commission will consider the first phase of the plan in late July. The proposal ultimately will need approval from the City Commission. Santaularia also said he likely would request some financial assistance from the city and county to extend infrastructure - mainly sewer service - to the site.

Debbie Van Saun, assistant city manager, said previous estimates to extend city sewer service to the airport have been about $2 million.

Economic development leaders are urging city and county commissioners to invest in the project, despite tight budget times. Chamber president and Chief Executive Officer Lavern Squier said the community has been missing out on potential jobs because the city doesn't have the large industrial lots that businesses are seeking.

"We're seeing interest from large development," Squier said. "We need to have the capability to respond to these requests for 100-acre sites or larger."

The small supply of industrial sites in the county is what sparked Santaularia's interest. Anthony Santaularia - Jes' son and a member of the development team - said he's grown tired of watching companies bypass Lawrence for other nearby communities. He noted the Target Distribution Center that went to Topeka, and a recent announcement by Hills Pet Food to build a new plant in Emporia.

"They didn't even consider Lawrence because we didn't have a site to offer them," Anthony Santaularia said. "But they're going to make a $100 million investment in Lawrence. That is something we just totally missed out on."

Jes Santaularia said the new park would offer something unique. He calls it a "lifestyle park" that would feature an extensive trail system and large amounts of green space. He said the site is well suited for industrial development because it is adjacent to the Kansas Turnpike, U.S. Highway 59 and can take advantage of air transportation options.

Santaularia's company has secured all property necessary to move forward with the 140-acre, phase one development. But he only has about one-third of the total 900 acres needed for the entire business park he envisions. His company is in a partnership for 300 acres of land owned by the Pine family. Another 300 acres is controlled by the Kansas University Endowment Association, which has property just east of the airport. The remaining 300 acres is owned by 12 to 15 other landowners.

The eastern edge of the project would stretch to Grant School Road, also known as East 1600 Road. The western edge would stop just east of the KOA Campground near the Tee Pee Junction. Neither the Tee Pee Junction nor the Airport Motel - two longtime businesses in the area - would be forced to relocate as part of the project, Anthony Santaularia said.

The Santaularias have been working to build support for the project in the area. He's touting to North Lawrence leaders that the development would include some small-scale commercial areas to make shopping more convenient. He's also included a site for a fire station in the development, and has committed to build an extensive stormwater detention area that would attempt to divert a significant amount of drainage that runs through North Lawrence.

The project, though, is sure to spur numerous questions from residents in the area. Ronald Schneider is a Lawrence lawyer who lives just north and east of the airport. He's carefully watched previous attempts to develop near the airport. He said there are significant amounts of environmentally sensitive lands in the area. Schneider said he wants to learn much more about the project.

"This just sounds so ambitious that it seems like it would have tremendous financial and environmental implications," Schneider said. "It needs to be thoroughly studied."

Pine said he's sure that several of his neighbors will have concerns too.

"I'm sure not everybody will be on board with all the changes, and I can certainly understand that," Pine said. "For many years I would not have been excited about doing it either. I make no bones about that.

"But we just think change is coming to this area one way or another. We wanted to be part of the decision-making process rather than being concerned about what was coming our way."


Richard Heckler 8 years ago

Like the tax increase proposals this lacks details.

Richard Heckler 8 years ago

It is my belief that caves are energy efficient...

Richard Heckler 8 years ago

Before Lawrence decides to spend two million dollars for new infrastructure taxpayers need facts.

  • Lawrence does not need more lower income jobs so what has been researched. Light "Green Collar" industrial is where the money is so I read. Lawrence needs skilled and white collar "Green Collar" industry type jobs. A detailed economic impact study is necessary to discover what's in it for the taxpayers and to get a feel for what exactly is being brought on line. Who will be the tenants? The Lawrence area is still 30% over saturated in retail no matter where new retail wants to be built therefore very careful selections must be made. Where is the market?
  • As more or less suggested a detailed environmental impact study should accompany this project
  • This will increase the Cost of Community Services to all taxpayers
  • North Lawrence has been requesting a grocery store and a hardware store not mention Tanger Mall is still not helping local taxpayers much. There are gas stations in North Lawrence.
  • 25 years of expanding the tax base has mostly be done on a whim without necessary studies that provide economic facts and taxes have been raised all along the way mostly through inflated property values.
  • Empty buildings do not pay off for the taxpayers.
  • A new fire station will be billed to taxpayers

Godot 8 years ago

I just left the breakfast table, telling spouse, "I've got to see who is coming down on the negative side of this project."

Needless to say, I am not surprised. Merrill's short-sigtedness is breathtaking, i.e., suffocating.

Sigmund 8 years ago

Merrill is completely insane. Lawrence is NOT 30% over saturated in retail, Lawrence is losing retail sales to Topeka and KC. Both of those areas are seeing INCREASED rates of retail sales taxes and Lawrence a DECREASE. Even merrill's bankrupt ex-mayor ex-Kommissioner grocery clerk buddy has better sense than to open a grocery store in North Lawrence or downtown, yet he continues to whine.

Merrill is opposed to anything that has the Prospect to benefit anyone except himself, Le Merc, or his East Lawrence neighborhood. With every post it should be more and more obvious to Lawrencian's that he and his socialist buddies have successfully stunted Lawrence growth to their benefit and harming the rest of Lawrence in the process.

How large must our budget deficits grow, how potholed must our streets become, how many million dollar roundabouts must we navigate, how many empTy buses polluting our air, how many shelters full of homeless, how many taxpayer funded studies before Lawrence realize his extremist ideology is really nothing more than narcissistic selfishness bordering on insanity?

Richard Heckler 8 years ago

There is a lot of interest in the Kansas City,Kansas Rosedale neighborhood area about some very big bucks that the KU Med Center is investing in that area. The Med Center is purchasing "existing office space" throughout the neighborhood which borders Mission.

Real Estate investors are beginning to pour rehab money into "existing" condos and other residential in that immediate area with the idea that larger salaries and human resources will be relocating. The rehabilitated condos are expected to sell for $180,000 up. Mayors and respective commissioners are expecting real estate values to rise. "Existing resources" are about to create new economic growth.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 8 years ago

Merrill is right-- there are more questions than answers with this proposal-- and anyone with minimal reading comprehension could see that that is all he said. He didn't say he was against it.

If this goes through, I say sell them the airport.

Godot 8 years ago

$2,000,000 in sewer upgrades in exchange for a potential 10,000 jobs. Not bad. We spend more than that every year on the T, and the only jobs it creates is T drivers and one very expensive administrator.

Of course, Merrill and Bozo will argue that if 10,000 jobs are created, that will cause a need for more housing and more infrastructure, and those jobs might be (gasp!) Blue Collar, causing irreparable damage to the esoteric cultural mix of Lawrence.

Richard Heckler 8 years ago

"Sigmund (Anonymous) says: "Merrill is completely insane. " Perhaps...

"Lawrence is NOT 30% over saturated in retail, Lawrence is losing retail sales to Topeka and KC. Both of those areas are seeing increased rates of retail sales taxes and Lawrence a decrease."

How do you know Lawrence is experiencing a decrease in sales taxes?

"With every post it should be more and more obvious to Lawrencian's that he and his socialist buddies have successfully stunted Lawrence growth"

When has Lawrence not experienced growth? in the last 25 years? Perhaps it has not been tax revenue generating growth(housing) however growth has been approved each year.

"How many taxpayer funded studies"

Actually the developer/ applicants should fund the studies as is normal procedure in other communities. One retail/economic impact study is typical per new development as it should be. Thinking that all new development is good is a myth so I read.

I would bet that Lawrence shoppers have been shopping Topeka and KCMO metro for fifty years. Lawrence cannot be Topeka and KCMO retail for the retail dollars are not here thus selection and pricing cannot be the same. Lawrence should probably encourage sales tax for online sales to help increase revenue.

Yesterday I viewed a process for a rehab project in Rosedale(KCK) in which connecting towns/neighborhoods have much input into the process. Not only that must meet a host of city ordinances. This gathering had 3 mayors and several elected neighborhood commissioners each supporting future plans of their respective communities such as pedestrian friendliness. Pedestrian friendliness seems like a very hot issue. This project will be on the table for months before final approval will be granted. In fact the rehab applicant/property owner must return with some new options plus far more details before it ever gets to the planning board and then to the final approval process of the ultimate governing body who also can make demands.

Sigmund 8 years ago

The future, being non-linear and unpredictable, always has more questions than answers. The chaotic and complex nature of the future is exactly why expensive studies are limited in their predictive ability and their usefulness are invariably outweighed by their costs. Requiring every possible question be answered before anything gets approval, the hallmark of inefficient bureaucracies everywhere, is a recipe for doing nothing new, ever. Progress requires risk taking and it is only AFTER the fact that experts can successfully pompously proclaim how the success or failure of a new project "was inevitable."

I continue to be amazed that anyone would try and do anything in this community when so many do-nothing-know-it-alls can prevent even the smallest bit of growth, competition to existing businesses, or threat to the status quo. If it had been up to merrill and his kind humans would still be living in caves.

Sigmund 8 years ago

How do I know what recent retail sales are in Lawrence, Olathe and Topeka? By looking at what those entities reported as their sales tax revenues.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 8 years ago

"$2,000,000 in sewer upgrades in exchange for a potential 10,000 jobs."

Godot simplistic worldview summed pretty succinctly-- all the city has to do is provide a $2 million sewer upgrade, and, voila, 10,000 new jobs.

Sigmund 8 years ago

Were residential pedestrian friendly caves also a "hot issue" at your planning conference?

Sigmund 8 years ago

I was unaware that the idiotic $250,000 PlaceMaker study, which believes a downtown grocery was feasible based upon a failed downtown Portland model, was not a taxpayer funded study.

Sigmund 8 years ago

$2,000,000 in sewer upgrades in exchange for a potential 10,000 jobs is better than anything I have seen from any of the Smart Growth crowd. Nobody is going to voluntarily invest any significant capital in North Lawrence without sewer upgrades, unless merrill and PlaceMakers have a taxpayer funded urban planning study for Venice style gondola friendly residential caves that I am unaware of.

Sewer upgrades for North Lawrence will benefit North Lawrence regardless of the current business park plan. This improvement to the infrastructure will help to attract other private investors to North Lawrence. Without it North Lawrence will continue to experience "Smart Growth," also known as economic stagnation.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 8 years ago

Will they pull a rabbit out of their hat, too, Sigmund? Or will that cost another $2 million?

Richard Heckler 8 years ago

The entire city commission supported the study and Placemakers was at the request of Mayor Hack. I believe the 30% over saturation number simply because negative reports are seldom the desired result. Residential received an over built rating as well. Overall this group earned their money and left behind some very good ideas. You now see a downtown grocery store about to bloom before your very eyes.

The $67,000 study performed for PLAY probably returned a negative. Impact studies are reasonable tools to apply whether it be environmental,traffic,retail/economic or residential.

deec 8 years ago

That whole area is on a flood plain. How will development affect the residents in North Lawrence?

erod0723 8 years ago

"Santaularia also said he likely would request some financial assistance from the city and county to extend infrastructure - mainly sewer service - to the site." If you want to build this business park, do it without City or County money. The city should not be subsidizing your business risk.

Richard Heckler 8 years ago

deec (Anonymous) says: That whole area is on a flood plain. How will development affect the residents in North Lawrence?

Good question! a detailed environmental impact study(FEIS) should accompany this project.

Sigmund 8 years ago

The 30% over built retail number WAS the desired result. It offered a political cover to oppose Wal-Mart or any business that might compete with Les Merc (3 PLC Kommissioners) or downtown Lawrence (the 2 remaining Kommissioners). It was a waste of money no matter who supported it. The problem is that the "results" of these studies are easily manipulated to come to any conclusion desired by the funder of the study.

They are like "expert witnesses" in court trials, pay enough money and hired guns will come to any conclusion you want. These "experts" are not dispassionate scientists who attempt to put their biases aside, they are ideological advocates who will spin their selected facts, ignoring evidence to the contrary, to come to recommendations that fit their existing ideology.

Godot 8 years ago

"Godot simplistic worldview summed pretty succinctly- all the city has to do is provide a $2 million sewer upgrade, and, voila, 10,000 new jobs."

Providing sewer service is one of the few things that city government is expected to do. $2 million in sewer service plus millions and millions in private money and private expertise, with no involvement by the city other than to make sure the project meets code; no city hired architects, no city hired consultants, no city hired administrator, and no advisory board to screw up the project.

Here are citizens who are willing to take a risk, put up their own money, and, utilizing their own brain power and experience, do something that will help the community, as well as help themselves. I hope this works, I hope it goes well, and good luck to them.

Godot 8 years ago

deec and Merrill should re-read the article, having missed this:

"The Santalaurias.....committed to build an extensive stormwater detention area that would attempt to divert a significant amount of drainage that runs through North Lawrence."

Sounds to me like Merrill wants to turn this into another SLT fiasco.

deec 8 years ago

They may "attempt" to alleviate drainage issues in north Lawrence. However, if you are paving an open area which often has standing water, you will also cause more flooding downstream. Most of the fields in the area have old goosenecks and low areas. It seems nonsensical to attempt to alleviate current flooding issues by creating more opportunities for runoff.

Sigmund 8 years ago

Putting in and maintaining basic infrastructure is what governments are supposed to do. Micro management of the economy and every single breath that any citizen takes is not the function of governments, at least non-fascist ones. Allow the merrill's and bozo's in this community to control your lives and pocket books and you are voluntarily subjecting yourself local home grown totalitarianism, but totalitarianism nonetheless. Even benevolent dictatorships are dictatorships.

kneejerkreaction 8 years ago


Maybe you can get the old business plan to East Hills Business Park. Then just do the opposite of whatever they came up with and you might have a chance of this working. All we need is another silent business park.

Please don't ask taxpayers to help out.

Richard Heckler 8 years ago

The SLT is in a flood plain and this is in a flood plain. What is the developers attraction to construction in flood plains? The developers create problems for themselves.

erod0723 8 years ago

I thought this day would never come, but I think I understand what Merrill is saying. Both an economic and environmental impact study are needed to determine: a) if there is sufficient demand for proposed business park; b) if the business park will provide additional revenue streams to the city and county; c) how the proposed business park will affect the environment. At risk of sounding like a hippy, it is important to study how area surrounding the proposed business park will be impacted. This includes not only the ecology of the area, but also the geology of the area. The stability of the ground needs to be determined. Also that needs to be taken into account in an impact study is how anticipated traffic will affect the area. This is vitally important because the roads may begin to degrade at a rapid pace, or the area around the proposed business park may become highly congested and undesirable for both current and future occupants of the area.

kcwarpony 8 years ago

"The Delaware Tribe was the best bet Lawrence had going for that side of the river."

hawk, you may not have heard but the Delawares lost their federal recognition in 2005. The tribe had to let go most of their staff, closed its clinic and other federally funded programs and sold its headquarters building in Bartlesville. Any gaming operations would have had to be closed down. Lawrence dodged a bullet on this one.

Godot 8 years ago

hawk, I did not tie this together with the economic development Jones had in mind for the county mill increase. My guess is the county mill is for the Farmland deal. But, maybe you are on to something here. I would not favor it if it meant a mill levy increase. The North Lawrence sewer thing was talked about last summer, to the tune of millions and millions of dollars - wasn't it $40,000,000? Wouldn't an industrial park generate some dollars to help pay for that?

gccs14r 8 years ago

All building in the Kaw valley should be prohibited. Everything currently in the valley will eventually end up in the Gulf of Mexico. It's stupid to build out there.

erod0723 8 years ago

"All building in the Kaw valley should be prohibited. Everything currently in the valley will eventually end up in the Gulf of Mexico. It's stupid to build out there." I wouldn't go that far, but any building should be done in an environmentally sensitive way.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 8 years ago

Ooh, Godot is now asking questions, too-- does that mean you "oppose" this thing, just like Merrill?

kneejerkreaction 8 years ago

erod0723, let's just demand that all building be done in a way using someone's brain and not a shot in the dark using our tax dollars.

Could anyone tell me the chances for success that a new business park at Lawrence International Airputz will have that the East Hills Business Park didn't have? That is, why would someone locate to the Airport Bus. Park tomorrow when they can locate to one of the many vacancies in the East Hills Bus Park today? Maybe we need a business failure on the North end to balance out the one on the South end. As I stated, that's jes fin Les, but don't ask for taxpayers' money.

nell 8 years ago

Aren't those 10,000 jobs on the 20-year plan? The plan for which the developer has 1/3 of the floodplain acreage so far... and for which we've heard no strategies for mitigating the host of drainage problems that will be exacerbated by the type of development proposed. All we've heard about is beauty and bike paths and little stores.

The $2M is the developer's estimate of what his infrastructure request will cost, but he's not requesting funds, he's requesting results. Remember the flack, and subsequent cost, in the 90's (?) about west Lawrence storm water problems in areas developed unthoughtfully on wetlands without properly considering drainage impact?

Sounds to me like the project is going to take a lot longer to realize city benefits and cost citizens a lot more than the developers think (or at least what they say they think.) Doesn't mean it shouldn't be done; it just shouldn't be done without thoughtful, conservative planning.

I'm tired of the attitude that developers should barge ahead and apologize later (or not) when the city has to deal with unanticipated consequences.

nell 8 years ago

So we have an industrial area planned on a floodplain. What a great way to get industrial chemicals into our water system.

Of course, this could probably be prevented if appropriate zoning and safety ordinances were in place, but this is unlikely to happen if we keep putting the cement mixer before the impact studies.

lunacydetector 8 years ago

the reason other companies bypass lawrence is because lawrence is a PAIN IN THE *SS to get anything done. too much red tape and too many adversaries - plus the killer - the "living wage" law.

nope, it isn't because lawrence doesn't have 100 acre industrial lots, it's the weirdos who poo-poo everything. the kansas department of commerce (a state agency mind you), doesn't even bring up lawrence to industry looking for places. American Eagle Outfitters, American Eagle Outfitters.....American Eagle Outfitters. i'm sure there are enough Hill's Pet Foods people who live in lawrence and know lawrence - that led to lawrence being bypassed. did i just mention "bypass?" another example of the B.S. put out by the fringe of our community.

lawrence is stigmatized at the behest of the old hippie anti-corporate America control freak crowd.

compmd 8 years ago

"That is, why would someone locate to the Airport Bus. Park tomorrow when they can locate to one of the many vacancies in the East Hills Bus Park today?"

Because there are a whole bunch of aerospace companies in Lawrence that would have no use existing in East Hills but would be very happy to have operations on the Lawrence Airport.

kneejerkreaction 8 years ago

"compmd (Anonymous) says:....there are a whole bunch of aerospace companies in Lawrence that would have no use existing in East Hills but would be very happy to have operations on the Lawrence Airport."

Name one.

kneejerkreaction 8 years ago

none2, all good thoughts except for the fact that Lawrence City of does little to get to the bottom line of attracting businesses, except talk about it. I can't remember the last serious large manufacturer that considered Lawrence. A build it and they will come doesn't work unless somewhere in the middle there is a plan. Ideas like B. Hibarger's fascination with Lawrence becoming a bioscience mecca is a pipe dream or our City Administrator spending $9,000 expenses to get Lawrence voted in some silly city ranking is nothing more than personal stroking....and we didn't even win stroking rights.

Nope, we don't need a North, South, West or East Hills Business Park without some kind of aggressive plan to fill them up.

Keith 8 years ago

A large manufacturer will consider Lawrence when we are earning Chinese wages, until then China is the place to go.

cowboy 8 years ago

see the local no crowd has weighed in , if the city wants to annex everybody , control the growth in the entire county , and control the water supply then they need to put up or shut up on extending sewer and infrastructure .

Just a note , in the last election the lawn mowers , dadas and bozos were soundly defeated , your inane requirements for growth and polyannish knowledge of business is tiring to read. If you like socialist government you might want to consider a future home is say Cuba , Nicaragua ,

compmd 8 years ago

hey kneejerk,

Kalscott Engineering, Kohlman Systems Research, Viking Aerospace, Alligator, Inc. are FOUR. There are more. Learn your city.

Mkh 8 years ago

This is very interesting proposal. I agree that extensive research needs to be conducted before this goes forward, especially concerning environmental impacts of building in the flood plain. The taxpayer cannot be expected to subsidize this project. I'll admit that the thought of attracting 10,000 jobs is extremely appealing. But there must be extensive research and many questions answered before such a large proposal is approved by anyone.

Mkh 8 years ago

"That said, keep in mind that the Kaw Valley has some of the finest agricultural land in America, and each time we pave over a bit more, there is no recovering it. As fuel prices increase, food production will become more localized:we may not always be able to justify bringing in heads of lettuce from California by truck. Thus good farmland shouldn't be quickly discounted."

Excellent point Reality Check, very important to keep in mind.

hk45 8 years ago

The proposal appears well thought out and hopefully it will be received well. I believe an industry park by the airport would serve another area the K-10 corridor cannot serve; with direct access to I-70, an airport with potential to grow, easy access to KCK, MCI, etc...I think this could have much more possibilities than any K-10 development for Lawrence.

I vote "yes"!!!

Richard Heckler 8 years ago

What companies will still be employing americans? It is said the green collar industry cannot be outsourced. Perhaps that is what could be kept in mind?

Maybe you've noticed that America's call-center jobs are largely being outsourced to India. Well, you say, I'm more skilled than that, so I can't worry about it. Then you note that our accounting jobs, legal research, and architectural drafting work is being taken to India, too but, hey, you do sophisticated stuff, so you can't sweat those losses. Lately though, you've also seen that our country's high-tech computer jobs are being shipped to India and uh-oh, that's getting close to what you do. Still, you say, I'm a professional, by gollies, so I'm okay.

Well... good luck. The latest surge of jobs heading to India might well include yours. Such outfits as Citigroup, Boeing, and Eli Lilly are now moving out the work of white-collar elites including investment banking, aircraft design, and the clinical testing of drugs. "High-end outsourcing" is the new wave, and it's pulling away the professional work of well-educated Americans who've been enjoying six-figure salaries, nice homes, and the good life.

Economist Alan Binder, a former top official at the Federal Reserve, says: "We have, so far, barely seen the tip of the offshoring iceberg, the eventual dimensions of which may be staggering." How staggering? Binder says that up to 42 million American workers about one-third of us are looking at a rude awakening.

What's the middle-class future then? Binder says America needs to increase jobs that have to be done in person so they can't be outsourced jobs like doctors and police officers. Yeah, well, I'm thinking we'll need lots of police officers to contain everyone who can't be a doctor! And... how exactly, are the rest of us to pay for seeing the doctor?

It used to be "them" who had to worry about outsourcing. Now it's "us." Our politicians have got to quit pretending that this is not a problem and start developing policies to revitalize American's middle-class.

"India's Edge Goes Beyond Outsourcing," New York Times, April 4, 2007.

Godot 8 years ago

"What companies will still be employing americans? "

If Hillary, the self appointed mayor of Punjab, has anything to say about it, none will.

Godot 8 years ago

"what's the middle-class future then? Binder says America needs to increase jobs that have to be done in person so they can't be outsourced jobs like doctors and police officers".........

and electricians, carpenters, hvac contractors, plumbers, sheet metal workers, roofers, landscapers, factory workers, toll booth attendants, hair dressers, barbers, glaziers, flatwork contractors, house cleaners, nannies, gardeners, nurses, taxi drivers, bus drivers, truck drivers, street sweepers.....

Geez, the middle class of the future is the middle class of our past, doing the same jobs our parents did. The difference is, our parents were not looked down on for doing those jobs, and no one ever said they were "underemployed."

gccs14r 8 years ago


Immigrants, illegal and otherwise, fill many of those jobs, often under the table. Unless they're made to do otherwise, employers in the underground economy are not going to suddenly hire Americans and have to pay the minimum wage, taxes and unemployment insurance and have to abide by OSHA regs.

Bobbi Walls 8 years ago

I like the idea, but I worry about the increased traffic on North 7th street. People already have no regard for the posted speed limit, and I can only see this problem getting worse.

lunacydetector 8 years ago

hey reality check, shouldn't it be for ANY business? after all, rumor has it a car dealership wanted to build on west 6th street but the city wouldn't let them unless they sold hybrids. kind of like an italian restaurant could be allowed somewhere but only if they had spinach and fetta cheese pizzas on their menu. sounds like typical lawrence b.s. bad for business is bad for business.

lunacydetector 8 years ago

...and merrill, your 30% retail vacancy argument doesn't apply since the new smart code took effect. it no longer allows people to rent vacant space because most places don't have big enough parking lots anymore. i got an earful about it one day. raised my blood pressure. pretty smart, huh? nope, just typical unfriendly to business b.s.

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