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Archive for Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Wal-Mart developers considering next move

May 9, 2007

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Wal-Mart at 6th and Wakarusa still up in the air

The waiting will continue a bit longer to find out what's next for a proposal to build a Wal-Mart store at 6th St. and Wakarusa Drive. Enlarge video

The waiting will continue a bit longer to find out what's next for a controversial proposal to build a Wal-Mart store at Sixth Street and Wakarusa Drive.

Bill Newsome, a co-owner of the proposed site at the northwest corner of the intersection, said Tuesday that Wal-Mart and the developers were still considering whether to submit a new plan for city commissioners to consider. The group is weighing that option against the prospect of proceeding with a lawsuit it has filed alleging that city leaders illegally denied Wal-Mart a building permit.

At the City Commission's May 1 meeting, Mayor Sue Hack invited the developers to submit new plans for consideration. The City Commission previously voted 3-2 against the Wal-Mart proposal. But the April election saw two of the three commissioners opposed to the project leave the commission.

Newsome declined to offer a timeline for when Wal-Mart and the developers would make a decision.

Comments

LogicMan 7 years, 7 months ago

Fill up the site with half small Wal-Mart, and half Sam's Club! I'll be first in line at SC. :-)

Committing to having a green products aisle in the WM, and building a recycling center in the parking lot would make things sail more smoothly through the approvals, IMHO.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 7 months ago

Oh, cut it with the faux suspense. This was decided when Newsome and Compton bought the new majority on the commission. They'll submit a new plan, and whatever they submit will be approved.

blackwalnut 7 years, 7 months ago

Let the lawsuit proceeed. Then when Wal-Mart wins, with its bigger lawyers, citizens of Lawrence won't believe in their hearts the commissioners were bribed to hand our city over to profiteers - to ruin a neighborhood with traffic, and eventually kill a kid or two who had to get through that traffic to school. Wal-Mart will probably end up with the biggest store right away, instead of putting everyone through this fakery of a smaller store, then enlarging it every few months.

She Hack's breathless invitation to Wal-Mart to submit a new plan - "our hope" she called it - made me nauseous. She isn't worthy of her post as mayor of this good-hearted town.

What kind of bribes are these commissioners getting? There are many forms of bribery.

Mkh 7 years, 7 months ago

"Hack's breathless invitation to Wal-Mart to submit a new plan - "our hope" she called it - made me nauseous. She isn't worthy of her post as mayor of this good-hearted town."

Exactly! Hack and her cohorts make me ashamed to live in this town. But what really flips my head is how silent/ignorant the neighbors south of the proposed Walmart site are on the issue. Clearly none of these folks shop at Walmart, what are they gaining from all this? My best guess is that they are afraid to be the One to stand up to Doug Compton/Sue Hack and then lose face in the Alvamar dinner party scene. Truly sad.

drake 7 years, 7 months ago

Hey Bozo, can you please explain to all of us how someone can "buy" and election when the contribution limit is $500?

Mkh 7 years, 7 months ago

drake...come'on that is not very hard to figure out. It's not about the amount of the donation, it's about the amount of donations/donors. Without the powerful backing of Compton/Fritzel, etc there is no way in the world Devernut could instantly go from unknown to the highest fundraisers in city history. Compton and Fritzel were the ones who got the entire west side nieghborhoods to support Devernut, it's all about "who you know". This is really campaign politics 101 drake, if you need further explanations go watch a student council high school election sometime.

kshiker 7 years, 7 months ago

I just bought a house basically one block north of the future development site. I'm not terribly concerned about a new development on that corner. Build it already!

For those people who still believe that the city commission election was "bought" by developers, please stop whining about your performance, or explicit lack thereof, in this last city commission election. Put your money and time where your mouth is and see if you can vote out Hack and Amyx during the 2009 election. Citizens like myself who despise everything the PLC stands for will certainly be putting ours on the line to keep a reasonable pro-growth majority on the commission.

kef104 7 years, 7 months ago

Mike, The neighbors to the south did stand up. We overwhelmingly elected a city commission that is not willing to throw hundreds of thousands of dollars away in an effor to stop Walmart at any cost. It is a legal lawsuit that cannot be won. The site was originally zoned for and approved for a Lowes of a similar size. Additionally, the previous commision gave Walmat paramaters to meet that would allowed them to be approved. The denial based on those paramaters alone is suspect at best and litigation claiming the denial was based on a personal agenda would be easy to prove since ex-commisioners are on record as saying they would fight Walmart at any cost. Additionaly, trying to prove that Walmart is so different from Lowes would also be fruitless. We need to use our brains and spend our tax money more prudently. Like I said, those of us living in the area did stand up. Our taxes are paying for wasted city expenses and we want it stopped.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 7 months ago

"Put your money and time where your mouth is and see if you can vote out Hack and Amyx during the 2009 election."

How are candidates who are mostly interested in good government for ALL Lawrence's citizens supposed to compete financially with Amyx and Hack, who will undoubtedly tap into the $millions that Compton and Newsome will reap from the rulings of the commission they just bought?

drake 7 years, 7 months ago

So basically Mkh you are saying that a lot of people donated to the candidates that won? Seems like Politics 101 to me.

kshiker 7 years, 7 months ago

Bozo --

You are either intentionally blind to fact or a complete idiot. Unfortunately (because it should violate the right to free spech in the First Amendment to the US Constitution), contributions to candidates for public office in the City of Lawrence are limited to less than $500 per election. Therefore, in the 2009 City Election, neither Compton nor Newsome will be able to give more than $1,000 to a candidate. While I highly doubt they will make millions from the Wal-Mart development (you are again showing your complete ignorance of business acumen -- do you have a job?), even if they did make money, they will be unable to spend said money on campaign contributions.

If there is this infamous (and I think non-existent) groundswell of public opinion against the policies of the new city commission, then you should find 20 citizens who are willing to give $50 to defeat them and you will have matched the contribution made by Compton or Newsome. If public opinion was truly on your side (it clearly is not), then this would not be a difficult task. Good luck!

Mkh 7 years, 7 months ago

Kef "We need to use our brains and spend our tax money more prudently. Like I said, those of us living in the area did stand up. Our taxes are paying for wasted city expenses and we want it stopped."


Ha Ha Ha, oh my what big brains you have. I too own a house in the area directly south of the proposed Walmart, and sometimes I forget that most of my nieghbors have not been here for very long. If you think your going to save your tax money by electing the "pro-growth" developement folks you have been extremely missinformed.

All I know is the day a Walmart goes in my nieghborhood I'm leaving, and this time I'll have to go farther than the country.

Drake now that you got your head around Politics 101, enroll in 102 and watch how the new elected officials scratch the back of their benefactors.

drake 7 years, 7 months ago

Their benefactors are the people that voted for them.

kshiker 7 years, 7 months ago

Mkh --

Don't let the door hit you in the back on the way out. I'm waiting for the apocalypse that is new growth! Please let me know when I should expect the world to end if Wal-Mart builds another store; I want to be ready!

Did you also neglect to take Politics 102 to see how Boog & Co. kneel at the feet of the PLC and neighborhood associations? If they most credible source of information they can trot out is Kirk McClure, then I am not overly concerned about your prospects during the next election.

blackwalnut 7 years, 7 months ago

Developers Pilgrim and kshiker are all too transparent.

I know several of my neighbors west of Wakarusa who are looking to move elsewhere. One is even moving out of town, another considering it. It isn't just about Wal-Mart or that corner, it's the sum total of what this commission will do to the city in 4 years. Property values will fall, especially in the west end. Why wait to get out?

Of course this just helps the realtors who supported DeeverNut so heavily.

Developers - and realtors - don't care about Lawrence, they care about their personal pocketbooks. The locusts are here.

Mkh 7 years, 7 months ago

KShiker, believe me I won't... I'm through with the gross incompetence of this town and the apathy of those who could make a difference. I love this town, but I don't know how much longer I can watch it self-destruct.

Drake, Don't hurt your head thinking about this one pal. Smile you were on the winning team, yeah!

The spledid irony in all this would be funny, if it weren't at the expense of the American workers. The "pro-growth"crowd is completely blind to anything not directly in front of their face, which is why it is very hard for them to connect the dots between Walmart and a loss of jobs. Walmart means jobs for Chinese workers, not American. If the city really wanted to create a tax base and jobs they could allow local manufactoring plants to open up and produce products to be sold right here in the community and the immediate region at locally owned stores. Not only would this provide jobs but it would keep money here in the community and not in the hands of the Red Chinese Masters of Walmart.

In terms of long term planning, relying on China to ship extremely cheap goods to Walmart is not a healthy strategy. WE need to go back to having Americans producing the goods that Americans buy. Stop sending your money to China, I assure you when the Energy Crisis comes full blown and we are in a Cold War (or Hot) with China for resources they will not be sending their bucks to you.

This is not about how much you hate the PLC or hippies; for God's Sake the Universe does not revolve around your soap opera Lawrencian dramas!

Allowing a second Walmart to open up instead of producing jobs to make our own products is grossly neglegent and short sighted.

conservative 7 years, 7 months ago

MKH,

You'd better reexamine your priorities. Because if your priority is to bring manufacturing jobs to Lawrence then you've been supporting the wrong team. The past commission was so anti business that they prevented anyone new from coming to Lawrence.

kshiker 7 years, 7 months ago

Blackwalnut --

I'm very interested in this notion that property values will actually decrease under a new city commission. I'm assuming that there is some grain of logic and/or fact somewhere in that turrets-inspired babble I just read . . . still looking . . . still looking . . . no I can't find any logic and/or supportive arguments. If you honestly think that property values in Lawrence will actually DECREASE, then maybe you too are as ignorant about business as Bozo.

I'm glad to hear that several of your West Lawrence neighbors are considering moving out of town. That means at least two fewer members for the radical, unrepresentative West Lawrence Neighborhood Association. While I love the "overwhelming" and extremely suspect anecdotal evidence cited in your comment, if you are looking for facts to support an argument, you may want to examine the percentage of West Lawrence residents who supported Dever and Chestnut over the PLC candidates during the last election (if you are unable to calculate the numbers, I will help you by saying it was a complete landslide).

kshiker 7 years, 7 months ago

Mkh --

If you want to take a good look at someone actively trying to stifle the creation of a stable and productive job base here in the City of Lawrence, why don't you reference your boy Highberger's vote against the 2006 Tax Abatement Report?

Even though Highberger and McClure faulted DST Systems for falling 26 jobs short of projections, they failed to note that tax abatements created over 520 new jobs in the City of Lawrence last year. That sounds like some pretty effective job creation for the citizens of Lawrence!

If the PLC Three Stooges were still controlling the council, that vote would have unfortunately been 3-2 against this valuable job-creation tool. Thank heavens that this country is still a democracy and we are allowed to have elections for the City Commission every 2 years. The people have spoken and they will get the chance to speak again in 2009.

blackwalnut 7 years, 7 months ago

kshiker:

Your rabid name-calling doesn't do your cause any good at all. And your attitude which is that only YOU can have what you want and everyone else has no right to representation, is all I need to know about you.

You and Pilgrim reveal what sort of people are behind the impending steamrolling of our city. It's all too ugly to contemplate.

Cheer up. You're about to get your profits, at the expense of the quality of life for the rest of us. You should be a more gracious winner.

Eileen Emmi Jones 7 years, 7 months ago

kshiker says: "...created over 520 new jobs in the City of Lawrence last year. That sounds like some pretty effective job creation for the citizens of Lawrence!"

OK, so the last city commission DID, or DID NOT create jobs for Lawrence?

WTF?????

You hypocrites are too funny.

kshiker 7 years, 7 months ago

Blackwalnut --

While I'm dreadully sorry that my name is now off your Christmas Card list, I think you are severely misguided on several points.

First, you have representation -- its called the right to vote. During the last city commission election, you exericsed this right and presumably voted for Highberger, Schauner and Maynard-Moody. Just because 2 out of your 3 candidates lost and the majority of the city did not agree with the governing philosophy espoused by your chosen candidates, does not mean that you no longer have a voice in the process.

If you are unhappy about the present state of affairs, which you obviously are, then you have adequate recourse, vote against Hack and Amyx in the next election . . . it is that simple. For my part, I will remind myself that I will unfortunately have to listen to your incessant whining until that point. Save the self-righteousness for church, your boys got outworked and outclassed during the last election.

monkeyhawk 7 years, 7 months ago

"How are candidates who are mostly interested in good government for ALL Lawrence's citizens supposed to compete financially with Amyx and Hack, who will undoubtedly tap into the $millions that Compton and Newsome will reap from the rulings of the commission they just bought?"

All one needs to do is look at the city website to see the names that pack the advisory boards. A lot of the same names pop up time and again. But, I suppose they wield no influence whatsoever, (at least we can hope). I think many of the anti-everything crowd have had it too easy here in River City for far too long. I am looking forward to an end to the social economic experimentation by the Goros types on the hill, played out by a puppet city government.

If one thinks hard about it, it is disturbing that a little man felt so powerful with OPM, and at the same time had absolutely no accountability for his own personal finances. I guess that's what boozo was addressing when he spoke of the difficulty in "competing" with candidates who are responsible...

kshiker 7 years, 7 months ago

EmJones --

Unfortunately for you, Highberger, Schauner and Rundle do not support tax abatement projects. Now you are trying to allow them to take credit for this job creation when they don't support the tools needed to facilitate this process???

I have a brilliant idea (its not novel to at least four commissioners, just to Highberger). Why don't we expand the use of tax abatement programs in our community so we can expand job creation opportunities???

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 7 months ago

The money spent buying elections is currently perfectly legal-- just don't try to pass it off as "democracy" or "free speech" (you get as much free speech as you can afford.)

kshiker 7 years, 7 months ago

Bozo --

Open your checkbook and convince 19 of your friends to do so as well. No more money advantage. Nothing has been bought -- voters still need to like the candidates and approve of the campaign platforms. Do you ever look in the mirror? Maybe voters just aren't buying your rubbish any more. Rather than blaming everything else, they simply chose not to buy into your BS.

altarego 7 years, 7 months ago

The difference between democracy and corruption is whether your side won or lost.

Eileen Emmi Jones 7 years, 7 months ago

Unfortunately for Lawrence only 20% of the registered voters voted in the last election, and I'm betting a minority of those paid much attention to the issues.

JOBS and ECONOMY sound good, don't they? Some Lawrencians thought it meant more jobs, new jobs, and jobs that pay a living wage. Some Lawrencians assumed they meant a good economy for all the citizens. That's the trouble with campaigns dependent on how many signs and flyers people can buy and how many paid phone callers people can hire: campaigning works.

Voters must self-educate or money wins. every time. Apathy has its price. By the time most people realize what agenda really prevailed in the last election, the damage will already be done.

Four years is too long. Lawrence will be ruined in four years.

To the ugly name-callers in this forum: I'm really, really glad I don't know you.

kshiker 7 years, 7 months ago

EmJones --

Was that a threat??? Well, if it was or even if it wasn't, I'm supremely glad that "I don't know you." I suppose that is what happens when people run out of good arguments and are forced to rely on falsehoods, they resort to threats.

Lets dissect for a second this ridiculous notion that the last election was bogus because turnout was only 20%. Why wasn't turnout greater than 20%? Apparently the PLC candidates were not providing voters with a platform that sufficiently enticed them to come out and vote. Keep whining; good luck next time.

Boston_Charley 7 years, 7 months ago

kshiker-

You seem to have assumed that EmJones reference to ugly name-callers meant you. Why would you assume that?

kshiker 7 years, 7 months ago

That is the argument that the PLC bloggers (EmJones, Blackwalnut, Bozo) typically use when they choose not to respond to the facts in my arguments. Unfortunately, even though the term "aging stoner hippie" is an insulting term, I really feel that its quite accurate in describing the views of the PLC crowd. Guilty as charged; I call them names.

kshiker 7 years, 7 months ago

Thanks Tony. You've really made me realize the error of my ways. As usual, I'm absolutely wowed by your intelligence. Henceforth, I will allow my favorite "aging stoner hippies" to criticize the city commission with factually inaccurate and depressingly unsound arguments and will not respond. . . . That is just what the thought police at the PLC would like to see.

kshiker 7 years, 7 months ago

Tony --

You failed to detect obvious sarcasm . . . thanks for playing. Another sign of the amazing vitality of your thinking faculties.

fraktrac 7 years, 7 months ago

To all the whiners against WALMART and New jobs coming to Lawrence , MOVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!

cowboy 7 years, 7 months ago

Lets see , how can money buy a Lawrence election....

Yeah all those signs really get me fired up

The lousy mailers that I throw away immediately really had an impact

The news ads also really changed my opinions

The fact of the matter is that the only venues that the candidates can influence the vote are the LJW , KLWN , and the few highly partisan candidate forums. My feeling is if you can speak thoughtfully on the first press release with the LJW you are usually ahead of the pack all the way to election regardless of your affiliation or philosophy. The ones that lost were inarticulate , whacked out , well meaning but ill prepared to speak coherently.

The premise that the election was bought is much BS . Perhaps the PLC'ers should reflect on why their ideas were rejected by voters instead of throwing rocks .

Confrontation 7 years, 7 months ago

Why don't we all move? Do you think U-Haul could manage that? Do you think the homeless would stay? Too many unanswered questions. Darn it, WalMart!

ive_got_my_ascot_n_my_dickie 7 years, 7 months ago

I hope they sell organic food and locally provided hormone-free meat. That type of food typically costs an arm and a leg, so it would be nice to find it cheaper.

i_have_only_valid_opinions 7 years, 7 months ago

Wal-Mart is making a bad move for themselves on a whole. They are going to take half the traffic from the other location and those people will shop on the west side side. But, Wal-Mart will now have the expense of staffing and running two stores on what will probably be just a slight increase in revenue. Doesn't make sense.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 7 months ago

"The difference between democracy and corruption is whether your side won or lost."

You obviously know nothing about either.

kshiker 7 years, 7 months ago

Enlighten us bozo. I'd be interested to hear more . . . from the King of PLC BS.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 7 months ago

"I hope they sell organic food and locally provided hormone-free meat. That type of food typically costs an arm and a leg, so it would be nice to find it cheaper."

Food is only cheap when it's highly subisdized, which is the case with everything Wal-Mart sells. That will be the case with any organic food they might sell (and they are trying hard to weaken the standards for what qualifies as "organic.")

Locally provided, hormone-free meat can't be provided by mega-agricultural (nor can locally produced fruits and veggeis) so it will never be found at Wal-Mart at "cheap" prices unless Wal-Mart chooses to sell it at a loss.

Mkh 7 years, 7 months ago

Conservative: "You'd better reexamine your priorities. Because if your priority is to bring manufacturing jobs to Lawrence then you've been supporting the wrong team. The past commission was so anti business that they prevented anyone new from coming to Lawrence."

kshiker (Anonymous) says: "If you want to take a good look at someone actively trying to stifle the creation of a stable and productive job base here in the City of Lawrence, why don't you reference your boy Highberger's vote against the 2006 Tax Abatement Report?"


Conservative/KShiker--

Please go back and read my last post and Think before you respond. First of all I have never openly supported any candidate on this forum in the past election. Secondly, my proposal for job growth was extremely specific and consisted of a LOCAL Network of manufactoring and retail distribution...nothing coming close to that has been proposed before the "PLC Commission".

Sagecasey 7 years, 7 months ago

If people are worried about the school and kids, I think they should just turn the school into Wal-mart and move the school to another location next to a commercial plot of land where they can build another Target.

kshiker 7 years, 7 months ago

Mkh --

Please see the 2006 Report on Tax Abatements approved by the City Commission last night. Ammarr Garage Doors is one of the companies that receives tax abatements through the tax abatement program, as are several other manufacturers. The only way to entice manufacturers and other corporations to locate their businesses in the City of Lawrence is to offer incentives which allow them to justify locating here to their shareholders. These incentives are working and simply need to be expanded.

I would also disagree with your contention that manufacturing is the wave of the future for the Kansas and Lawrence economy. The ship that we know as globalization has sailed. It is simply more cost-efficient for low-tech goods to be produced in foreigh countries. Artifical price supports and trade barriers will not prevent this phenomenon from taking place. In order to maintain a competitive edge, domestic and local policymakers need to focus on stimulating high-tech production (biotechs, advanced products, etc.) and services (financial, engineering, medical, etc.).

Mkh 7 years, 7 months ago

KShiker: "The ship that we know as globalization has sailed. It is simply more cost-efficient for low-tech goods to be produced in foreigh countries. Artifical price supports and trade barriers will not prevent this phenomenon from taking place"


I'd be careful just how much faith you put into globalization KShiker, just like your faith in China, it's not as sweet as it seems. Wait about 10 years and see how globalization is coming along when energy prices are 5 times what they are now, then you'l learn that it is not cost effective to have all your household products being manufactured thousands of miles away. Unfortunately you won't realize this until the economy is crumbling before your eyes.

The ways of the 20th Century will not get you by anymore-- Good Luck.

Mkh 7 years, 7 months ago

"The only way to entice manufacturers and other corporations to locate their businesses in the City of Lawrence is to offer incentives which allow them to justify locating here to their shareholders. These incentives are working and simply need to be expanded."

I don't disagree with this in general, but tax abatements need to be given out with extreme discrestion. I do not support tax incentives for companies that do not put money back in the community.

kshiker 7 years, 7 months ago

Mkh --

Let me see if I understand. So you won't need energy or fossil fuels to produce products locally? Maybe if environmentalists would let us explore our offshore oil and gas reserves then we might not have so much reliance on foreign sources of energy. I'm not saying I'm a huge fan of globalization, but at this point in the game, not going to be able to stop it from affecting Lawrence, Kansas.

Also, tax abatements do put money back into the community. 520 people have jobs in Lawrence right now that didn't a year ago. Sounds like a great thing to me.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 7 years, 7 months ago

West Lawrence voted in the new commision, even though before they voted for the commissioners who wanted to keep it out, because they were worried about the traffic around Free State. The west side has apparently changed their mind, so build it. I live on the east side and hardly travel west, except to go to my doctor, so I don't care. If you live on the west side and your not happy, sell your house and move east. All our houses don't look alike, and we have dandelions in our yards, but the houses are better built, and no one tells us what color our house must be, or where we can plant our veggies. My veggie garden is in my front yard, since it's on the south side of the house. You can't do that in many developments. It would be considered gauche.

Mkh 7 years, 7 months ago

"So you won't need energy or fossil fuels to produce products locally? Maybe if environmentalists would let us explore our offshore oil and gas reserves then we might not have so much reliance on foreign"

Don't be a fool KShiker...I'm sorry if you can't see the writing on the wall, but I don't know if I can write any bigger. I suppose if you live long enough you'll figure out someday what I'm talking about. Again, Good Luck to you and yours.

nbnozzy 7 years, 7 months ago

I am looking forward to the new Wal-Mart being built so I can save gasoline and less polute the environment by not driving to the other side of town. I live on the west side of the city and want the store.

blackwalnut 7 years, 7 months ago

nbnozzy (Anonymous) says:

I am looking forward to the new Wal-Mart being built so I can save gasoline and less polute the environment by not driving to the other side of town. I live on the west side of the city and want the store.

get a clue

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