Archive for Saturday, May 26, 2007

Wal-Mart debacle has cost Lawrence millions

May 26, 2007


I'm sure there are a few people in Lawrence like me who have been wondering just what this Wal-Mart debacle has cost us.

Some folks in Lawrence don't want Wal-Mart here at any cost. Others are ambivalent. Still others, me included, feel like the City of Lawrence changed the rules on Wal-Mart and should have kept its word. But I think all of us would benefit from knowing what might have been. I might add that I am not involved with this real estate transaction and that my comments are purely from a citizen's point of view.

If Wal-Mart had been allowed to build their store on West Sixth when they attempted to pull their building permit back in May of 2003, this is the likely outcome. The plan was already in place and the sizes approved, so had they been able to pull their permit, construction could have started almost immediately. So, there would have probably been a Wal-Mart there, open for business by May of 2004.

What would that have meant to Lawrence? The answer is tax dollars. The current Wal-Mart pays around $360,000 a year in property taxes, so there's over $1,000,000. And the average Wal-Mart generates around $375 per square foot in sales every year. Had the new Wal Mart been 100,000 square feet, the sales taxes (state and local), generated by now would be around $8 million. Had they been allowed to build their original plan of 132,000 square feet, the sales taxes generated would have been closer to $10.5 million.

We can't forget the hundreds of thousands of dollars that would have been saved in attorneys' fees and the hundreds of jobs that would have been created for some of our citizens who are willing to work for less than $9.50 per hour.

And yet here we are, three years later, implicitly tens of millions of dollars poorer, because we don't like Wal-Mart. That would have paid for a few potholes, a couple of bike paths and maybe even a few of our famous roundabouts. Heck, we might have even generated enough money to put a down payment on a new library. Maybe more importantly, we wouldn't have a stigma attached to our name as one of the most difficult towns in the country in which to locate a business. We'll never know what other businesses might have spawned from that store being there, and what businesses might not have closed had Wal-Mart been their neighbor.

Unfortunately, we can't go back. But we can move forward and finally do the right thing. We can do the right thing by keeping our word and righting a wrong, and we can move forward by showing businesses that we want them in Lawrence. And then maybe, a year from now, we can start reaping the benefits of our correction in bad judgment.

- Doug Brown is senior commercial partner with Coldwell Banker Commercial McGrew Real Estate in Lawrence.


JohnBrown 11 years ago

"Doug Brown put into layman's terms the actual lost tax revenue and legal fees,..."

Ah, the big print giveith and the fine print taketh away.

A true accounting involves adding ALL the positives AND all the negatives. Its the total that matters, not just the sum of the positives. It's like a real estate agent who points out a house's curb appeal without checking to see if the house has termites.

ironhawk 11 years ago

Doug Brown presumes that all the spending generated by a new Wal-Mart would be brand new spending, and that without that store, residents are keeping their wallets that much tighter shut. I doubt it. Let's look at the other possibility.

Suppose local merchants sell widgets for $7, and that local residents, in total, buy a million widgets a year. Wal-Mart opens a new store, selling widgets for $6. If the city's widget need is unchanged, opening the Wal-Mart actually reduces local sales tax revenue. Of course, residents might use that savings on other products, but that would only bring the city closer to breaking even.

There's only so much local spending to go around, and ultimately the spending a Wal-Mart brings in is, at least to some degree, taken away from other stores. So the sales tax argument is a weak one. In all fairness, I'm not an economist any more than Doug is, so take my comments with an appropriately giant grain of salt. It would be nice to see a more careful analysis of some actual research on Wal-Mart's impact rather than just conjecture.

Bud Stagg 11 years ago

So Doug doesn't get the numbers exactly right. He's probably in the ball park and it shows that this is just another stupid move by the commission to appease the few, not the many. Stop this now and fight the battles you can and should fight. Regardless of which side you are on about wanting the Walmart, the fact is that SOMETHING is going to be built there because it was zoned for it. Live with it and move on. Quit wasting our money and start bringing some in.

gabbo 11 years ago


Why is it good for you for the city to remain stagnant in business and development?

Greed? Pride? Disillusion?

If one cannot afford to properly lease and improve said land to their specifications, one does not affect another man's ability to develop it. If you don't like WallyWorld, don't visit, Clark. Doug Brown put into layman's terms the actual lost tax revenue and legal fees, and I will bet you Kevin Doyle's salary that you would apply for a revolving charge account if we were talking about Restoration Hardware. Seriously.

justthefacts 11 years ago

I was disappointed to find that Mr. Brown's comments were not the result of an actual audit or open record request, but rather speculation about lost tax dollars. The above debate shows that such speculation is pointless - different revenue streams and citizen spending conduct cannot be predicted and thus are arguable. However, what is not subject to debate are past expenditures made by the city in defending the law suit filed by Walmart. I wish SOMEONE with accounting abilities (LJW reporters???) would make an open record request, review the financials (no matter how well hidden) and report to the public just how much money has thus far been SPENT by the city on such things as legal fees. Perhaps those who oppose a 2nd Walmart can tell us how much $$ they think the city should spend to defend a law suit they are bound to lose because the law is ALL on Walmart's side (which means, dear citizens, that no matter what you want, there will most likely be a store there one day....unless Walmart simply gets sick of the battle and goes away...hahahahaha).

gccs14r 11 years ago

The only way Sino-Mart wins the lawsuit is if some judge decides they're more like a TG&Y than they are a Dillard's. Sino-Mart's lawyers argue that they're a variety store, not a department store. They are a department store. End of story. As for cost, it's not possible to spend too much money to make Sino-Mart go away.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 11 years ago

Good post, ironhawk--

What Doug Brown doesn't say it is that what is good for him in his business, which is growth of almost any kind for any reason, isn't necessarily good for Lawrence as a whole. As long as he makes money on a new Wal-Mart (or whatever new development) is his overriding concern-- not the welfare of the city as a whole.

LivedinLawrence4Life 11 years ago

Why Pay Consultants With Money That Could Go Toward Building a Business?

Where would you live if your home had never been built because the builder was told that he needed to pay for a study to prove that your home would pay for itself over time?

If growth didn't pay, then Iowa Street would still be a dirt road and the naysayers would have prevented Rusty's and Raney's from being built so far out west. Little did the naysayers know that their Merc would end up there and provide gainful employment for their Boog and Rundle. So, if it wasn't for growth, we wouldn't have had the pleasure of electing Boog and Rundle. Hey, maybe we shouldn't have had growth after all?

If you were a business person and you were willing to spend or borrow hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars to invest in a business location that you felt sure about, why would you want to spend (waste) even more money paying some consultant (who probably never ran a business or took a risk) for a study that wouldn't give you any more information than you already know. In a free market economy, it is the person borrowing the money and spending the time on planning and running their business who should decide whether the risk is worth it or not. It is not the part of government to try to prove or predict whether or not a business will make it or not at a certain location. We don't need to pay for more studies or consultants. Let them build. Let the consumers vote with their dollars.

How Could Growth Not Pay For Itself?

The argument that growth doesn't pay for itself is like saying that Sunflower Broadband doesn't make more money when they add new customers to their monthly billing.

Growth in a city adds customers to the city services. New businesses pay all kinds of up front fees such as permit fees, tree fees, sewer tap fees, impact fees, system development fees, etc. New businesses also pay the city every month for sewer, water, trash, storm sewer on their water bills just like the rest of us. They pay semi-annual property taxes just like existing businesses. They pay sales tax and income tax. They donate to charities and provide community involvement. I don't get the argument that growth doesn't pay for itself. On the contrary, if a business or service doesn't keep adding customers to it's monthly billing, then it must raise prices on it's current customers in order to keep up with rising expenses. That is what is going on right now. Lawrence has not grown enough, especially in the Commercial sector, to keep up with the cost of existing services and thus the need for city jobs and city services to be cut. Check out some Kansas towns that have not experinces growth in a while. Drive there. Take a tour. Then decide if you want Lawrenc to be like that. If you do, move there. By the way, homes are cheap there due to lack of demand and lack of community services. There's affordable housing for you.

Kaw Pickinton 10 years, 12 months ago

Doug Brown and the LJWorld should let reporters report. Realtors should stick to sticking it to people.

Kaw Pickinton 10 years, 12 months ago

Sorry LivedinLawrence4Life I should have said developers.

BTW, Is this "story" and "headline" on the front page of the print paper also?

Baille 11 years ago

Wal-Mart is like a sponge. Whatever dollars they take in (and consequently pay out) comes from the wallets of local retail outlets. Our money then leaves downtown and heads towards Wall Street and Little Rock.

Fighting Wal-Mart has been the second best thing this community has done with the 6th & Wak parasites. Giving them and Wal-Mart a simple "no" in the first place would have been even better.

kugrad 11 years ago

Shifting money from one Wal Mart to another, or from local retailers to a Wal-Mart, is not creating tax revenue. New money doesn't just spring up because a Wal Mart appears. Wal Mart is a department store. The city didn't change the rules on them. They just want to bully their way into any community they want regardless of the needs or wants of the community. Wal Mart only cares about Wal Mart. We can do better, and without tax abatements and so forth. That land is already taxed. Sales taxes are already collected on the purchases that would be made at a new Wal mart, they are just collected at another business where the same items are sold. Wal Mart testified to the city commission that close to 80% of their goods came from China. This was their testimony, not some opposing groups'. Another Wal Mart would be bad for Lawrence, bad for fair wages, and bad for US jobs. We don't need a cheerleader to write a puff peice posing as news. The LJW has really sucked as of late, and this sort of article is the reason; if not for the poor content, for the poor logic, blatant favoritism, and poor editorial policy.

Bruce Bertsch 11 years ago

Mr. Brown fails to account for leeched sales from the other WalMart, loss of taxes from a lowered wage base after other local suppliers close, leeched sales from other local businesses and, since WalMart's corporate slogan talks of low prices, reduced sales tax revenue. I have seen repeatedly estimates that the 6th Street WalMart will attract shoppers from Perry and East Topeka. I guess someone forgot that there is a WalMart in north Topeka that is closer than Lawrence. Even with $3.30 gas, it is hard to imagine that its a true inconvenience for residents to travel to 31st and Iowa to shop. In the end, the 6th & Wak developers should have found a tennant better suited to the area.

sourpuss 11 years ago

I just think it is amazing that cities don't seem to have the right to tell a business they are not wanted. I mean, the US has the right to turn away foreigners at the border. Why can't a city reject a business permit if they don't want that sort of business in their town? Do businesses have a legal right to set up shop wherever they see fit, and if a business tries to slip in does the city not have the right to "change the rules" to keep that business out? Because if cities don't have that legal right, then find, drop the case because we'll lose it anyway, but I don't understand why a city has to be bullied into letting someone set up shop if they don't want it, regardless of "profit." Not everyone does everything for money.

Richard Heckler 10 years, 12 months ago

From friends in JOCO and Lawrence:

Never shop there and I NEVER will. They also discriminate against women employees as well as fight against the right for all women to have access to birth control.

There's a lot of other games in town beside WalMart. Don't spend your hard earned money there!!!! Kathy (JOCO)

Wal-Mart is much worse than the sum of their evil practices.

They are willing facilitators to the quiet Chinese takeover of the American economy. Every Wal-Mart dollar contributes to a trade deficit that will eventually destroy our economy.

Not a shot will be fired when China simply demands payment for the US treasury notes it now holds.


JohnBrown 11 years ago

Sourpuss, one issue is equal protection under the law. Walmart was disallowed from setting up at 6th & Wak because it is a self-proclaimed 'department' store (see their annual report of 2001) and 'department' stores were disallowed from that corner. It's not because Walmart is Walmart, it's because Walmart is a department store.

PS: Walmart has argued in court that it is a 'variety' store (which is allowed at the corner) not a 'department' store.

50YearResident 11 years ago

Doug Brown is right, the City of Lawrence is wasting money fighting with the largest retailer in the world. There is not enough money in the budget to win this one. Let them build and get on with life. Competition is what makes the USA so great. Those companies that are competitive will survive and the others will fade away. That is the way the world runs.

If Lawrence had comissioners with business expertise instead of people off the street they could actually manage city business for the good of the city instead of thier personel agenda. Priorities change with every new election!

Crossfire 10 years, 12 months ago

Definitely written by a salesman with an agenda.

PeteJayhawk 11 years ago

The Jermit is right!

Good post, Ironhawk.

Mkh 11 years ago

Oh Doug,

Did you really think we would not see through your BS. I must admit that it takes a tremendous amount of guts and ignorance to be a major developer preaching about wasted tax dollars. Do you think he even realized the irony?

What has really cost Lawrence's taxpayers was ever allowing Walmart to submit a proposal in the first place. Not to mention decades of mismanagement from the Doug's collueges in the Real Estate industry.

blackwalnut 11 years ago

What, Doug Brown is a realtor? How predictable his position is.

blackwalnut 11 years ago

sourpuss (Anonymous) says: I just think it is amazing that cities don't seem to have the right to tell a business they are not wanted.

Me too. Wal-Mart is exploiting a technicality, whether they are a dept store. I don't think a Wal-Mart (traffic, volume) was envisioned when the zoning was set. Let's have it out in court.

peppermint 11 years ago

The only people I've talked to who want this store say they already shop at WM on South Iowa. Ergo, it's the same business, shifted to a different store.

No new revenue there, for anyone.

peppermint 11 years ago

Brown says... I'm sure there are a few people in Lawrence like me who have been wondering just what this Wal-Mart debacle has cost us.

I for one am wondering what all the new infrastructure for rampant new development has cost us.

Richard Heckler 11 years ago

The current Wal-Mart is 207,000 square feet. One well connected businessman said to me that Wal-Mart is expecting to take $100,000,000 in retail sales from our community and those dollars will find their way back to Bentonville and China.

Doug Brown is speaking speculation and real estate sales have slowed dramatically.

Placemakers/Smart Code, discovered by Mayor Hack , came to town with her blessing and left behind some very good ideas attached with a message she did not want to hear. Over saturated in retail and housing. Four of our current commissioners have decided they do not believe that....based on what? Placemakers' good ideas will unfortunately need to wait.

An aquaintance recently returned from an urban planning seminar and was somewhat stunned that Lawrence,Kansas was an example,among others, of HOW NOT to grow a community.

One of our former planning commissioners also home builder submitted to the PC that Retail Impact Studies should no longer be required and it passed. That is stunning and a bit stupid if you ask me. Right now Lawrence is in need of a Cost of Community Services Study to determine what part of growth is not working or not paying for itself. Lawrence may also be in need of an audit(s) to determine where in the world did the money go after 25 years of expanding the tax base.

coneflower 11 years ago

Too much traffic. It will create a danger to schoolchildren walking, biking, driving.

coneflower 11 years ago

Rumor is the Wal-Mart on South Iowa is not doing all that well and there is a hiring freeze. (Can anyone confirm?) I think a #2 store has one goal: to put a few of their competitors out of business, like Hy-Vee, Dillons, Walgreens. That's how Wal-Mart operates. Another rumor is that the proposed #2 store is a newer style designed to compete with (slightly more upscale) Target. You can see what Wal-Mart is trying to do.

What will not happen is any more tax revenue for Lawrence. Wal-Mart just cannibalizes itself and other businesses. It won't bring new tax dollars to Lawrence.

As for the realtors and developers, they are just trying to make a buck. Having overbuilt housing, they're turning to other projects.

Richard Heckler 11 years ago

Over saturating housing and retail is costing this city millions to the point of creating Economic Displacement NOT Economic Growth. Time for an audit!

Coneflower has made a point that a businessman made to me as well. Too much traffic. No big box retail center should be located at 6th& Wakarusa. The student traffic is heavy now and will only increase.

Jamesaust 11 years ago

"So the sales tax argument is a weak one. In all fairness, I'm not an economist ...."

Yes, it is weak. But this lays out quite well the 'on the other hand' trade-offs necessary to gauge the effects of alternatives.

That said, I suspect that a fair percentage of such spending by residents in that part of town occurs outside of the city presently given the difficulty of transversing Lawrence's streets (why not just stop and shop when you're already in JoCo or Topeka?).

What it does not address is property taxes. There, Doug Brown is quite right. There is no real trade-off between displaced business and property tax.

Further, equity ownership is well above average in Lawrence. There's no such thing as money flowing to Wall Street ... without flowing back. Its a pretty rare pension fund, 401k account, or other savings vehicle that doesn't include some W-M stock.

coneflower 11 years ago

What needs to be acknowledged is that a Wal-Mart creates more traffic than even another discount variety/department/whatever store. It's because Wal-Mart concentrates on volume - sell it cheap, pile it high! That means, to generate the same tax revenue, it makes more traffic, needs more parking spaces. That's why a Wal-Mart is a worse choice than some other stores.

Wal-Mart's questionable business practices are a whole other Pandora's box. We should reject the store on traffic issues alone.

hk45 11 years ago

I think Brown's comments ring true and I hope the city lets them build asap.

thusspokezarathustra 11 years ago

The nerve of some people, let's just go back to complaining about the budget cuts made necessary by our Tax shortfall.

stater1977 11 years ago

If our city's only goal is the bottom line, there are many profitible alternatives. The city could get into prostitution, gambling, pornography, even Amway. ("Wouldn't YOU like to have a new boat?")For many of us, it's not all about the money. Some people do have value systems that place personal moral concepts or ideals above the dollar.

LivedinLawrence4Life 11 years ago

Let's Stick It to Wal-Mart This Way...

We should make Wal-Mart pay for the actions that they want to take here in Lawrence and make them pay in a much bigger way than just attorney fees. They have more attorneys than the population of Lawrence so we need to take on a different tact with them.

This is a plan that will work, so please think through it thoroughly. This is truly the only way to get the better of the huge conglomerate that Wal-Mart has become while that company has made five people with the last name of Walton some of the richest people in the World. Let's really make those rich people pay their share here in Lawrence. Here's how:

Let them build the building. The bigger, the better. The more expensive the better. Doug Compton isn't paying much property tax on that vacant land. Let them improve it and pay tax on it. The more tax, the better for Lawrence. Then, if you don't like Wal-Mart, don't shop there. Let them pay taxes on it for years until they close down and sell the building to a more desirable company that you would like to support.

Or, if we really want to preserve that vacant land at 6th and Wakarusa, then we should have a fundraiser, buy that land and donate it to the city for a park. How much are we each willing to donate to get that done? Otherwise, let's chuckle a few times while we watch Wal-Mart drop $ Millions of Dollars there to build their store. Those of us who are glad to pay higher prices to support locally owned businesses can then choose not to shop at Wal-Mart.

Wal-Mart will still pay the same amount of property taxes or more each year as our county appraiser sticks it to them even more by increasing their taxes each year whether we shop there or not. Let's laugh as we watch Wal-Mart help pay for our local schools, roads, parks and city services for a while until they close down and a more desirable business takes over that corner.

People keep arguing that there will be too much traffic there. Since it appears that many of us will choose not to shop there, then it would follow that there won't be much traffic there, right?

LivedinLawrence4Life 11 years ago

Another idea:

It seems that much of the argument against the proposed Wal-Mart is regarding supporting locally owned businesses and keeping traffic down at that location. Since the landowner is a local person named Doug Compton, we could ask him to build his own store there, call it Comp-Mart and then only allow pedestrians to shop there or Hybrid cars and bicycles to park there in order to keep traffic down and environmental impact to a minimum. Would that meet our requirements for that location?

kayakncolo 11 years ago

No one has mentioned the fact the Doug Comtons FM corporation hires more than 200 sub-contractors (many local) for construction projects. Lets not turn this economic boost into another "road to nowhere" as we've seen with the K-10 bypass. Its progress people, embrace it..

LivedinLawrence4Life 11 years ago

More ways to suck money out of Wal-Mart...

Furthermore, the salaries and wages that Wal-Mart would pay local people to work there would cost Wal-Mart hundreds of thousand of dollars on an ongoing basis for a while until they close down due to none of us shopping there. Let's giggle as Wal-Mart helps families make ends meet and raise their children here in Lawrence by paying wages to people to work there even though there won't be many customers since we all hate Wal-Mart.

Wal-Mart employees won't need to drive to work...Traffic problem solved...

A new $30 million dollar retirement facility was just announced next door to the proposed Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart will have a huge supply of greeters who won't need to drive to work! Imagine the environmental impact of keeping those drivers off the road. I think that may help solve that traffic problem.

thusspokezarathustra 11 years ago

Doug Compton also owns a majority of the buildings downtown which "we" are trying to protect by preventing him from building a Wal Mart. Looks like no matter the outcome of the trial he comes out ahead. It is funny to see the "progressives" come out to save downtown from developers which allows Doug Compton to keep high rents downtown & make a killing for his development company.

Good work to those of you who "it's not all about the money. Some people do have value systems that place personal moral concepts or ideals above the dollar." Bravo, Doug Compton thanks you.

Remember Anti-Wal-Mart=Moral Superiority.

LivedinLawrence4Life 11 years ago

Boycotting Wal-Mart may not be the answer...

I must apologize for my previous comments implying that those of us who don't like Wal-Mart should consider "boycotting" Wal-Mart. Perhaps we shouldn't call for the boycott of any business. Perhaps we should allow the free market economy to determine the fate of Wal-Mart at that location. For those of us who hate Wal-Mart, we can simply not shop there if we don't like it! We will still benefit from the tax dollars and the money pumped into the local economy by that store whether we shop there or not until it closes and a more fashionable store opens up at that location.

Of course we should shop locally and patronize locally owned stores. That is good for Lawrence and Douglas County. If we are worried about smaller local businesses, then we should remember, this is a free market economy.

If a local person wants to build another huge "variety" or "department" store like Weavers with lots of competitively priced products and plenty of easy access parking while providing very good service, then we should shop there as well.

All local business owners would love to freeze competition and have a guarantee that no other businesses would come to Lawrence to compete with their product or service. Where do we sign up for that after we open up a business. That would be nice! It just doesn't work that way, unless you own a newspaper or cable company. Oops, just kidding on the end of that last sentence. Please don't cut off my subscription. Oh yea, I already cancelled it.

LivedinLawrence4Life 11 years ago

What Would Happen To Free State Students if They Entered Wal-Mart???

Yes, some people are worried about what might happen with a Wal-Mart so close to Free State High School, making the point that it is very possible that Free State students would enter the Wal-Mart store before or after school. That argument is justified. They will likely do so. Some students will likely even use the Wal-Mart parking lot as free overflow parking for the school and indoor swimming pool. This could cause them to be lured into that store. That is very true and likely couldn't be avoided if the Wal-Mart is allowed to be built there.

It could so happen that those students might do funny things there like purchase school supplies or even get a job there at Wal-Mart! Yes, that might be safer than driving across town to buy supplies or driving elsewhere to attend a job after school, but it would be embarrassing for those Free State students to be seen at Wal-Mart. We can't do that to them! It is also likely that Wal-Mart would partner with Free State and other area schools to provide benefits to the education of local students. We can't let Wal-Mart support our schools or take any credit for the success of our schools. They already try to take credit for recycling just because they have the only comprehensive free recycling center. We don't need that kind of help, right?

We could allow our Free State students to secretly get jobs there and shop there while wearing disguises and then we could snicker as local students earn money from Wal-Mart and save that money for college by working there after school. These students could save gas and money by getting supplies there rather than Target. Would that be worth the embarrassment? Only time will tell...

Then, when Wal-Mart decides to close it's doors due to none of us shopping there, we can give them all kinds of bad publicity because they would be causing the loss of many student and retirement home person's jobs by closing their store. Then, we would have true victory against Wal-Mart and we would have cost them a lot of money. I just hope that our retirement accounts don't own any Wal-Mart stock because we are going to bring them down! Oh, I just learned that most of our retirement mutual funds own some Wal-Mart stock? Oh well. Bring them down anyway. It won't hurt much.

By the way, there seems to be a lot of traffic at Target...Let's go after those capitalists!

Fred Whitehead Jr. 11 years ago

Lived in Lawrence for Life, I love it! I have lived in Lawrence for over 30 years and have always been amazed at how the "locals" seem to have the ability to shoot themsleves in the foot when it comes to retail development. 30 years ago, it was "Stop the Cornfield Mall" "Keep the business in Beautiful Downtown Lawrence, build the "Beautiful Riverfront Mall". Then it was "Stop the Mall" Build the Beautiful North Lawrence Tanger Mall".

2007 - Riverfront Mall is now Sunflower Cablevision (oops, "BROADBAND") Tanger Mall is the Department of Vehicles. South Iowa is the retail and comnercial center of the city with west 6th following right behind. But the local rabble still continues. The myth of "Beartiful Downtown Lawrence' (see definition of "Aggieville") continues. "Stop Wallmart" "Too much traffic" (been out there lately after 4 p.m.??) They continue their ill-starrred venture to sap the city of funds that go to lawyers and courts, they stifle tax base, and then wonder, "Why is the city cutting jobs and crying poverty??" Get real people, these miniscule-minded people are out to destroy and demolish any hope we have of getting the kind of retail business that most of the locals are driving to KC or Topeka to find.

LivedinLawrence4Life 11 years ago

Did you know that Dillon's is no longer a locally owned company? Let's get 'em!

Dillon's grocery store and Kwik Shop are owned by Kroger's out of Ohio. They are much like Wal-Mart in their corporate structure and goal to obtain profits. How did we let them infiltrate our town? It appears that they bought out a Kansas company and kept the local name. This backs up my argument to approve a Compton-Mart at the corner of 6th and Wakarusa as soon as possible!

Appleebees was never owned by a local person. Prepare to attack them (with verbal disapprovals). Let's go...

Or, is it not the job of the city staff to prevent certain brand names from being in certain parts of town. Choices like that could be left up to the free market to let us, the consumers, vote with our own spending dollars? Using this free market, we could really stick it to the stockholders of Wal-Mart and let them spend all that money right here in Lawrence. Let those Wal-Mart stockholders pay all that money in taxes that will benefit local jobs, schools, roads, parks and other public services. Let them pay all those workers who will spend much of that money at other businesses here in Lawrence.

Let Wal-Mart spend its money here in Lawrence. The more the better and the sooner the better for our local economy! Smile every time you drive by the new Wal-Mart and don't shop there and let go of your Wal-Mart frustrations. Instead, laugh, giggle, chuckle, snicker and be thankful that Wal-Mart is willing to spend their money to build buildings in a town like Lawrence that has people like us living here!

Let's dwell on the victories like when we forced the Wal-Mart distribution center out of Lawrence to Ottawa. We didn't need those jobs did we? How about the American Eagle Outfitter's distribution center. We forced them and their average paying jobs out of our area! Those of us against growth and wage paying jobs have had our victories. We can't win them all.

thusspokezarathustra 11 years ago

Come on, you know those malls failed for very specific reasons that had nothing to do with the city's inability to draw a store worth going to the mall for in the first place.

Jeff Barclay 10 years, 12 months ago

What no one is talking about are the unknown $ lost due to businesses avoiding Lawrence, in order to avoid gay health care costs.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 11 years ago

Zarathrustra, the city wanted these second-rate malls in place of the dreaded CORNFIELD MALL which would have had stores that shoppers want and free parking, unlike Beautiful Downtown Lawrence. Second rate has always been the result of this sort of political pandering to a small minority of vocal rabble who do NOT represent the majority opinions of local residents regarding suitable retail shopping.

thusspokezarathustra 11 years ago

yes, I know, I was being sarcastic. The Tanger mall was supposed to have a Cracker Barrell but the sign was larger than the city would allow so they backed out. "They" have a habit of scuttling development & then pointing to the failures they caused as "proof" that they were right.

lunacydetector 11 years ago

there is going to be some major stuff hitting the fan about lawrence's failures and intrusive nature that prohibits businesses from considering lawrence. city hall's talk is cheap, it's their actions that speak louder than words.

......just wait and see. it'll be a flying everywhere. protectionism is NOT the answer.

LivedinLawrence4Life 11 years ago

Hello Everyone. I just realized that my husband, whose screen name is LivedIn4Life left his computer logged in to the LJWorld. I read his multiple comments and I disagree. Little does he know that I shop at Wal-Mart all the time for his prescriptions and toys for the kids. I don't even think any other store in Lawrence has Big Wheels or Power Wheels for the kids. Anyway, I'm all for Wal-Mart at 6th and Wakarusa. If he wants to boycott it, that is fine with me, but I'll be buying his shirts and boxer briefs there and removing the tags before he get's home from work. Sure, I go to Dillon's, Target and Hy-Vee as well and I don't mind them lowering prices to compete with each other. When it is time for Christmas shopping, one trip to Wal-Mart and the stockings are full with a few dollars left in my pocket. He doesn't have time to shop anyway so why should he care where other people shop. Shopping at a local Wal-mart seems better than buying online from another state.

pelliott 11 years ago

great headline, just goofy at figures. Worst remark was we should not use zoning or planning requirement because Walmart is the biggest corporation so we should bend over and smile. I am not against walmart as store or any thing but to give them that kind of control is really stupid. Might as well say can't fight terrorism so just blow yourself up.

Lulu 11 years ago

Does Mr. Brown still model? Though I entirely disagree with him, he is dreamy in boxerbriefs.

peppermint 11 years ago

Why is this article printed as news, when it's by someone who doesn't work for the paper and it's an opinion?

Millions? I don't believe it.

Anyway, put the blame on those who waged the lawsuit: Doug Compton & partner.

Nick Yoho 11 years ago

"Remember Anti-Wal-Mart=Moral Superiority"

I would hope every human being has higher morals than a corporation!

They'd have you working in the coal mines,"'cause you owe your soul to the company store"

I Hate wal-mart.

They are anti-woman,anti-union anti-American,anti-momandpopstoreowner,anti-supplier.Anti-worker they would suck the life out of Lawrence if you'd let them.

Never shop there!

Don't get me started on the bad Wal-mart has done!

Don't shop there! Goggle Wal-mart,and educate yourself.

Don't shop There!!!

"Wal-Mart is expecting to take $100,000,000 in retail sales from our community and those dollars will find their way back to Bentonville and China."

I guarantee you,not one thin dime will come from my pockets!

coneflower 11 years ago

none2 (Anonymous) says: There's a simple solution to make everybody happy. Let them build the second Wal-Mart, but make them build it north of I-70 in North Lawrence:

Yes, just put it somewhere else, please. Anywhere that can handle the traffic and the neighborhood doesn't object. If north Lawrence wants a Wal-Mart, let them have it. I don't care. I won't shop there, ever. I hope they lose money, wherever they build. Their bad politics are catching up with them. Worst quarter since 1980, their last one.

I wish it could be a Costco for north Lawrence. I'd drive a long way to shop at a Costco.

Wilbur_Nether 11 years ago

peppermint freshly breathed "Why is this article printed as news, when it's by someone who doesn't work for the paper and it's an opinion?"

To which the answer is that it is an op-ed piece, contributed to the paper on a current topic, and was published in the op-ed section...not the news section.

Nick Yoho 11 years ago

They need to rework their website then because it is listed under latest stories and there is no differentiation between catogories! (and its on the page you get when you click "News".

from another story: In Melissa, a community of 5,000 people squarely in sight of suburban strip malls and encroaching cookie-cutter subdivisions, Mayor David Dorman said he embraces green thinking. And in neighboring McKinney, Wal-Mart built its nationally lauded "green" store that includes a 120-foot turbine spinning above the entrance.

If we must let wal-mart build here MAKE them build a green one!(that will help the city with its goal of being a nationally recognized "green"city.).

Wilbur_Nether 11 years ago

KawValleyKid wrote about this op-ed piece " is listed under latest stories and there is no differentiation between catogories! (and its on the page you get when you click 'News'."

The "News" section notes this piece appears "in print edition on B6", which is the op-ed page. The LJW doesn't monitor the specifics on these pages very closely unless there's a complaint. Your suggestion to them would be more likely to be heard if you send them an e-mail.

Richard Heckler 11 years ago

  1. History: This was a fall-back site for a home improvement center that proved to be unnecessary. When this fall-back zoning was written, specific language was inserted to prevent department stores and other uses.

  2. Traffic: Adding a retail development of this scale will have negative traffic implications for the intersection and the surrounding neighborhoods.

  3. Planning: The intersection was planned for 200,000 sqare feet. The intersection has already been built to this capacity. There is no need to build any more.

Richard Heckler 11 years ago

Compounding the problem is the evidence that the benefits we seek ? jobs and taxes ? are far less than we may imagine, even before they are weighed against the costs. An economic impact analysis of a proposed Wal-Mart in Greenfield, Massachusetts, estimated that the 177 jobs it would provide would be offset by 148 jobs lost from other businesses. A study in Iowa estimated that 84% of the sales at a new Wal-Mart would come at the expense of existing businesses. When the same question was asked of a Wal-Mart proposed in Vermont, it was concluded that 76% of Wal-Mart's sales would come at the expense of local businesses.

A common conclusion of big studies is that big boxes create little in new retail sales and new jobs. People don't spend more, they spend in different places, and the jobs follow them. This is economic displacement not economic development.

Richard Heckler 11 years ago

The more Wal-Mart Stores the fewer choices....

Richard Heckler 11 years ago

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

KsTwister 11 years ago

Has anyone noticed the Tanger sign coming down?? Interesting nonetheless. I just hope another legal issue has not developed because of that also.

Nick Yoho 11 years ago

rt,your not thinking you speculating.Please do some research if you want to know why so many hate wall-mart,don't make me do it for you.I don't feel like writing tonight.Your a big boy,so I'm not even going to give you any links.

Now please review my polite response to the slander of you calling me a bigot,yesterday.You don't seem to check back on your posts, Surely you most know I'd reply to your attack!I've been calling you all over these threads...

Here is a hint.If you click on a users name you can pull up All their comments.Everybody should try it now.

LivedinLawrence4Life 11 years ago

Hello Merrill, you suggested that we "DEMAND a detailed Cost of Community Services Study". That is a great idea. The city probably won't pay for it so we are going to need to put together a fundraiser in order to pay for that study. How much are you willing to pay toward that study? I'll kick in a few bucks if you will.

Also, where do you shop? I'm looking for recommendations. I'm having trouble finding many places that don't have these negative characteristics that we are all complaining about.

LivedinLawrence4Life 11 years ago

Let them build the Wal-Mart and then if it fails as predicted, then it could be remodeled like the former K-Mart building. We could use the tax dollars. Commercial properties pay more than twice the rate that we do on our homes. Homes are assessed at 11.5% of value whereas Commercial properties are assessed at 25% of value. We need more commercial in order to keep the politicians from opting to raise taxes on our homes! Who cares if Wal-Mart builds the building.

I do like the North Lawrence idea. Perhaps Wal-Mart should take over the Tanger Mall with a Sams Club and Wal-Mart combo!

Any thoughts on the Compton-Mart idea? Locally owned and filled with young employees from all of Doug's apartments.

Richard Heckler 11 years ago

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

LivedinLawrence4Life 10 years, 12 months ago

kawryan, what specific examples of Realtors "sticking it to people" do you have? That seems like a personal attack unrelated to this story. The author made it clear that he is not associated with the Wal-Mart transaction in any way.

I have had very good luck with Realtors and found the Realtors I deal with to be very professional and honest. Perhaps you chose the wrong one when you bought or sold?

Richard Heckler 10 years, 12 months ago

" The only conclusion I can reach is you think the Lawrence-Douglas County professional planning staff is incompetent."

Staff does not set policy!

Give the staff the tools and they will use them. Special interests should not be in policy making positions.


"How Could Growth Not Pay For Itself?

The argument that growth doesn't pay for itself is like saying that Sunflower Broadband doesn't make more money when they add new customers to their monthly billing."

Just because individuals are making more money does not mean the City of Lawrence is bringing in enough revenue to pay the community bills. That's why taxes are high as homeowners and retail owners make up the loss.

Why do personal property taxes increase at more than 4% annually? Why is Lawrence cutting services? Why did Mayor Amyx and now Mayor Hack want a sales tax increase? Because development is not paying its' way. 25 years of expanding the tax base should not require an increase in taxes. Think economic displacement cuz economic growth did not take place.

Housing is not taxed at a rate to cover the Cost of Community Services so over built residential cost too much money. Community services consist of a list as long as your arm.

Richard Heckler 10 years, 12 months ago

Big box stores are the next dinosaurs on the horizon which may be one reason why the big box predators are working their way towards easy prey aka small town USA.

Crossfire 10 years, 12 months ago

Can you hear it... Just to the west of the Wauk... The thundering herd of mass consumption. Pork in spandex. Load up those carts with them 75 pound bags of Slim Jims. Only 3 bucks.

coneflower 10 years, 12 months ago

Went to OP yesterday because no big plumbing supply in Lawrence. Looked around inside the Costco next door. Why can't we have one of those? How about some CHOICES??? !!!

coneflower 10 years, 12 months ago

Liberal: "Because a few, and I mean a very few, do not like Wal*Mart"

You only wish. I know only one person in Lawrence who would shop at WM, and there is practically a divorce over it in that household. It is a wealthy trust fund recipient husband who is incurably cheap - another form of greed.

I guess your perspective depends on the company you keep.

coneflower 10 years, 12 months ago

none2: I don't think you know much about Costco. You can read about it on the innernets, use the google with "wal-mart costco." Look around in one; it's cheap, and wares look great. Lots of gorgeous produce & organic food, high-end electronics, decent clothing. And cheap! $50 family membership. Employee starting hourly wages are in the mid teens.

Costco proves a company does not have to exploit people to make $ and grow.

coneflower 10 years, 12 months ago

kawryan (Anonymous) says: Doug Brown and the LJWorld should let reporters report. Realtors should stick to sticking it to people.

I'd like him to back up his statement that "millions" have been spent by the city. Then put the blame on the landowner who keeps resubmitting essentially the same plan, and is now suing the taxpayers.

coneflower 10 years, 12 months ago

ight_thinker (Anonymous) says: Now, maybe Jane Doe, hard-working single/divorced mother of three CAN'T shop WM at the proposed location, therefore she may have to drive farther, spend more on day care/babysitter or drag all three kids, make two or three stops or more and generally has a less desirable quality of life as a result. [plus som incoherent anti-liberal stuff]

I took 3 babies everywhere, in a worse climate than this one, & it was good for them to get out. Lawrence is not required to put a WM on every corner for this fictional person. Weakest argument for another WM - and weakest attack on liberals - yet.

maxcrabb 10 years, 12 months ago

hmm.. a bunch of open land, right by a highschool and lots of housing inluding a church within 500 yards?

lets build a park!

(just throw some soccer goals in there, please)

coneflower 10 years, 12 months ago

Traffic considerations and the safety of kids who use the schools and pool are "kooky ideology" of "kooky libs?"

Proud to be one of those kooks.

"far-left who leak their drivel on this forum 24/7" - Only right wingers are allowed to post? Glad you're not making the rules.

P.S. I'm not far left, only far to the left of the ultra right that has redefined the whole scale in recent years. Stop buying your stereotypes from Rush Limbaugh because you are getting ripped off.

karensisson 10 years, 12 months ago

Doug Brown is part of the McGrew realty clan - one of half a dozen families that rule Lawrence.

He is not a disinterested party as he claims.

coneflower 10 years, 12 months ago

right_thinker: Your baseless comments about liberals sound just like him, nonetheless. Lots of pejorative adjectives and labels, few if any facts.

Richard Heckler 10 years, 12 months ago

Doug Brown sells commercial real estate for McGrew.

KsSweetheart51 10 years, 12 months ago

I am not from Lawrence but I can tell you...Your Not missing much from Not having WalMart in your fine city...Come to Marysville, Ks and see the downtown affects of the "All Mighty WalMarts.".. We no longer have a hardware store, no clothing stores (JC Pennys pulled out-Sears left-Jeters closed) (mainly a mens clothing store) 2... I repeat 2 grocery stores went out of busisness... The family owned stores can't compete with the buying power of Walmarts.. So fine citizens of Lawrence...Please Stop and consider what downtown Lawrence will look like if Walmarts Does move in... do your Eye Doctors, grocery store owners, florists, garden centers, Photo specialty shops, Varity Stores , Novilty shops, Bakerys, K Marts or Alco really need to move over so A Big Giant can come in and Close them down??????? So what is so darn great about minm. wage? Can you really support a family on it? Read about the law suits about WalMarts ....not paying overtime, how they require you to Work overtime and if you don't fire you...Do you suppose a single mom with a child or two can live off of their fair wage? If you think it is possible...just try for a month....Goodness...look at the rent you request for a 2bdr. apartment...I make 15.00 and hour and I can't afford your rent. How could a person with minm. wage make it? Get real Stop WalMarts.... Quit whinning because your council members said NO...they have most likely investigated other towns smaller than yours and have seen the devistating results....

Sigmund 10 years, 12 months ago

It is a myth that public corporations do not contribute to the local economy. Beyond the simplistic "employees and managers who live in the area receive paychecks (often in excess of what smaller local companies offer) which they spend locally and pay sales taxes on," many local individuals own stock in these companies either outright or in mutual funds in their investment or retirement accounts. I dare say with all the State of Kansas Employees in Lawrence, the KPER's investment in Walmart alone would swamp any benefit Los Merc provides to the community by being "locally owned." Then add the differences in property taxes and Le Merc is hardly a blip on the economic radar.

On a slightly deeper level, money invested in local Banks and Credit Unions do not get loaned exclusively locally. These institutions like to spread their loan risk as broadly as possible. They do not put all their loan eggs in one local basket, they geographically diversify. Money deposited here gets loaned all over the country. Likewise, all the money Walmart puts in Arkansas banks, for instance, gets loaned out nationwide as well, including Lawrence.

Even further, anytime anyone of you buys any item not locally manufactured, part of those dollars effectively "flows out" of Lawrence; cars, CDs', coffee, cigarettes, cannabis, computers, virtually everything you buy. It is the reason "Boog dollars" were such a bust. Economies are bigger and much more complex than your little college town and your self important professors can imagine.

I prefer local or regional Credit Unions to Banks because the depositors are the stockholders (at least in some sense) and they tend to offer lower fees, pay higher interest, and service their loans locally. But the loan paper itself get consolidated into large portfolios and are floated into very large debt markets where they are often bought and sold many times during their life.

If it makes you feel good to buy locally then by all means do it. Just realize it is only a feeling with no economic reality behind it.

gccs14r 10 years, 12 months ago

There is no free lunch. I'm no fan of Costco, either. I'd much rather pay a little extra and keep my dollars in Lawrence where they can be used by other Lawrencians to improve our community (I bank at KUCU, too). I just wish that the Merc hadn't gone downhill. I used to shop there exclusively, but now find myself traveling to OP to shop at Whole Foods. Dillons is off the radar unless I need a can of green beans or something quickly (Kroger killed them) and HyVee doesn't have the organic selection we need in this household.

Sigmund 10 years, 12 months ago

Forgot to mention even the legal fees are being spent in Johnson County.

coneflower 10 years, 12 months ago

Liberal (Anonymous) says: Coneflower:Wal-Mart did not become the worlds largest corporation by nobody shopping there. They in fact became the worlds largest and most succesful corporation: because everyone shops there.

Liberal, even I used to shop there. I spent so much money there, in the little town where I used to live. I gradually became aware of the company's practices and the effect it has on communities, and at some point, I just couldn't in good conscience shop there anymore. This is happening to more and more people all the time. If someone shops there, they are either unaware of Wal-Mart's practices, or they're the sort of people who just don't care.

There isn't much I miss. Most of the stuff is crap. The stuff that is the same everywhere, like shampoo, I can find on sale elsewhere and do just as well. What I do miss is the great selection of cheap terra cotta flowerpots they always had in spring. But it makes me happy to support a local greenhouse and pay 5% more for those pots. That's all I really ever saved at Wal-Mart: 5 to 10%. Is it worth ruining my town, like Wal-Mart ruined my last town? NO.

coneflower 10 years, 12 months ago

Oh, and Liberal: They became the biggest corporation partly because of their predatory practices. Predatory pricing is unfair. They don't just offer a better or cheaper product. They play dirty. Real dirty.

Sigmund 10 years, 12 months ago

With all the accusations thrown around concerning Walmart you would think there would be a never ending series of convictions. A search finds very few relative to their size. But if you feel morally superior not shopping at Walmart, feel free! Just don't try to impose your morality on everyone else. They will resent you and your do-gooderism.

coneflower 10 years, 12 months ago


I have never had a Costco in my town, so I've never shopped there. I've only read about it and also looked around a store a few times. I've never joined the one 30 miles away because I still try to shop in Lawrence.

You're right about the gas: it was 3.22 on Saturday at Costco and 3.23 in Lawrence. We looked at tires also and haven't compared prices yet. The food looked great to me. The clothes included some I'd actually consider for my family. The greeter and the checker at the exit are exactly the way Sam's Club operates, in fact if you didn't know better you'd think you were in a more upscale, better managed Sam's Club. (I shopped at Sam's Club too in another town, years ago.) Stores like Sam's Club, ALDI, and Costco don't always have the same items available every week, that's how that model of stores operates. I think your complaints - except for the mangoes - are indicative that you don't like the disadvantages of that model of store, more than about CostCo. As for mangoes - I hate it when that happens, tropical fruit is tricky, it often rots before it ripens no matter where you get it, which tends to support the "buy local" philosophy. I bought asparagus at Hy-Vee that was rotten the next day, and I have 2 still-hard mangoes from Checker's that I'm hoping for the best with, so my husband can make his famous mango barbeque sauce.

People who like Costco are comparing that model of store with other stores of that model. You don't like it, I don't blame you.

I love Checker's produce too. The store is unpleasant, but I go there for produce and bulk stuff like dried beans and pasta when I can. Between Checker's and ALDI one can save a lot of money, but not get everything. If there were an Albertson's here I'd be happy. Dillon's is ok but expensive/ordinary produce and they make me mad because they understaff on checkers to force people to use their self-checkout which I refuse to use on principal (there goes a college boy's job and they don't give ME a discount), plus there is that silly Dillons card that lets them track everything you buy. Dillon's doesn't know what French bread is. Hy-Vee is just big and hard to negotiate in a hurry. It's always a trick to find 2 or 3 grocery stores that, together, fulfill the family's needs. I haven't really been able to do this in Lawrence. I'd really like another choice, not another Wal-Mart.

coneflower 10 years, 12 months ago

A Whole Foods here would be nice. Sorry, Merc. I buy some things there and love the shopping experience, but it's just too expensive for me to buy everything there. Does it really have to be quite that expensive?

blackwalnut 10 years, 12 months ago

Sigmund: Nobody is trying to prevent you from shopping at Wal-Mart (at least not that I've seen or heard), and nobody is trying to take away the Wal-Mart you already have. "Just don't try to impose," you say. I don't think others should impose a dangerous traffic situation on people who live near 6th & Wakarusa or whose kids go to the schools or swimming pool. Same argument.

lunacydetector 10 years, 12 months ago

i was in walmart at 6:30 this morning. guess who was shopping there? not only myself, but of the 20 people i saw in there, 15 of them were what i would stereotypically call 'granola types' - middle aged women with scraggily gray hair in need of some conditioner REAL bad, and long haired tattoo freaky guys.

it looked like the anti-walmart people were covertly shopping there this morning. pretty typical for liberals to be hypocrites. just as al gore or john kerry owns SUV's and fly around in private jets. then there is robert redford and his '60's muscle car. global warming only applies to the rest of us, just as no walmart applies to the rest of us.

Nick Yoho 10 years, 12 months ago

I know who you saw there a bunch of sleep walkers.Which large comprise our nation.

blackwalnut 10 years, 12 months ago

lunacy: Your stereotypes aren't working.

Sigmund 10 years, 12 months ago

Excuse me? Who said I don't live near 6th and Wakarusa? With all the recent improvements made in the roadwork in 6th and Wak area it can easily handle the traffic, or so says KDOT. Pushing all the Walmart traffic to Iowa or Kasold burdens those families who live on or near those roads. Driven down Iowa lately? Besides, 6th and Wak was zoned for exactly the kind of store Walmart proposes.

But the traffic issue is the ONLY legitimate concern raised by the opponents of the W3 (Wakarusa Wally World). At least it rises above the "I don't like Walmart and neither should you" rantings which pose as logical discourse by the Walmarts opponents.

blackwalnut 10 years, 12 months ago

Sigmund: KDot's admittedly outdated study showed 6th/Wak would become like 31st/Iowa and 23rd/Louisiana. There are two schools over there. There are more side streets that drivers will use to cut through the neighborhoods. It will be awful.

I'm sorry about traffic on South Iowa but that doesn't mean we should replicate the mess elsewhere. South Iowa was horribly planned, in my opinion. The same mind-set is at work with the new commission and they will make an identical traffic mess in NW Lawrence.

6th/Wak was not zoned for a store with 4-5 times the traffic of an ordinary big box store, which is what Wal-Mart is.

Sigmund 10 years, 12 months ago

If the KDOT study is outdated then it didn't take into account the widening of 6th Street or the improvements at 6th Wak intersection last year. Those improvements increased its ability to carry traffic and coincidently was meant to paid for by the new retail development at 6th and Wak.. Where is your study which says the W3 will do 4-5 times more business than a similarly sized store? Where is your study that says anyone will be cutting down narrow slow side streets to get to Walmart. Why won't they cut down your side street to get to whatever retail development goes in there? I don't believe those studies were put in front of the City or Planning Commissions. I do remember a couple of hysterical residents who voiced those concerns without a single fact to back them up.

blackwalnut 10 years, 12 months ago

"Where is your study which says the W3 will do 4-5 times more business than a similarly sized store?" Not business - cars. Google that up. Other towns have done these studies.

'hysterical residents" I was there, nobody was hysterical. They have kids and their concerns over safety are legitimate.

'Where is your study that says anyone will be cutting down narrow slow side streets to get to Walmart." Duh!!!

"I do remember a couple of hysterical residents who voiced those concerns without a single fact to back them up." I saw maps, studies cited, the KDot traffic study cited.

"If the KDOT study is outdated then it didn't take into account the widening of 6th Street or the improvements at 6th Wak intersection last year." But it did. It didn't take into account WM volume of traffic. The commission needs another objective objective objective traffic study. Then we can talk intelligently about traffic - not until.

Sigmund 10 years, 12 months ago

I too was there. Remember the lady whose teenager was a bad driver and therefore no Walmart? Boy was that persuasive! Other than the KDOT study, which study talked about traffic? Explain to me again exactly why anyone would drive down relatively slow and relatively narrow residential streets to get to 6th and Wak? Not many of those streets are through streets and those that are do not lead to or from areas of high density. Most everyone, except those that live locally, will be taking 6th or Wakarusa to get to 6th and Wakarusa. DUH!

moveforward 10 years, 12 months ago

Doug - I thought you were more astute than this. You ARE bias, your numbers are poorly thought out, and Lawrence people are smarter than this - and apparently you.

Everytime you buy a $7 something at wallmart, you sell a little bit of yourself and the town you love for about $1.17. A little economics, a little finance, and a little sociology would have helped you here. Buy on value (include the standard of living we all enjoy) rather than on price and I think you will end up a much wealthier man.

Granted he execution by the city sucked on this deal. But the intent was well placed.

Linda Endicott 10 years, 12 months ago

I have heard, from the employees themselves, that the Ottawa Wal-Mart has imposed a hiring freeze. They don't have enough employees to cover all the dept. now, but they won't hire any more people.

Why? Because sales are way down. Sales have been way down ever since some overpaid business genius decided that remodeling every store to make them all the same was a good thing, and decided to eliminate the layaway dept.

In their efforts to make all the stores layouts the same, they have pissed off a tremendous amount of their customers. People come in expecting things to be where they have always been, and they're not. Few of the customers can find anything anymore without help from an employee...which they don't have enough of, thanks to the changes.

People who can't find what they want in a timely manner, and with relative convenience, will go somewhere else to shop.

And what was so wrong with layaway? Weren't they making money at it? Honestly, it's not like don't get the merchandise until it's paid off. I would think there were a lot of people who didn't manage to do that, and so they got to put the merchandise back on the shelf and basically resell it.

Why all the sudden changes, when it appeared to be working for them the way it was?

coneflower 10 years, 12 months ago

Sigmund: I was at the May 1 commission meeting to which I believe you refer. You are constantly distorting what occurred there. The speaker you mention spoke about traffic concerns, and she mentioned many things including teenagers driving to/from the high school, a concern because everybody knows that is not the most stable traffic situation. She spoke knowledgeably and eloquently as she always does. She doesn't have a teenager, her kids are little. She was talking quickly (as were many of the speakers) because Mayor Hack limited everyone to 5 minutes. It's tacky of you to say these people were "hysterical" just because they were impassioned or speaking quickly to get their point across in a very short time. (Why are the pro-developer posters always doing this: calling people names, stereotyping them, reducing the discussion to childish insults? Is it so hard to stick to the issues?)

As far as people cutting through neighborhoods, any traffic study will include that scenario. In the town where I lived before, neighborhoods raised objections about traffic, and they constructed the streets around the Wal-Mart specifically to prevent people from cutting through the neighborhoods, even curbing off an existing entry into a side street from the WM parking lot. Are you a traffic expert? If not, what makes you so sure the experts are wrong to consider traffic spilling onto side streets? Do you really think people won't turn down Congressional to get to Harvard which will let them avoid the 6th/Wakarusa congestion? What about when the high school traffic is clogging that intersection for over an hour around 8, noon and 3? Drive by Harvard/Wakarusa around 8 a.m. and then tell me everything will be peachy with Wal-Mart and Bauer Farms traffic added on top of what already exists.

Again, as many have pointed out, there are two schools and a swimming pool nearby. Therefore the traffic safety issue should be paramount. One would hope traffic around schools would be kept lower than traffic around industrial-shopping centers. Making a 23rd/Louisiana near schools is unconscionable.

coneflower 10 years, 12 months ago

"No wal-mart has been found to be using UST's (Undercutting Sales Techniques), they merely sell a cheaper product more efficiently."

Ask the good people of Goodland, Kansas about that. They used to have 3 grocery stores. A Wal-Mart came in, undercut them, and put them all under. Then Wal-Mart raised its prices. Now there is only one place to buy groceries in Goodland.

This happens over and over across America. Google it up.

karensisson 10 years, 12 months ago

A Wal-Mart sucks up local dollars and sends them away to Bentonville and China. That kind of "efficiency" doesn't help the people who live in our town.

roger_o_thornhill 10 years, 12 months ago

CHEAP CRAP! The cause of, and solution to, all of life's problems!

Believe your masters! It is easier that way.
Accept, and you will be accepted! Buy, and you will be happy! Business is benevolent! You are too busy to get it anyways! Maybe a vacation? Go to the Great Wal!

peppermint 10 years, 12 months ago

Why is it that people who view themselves as part of "the right" like to label anybody with any view even slightly different from theirs as "the far left?"

Far??? Puh-leeeeeze.

You righties are now polling at around 25%. So who, really, is "far" and who is "the fringe?"

More mindless rhetoric and stereotypes courtesy of Limbaugh & Coulter, who should get a nickel every time one of you posts in here.

Just saying...

Sigmund 10 years, 12 months ago

Is Walmart good or bad is/was NOT the question in front of the Kommission. All such arguments are irrelevant. The only issue is does the proposed plan meet with zoning? If yes let them build, if not then denied. A few fanatical vocal nuts should not be the basis of City policy nor cost the City millions in legal fees.

Escapee 10 years, 12 months ago

Pilgrim, it is the simplicity of the fact that WalMart is NOT a good neighbor, never has been, has no intentions of ever being one, and has ruined many a balanced economic environment that allowed for more than a few folks to be employed by businesses other than the WalMart itself. Re-read the post by KsSweetheart51 -- which spoke of the deterioration/destruction in the wake of WalMarts path in his/her town. It is this non-caring, greedy attitude that must be avoided on the scale of such a town as Lawrence and in the case of even smaller rural retail areas -- they should surely prepare themselves against the rath of the possibility of an incoming WalMart. Why are you so against going with someone else for this property?

Sigmund 10 years, 12 months ago

It is a myth that public corporations do not contribute to the local economy. Beyond the simplistic "employees and managers who live in the area receive paychecks (often in excess of what smaller local companies offer) which they spend locally and pay sales taxes on," many local individuals own stock in these companies either outright or in mutual funds in their investment or retirement accounts. I dare say with all the State of Kansas Employees in Lawrence, the KPER's investment in Walmart alone would swamp any benefit Los Merc provides to the community by being "locally owned." Then add the differences in property taxes and Le Merc is hardly a blip on the economic radar.

On a slightly deeper level, money invested in local Banks and Credit Unions do not get loaned exclusively locally. These institutions like to spread their loan risk as broadly as possible. They do not put all their loan eggs in one local basket, they geographically diversify. Money deposited here gets loaned all over the country. Likewise, all the money Walmart puts in Arkansas banks, for instance, gets loaned out nationwide as well, including Lawrence.

Even further, anytime anyone of you buys any item not locally manufactured, part of those dollars effectively "flows out" of Lawrence; cars, CDs', coffee, cigarettes, cannabis, computers, virtually everything you buy. It is the reason "Boog dollars" were such a bust. Economies are bigger and much more complex than your little college town and your Neo-Kom self important professors can imagine.

I prefer local or regional Credit Unions to Banks because the depositors are the stockholders (at least in some sense) and they tend to offer lower fees, pay higher interest, and service their loans locally. But the loan paper itself get consolidated into large portfolios and are floated into very large debt markets where they are often bought and sold many times during their life.

I also am a big Checkers fan. I regularly drive by two Dillon's and Les Merc to get there. Dillon's used to be a good store until Kroger bought them and begin tracking their customers purchases via those "Saving Cards." I shopped at the Las Merc once or twice and they were mediocre, overpriced, and pretentious. Like shopping in a store run by Hari Krishna's.

If it makes you feel good to buy locally then by all means do it. Just realize it is only a feeling with no economic reality behind it.

blackwalnut 10 years, 12 months ago

Sigmund said: "If it makes you feel good to buy locally then by all means do it. Just realize it is only a feeling with no economic reality behind it."

Where even to begin? You're shockingly unaware, and, apparently, happily so.

Linda Endicott 10 years, 12 months ago

Really, I think Sam Walton himself would be shocked by what his company has become.

Here are a few quotes by Sam:

"There is only one boss. The customer, And he can fire everybody in the company from the chairman on down, simply by spending his money somewhere else."

Sounds nice in theory, but it hardly ever works out that way. How many of you have had the same experience at Wal-Mart that I've had? Employees will argue with you about sale prices, or what is included with an item. I've been told on numerous occasions that if they don't have an item you want, they will order it for you. Yet when you try to do that, they won't do it.

"Outstanding leaders go out of their way to boost the self-esteem of their personnel. If people believe in themselves, it's amazing what they can accomplish."

And Wal-Mart does this how? By making almost everyone a part-time worker? By paying women less? By not letting people be eligible for health care until they've worked there at least two years? By switching people's schedules around so that they never know what days they'll have to work, and thus can never plan anything with their families? By telling people to go home so they never have to pay overtime to anyone?

"Each Wal-Mart store should reflect the values of its customers and support the vision they hold for their community."

Suing the communities that don't want a Wal-Mart store (or a second one) and forcing themselves in anyway is a great way to do this.

Not to mention the recent remodeling done in our local store. Hundreds of customers complained about it, and requested that things stay as they were. It did no good. I even went so far as to call 1-800-Wal-Mart. Though they noted my complaints about the remodel (grudgingly), I was basically told, over the phone, that I didn't know what was best for me, and that since I didn't have a degree in business that I didn't know what I was talking about.

Wouldn't old Sam have loved that one....

The reason a lot of people don't like Wal-Mart is because the company is so damned arrogant. They ignore the wants and needs of the community, and of the customers themselves. It's all about THEM.

Every time Wal-Mart sues another community that doesn't want to let them in, it reminds me of the Phelps clan...

Emily Hadley 10 years, 12 months ago

There's more to life, and to community, than money.

pelliott 10 years, 12 months ago

I think the letter is ok, his view, I don't agree with his figures or his priorities. What wrong for me is the asinine headline, a little yellow journalism at work. Should read "Man doesn't know how to calculate costs. They probably had the own little agenda and made this letter carry their message, fearing they would be held accountable for the figures if they wrote it as an editorial.

Sigmund 10 years, 12 months ago

Not off topic at all. Walmart is simply leading the way to Government Paid for Health Care. Isn't that what you want? In fact, every corporation should follow Walmart and immediately stop providing health benefits, then we all can have the benefit of taxpayer funded Health Care and a socialist Utopia will surely follow!

Jaminrawk 10 years, 12 months ago

Yeah, so when local businesses have to close because Wal-Mart is under-selling them, the owners and employees could, at least, go get a minimum-wage job at a retailer that goes through employees like Kleenex (which is on sale at Wal-Mart this week, by the way). One Wal-Mart in Lawrence is enough, don't kill local business with this cheap-crap selling chain.

WWoftheW 10 years, 12 months ago

Actually there is something called HomeRule that give cities the right to say no to any development. Sue and Doug don't want you to know that. Also, most cities do developement this way - If we approve your development then these the codes you will follow. Not as we do - if you follow the codes we have to approve your developement.

WWoftheW 10 years, 12 months ago

Pilgrim. Wal-Mart violated the codes. Wal-Mart presented 3 plans, 200,000, 157,000, and 99,000 sq ft. All three were turned down. The plan that is in the courts was for a different applicant and no matter how hard to try to blame the city, Wal-Mart is a department store and their deceptions in order to circumvent the codes is the violation! I don't care who told Linda Finger to call them a variety store, developers were running the city commission then, Wal-Mart never corrected that statement becuase they wanted to violate the zoning.

karensisson 10 years, 12 months ago

The_Factor (Anonymous) says "...wal-mart introduce capitalism and free market processes..."

Ah, but that's where you are very wrong. Wal-Mart is subsidized by local governments and by you, the taxpayer. Wal-Mart employees are huge recipients of Medicare and food stamps, and that includes full-time workers. They are violators of environmental laws. In the end there is no free Wal-Mart lunch. You pay back in taxes, and you pay back because so much of what they sell is shoddy.

Sigmund 10 years, 12 months ago

"Wal-Mart employees are huge recipients of Medicare and food stamps, and that includes full-time workers. They are violators of environmental laws." Soon we all will have Government Health Care. Remember, there is no Free Government Health Care Lunch! At least at Walmart your prescriptions medications are $10/month. Speaking of meds .... nah, way to easy.

WWoftheW 10 years, 12 months ago

Wal-Mart did not deserve a building permit becuase they are a department store and your insults won't change that.

Escapee 10 years, 12 months ago

Well, I hope that when this issue is resolved, that 1)there will definitively be an answer in the the rule books of Lawrence on whether or not the city has a right to yea or nay any particular business the right to locate in Lawrence. I believe it should be the right of the community to develop the type of community they wish to live in; and 2)that physical criteria for the development of a given property is spelled out prior to a developer's bid on any given property to avoid any possibility for dispute after the purchase has taken place. In this issue, I am with Mr. Compton -- believe it or not --in that if the property was sold to him without existing criteria that prohibited the development of a particular type of business -- then it shouldn't be allowed to be changed after the fact. I don't know that this was the case, or not, for this particular piece of property. But it sure seems to me that if the 'owner' had half a brain, that all this 'discussion' regarding WalMart would surely indicate that the natives were restless and that perhaps another choice could better suit the property and the people...?

blackwalnut 10 years, 12 months ago

A city ought to be able to deny a building permit to any organization if the city determines that building would have a negative effect on citizens, for any reason.

The spin that the Journal World supports, which is that Wal-Mart, Compton, et al fulfilled every request, is not accurate. The paper has done the citizens a disservice with their poor and slanted reporting on this issue.

The notion that "property rights" - a buzzword invented by interested parties in this matter - trump citizens' and taxpayers' rights is a bogus one.

The city commission must make decisions that are in the best interests of the community as a whole. That must be true even if an individual or a company loses out.

Even if that individual is Doug Compton, and Doug Compton pulls all his insurance policies out from under Mayor Hack's husband's insurance company.

The commission is supposed to represent the citizens of the city, not a few fat cats.

peppermint 10 years, 12 months ago

What if it is discovered that some vagueness of the zoning rules, or perhaps the definition of the type of business allowed, could allow a massage parlor to slip through at 6th/Wak, or a casino, or a gay bar, or a "variety store" like a Naughty But Nice or a gun retailer? Remember, there are schools over there. If citizens came out in droves against it, or the neighborhood or school district objected, should the city commission be allowed to clarify the rules after the fact and do what they feel is best for the citizens?

Now, what if it turns out that a store applies that would generate 4 to 5x the amount of traffic the city commission envisioned when it defined the type of business that could locate there? Maybe the city should have specified "cannot create more than x amount of traffic" but they didn't envision that need. Should we go ahead and make a dangerous situation for school kids anyway?

I think that is what Home Rule is all about. The city should have the power to make the kind of city it wants.

Apparently our zoning regulations, which many complain are too restrictive, are not restrictive and specific enough.

peppermint 10 years, 12 months ago

Escapee: Cities rezone property all the time. They often rezone a property at the request of a property owner who shows up with a plan and a request for a rezoning that will allow his plan.

peppermint 10 years, 12 months ago


What is Home Rule?


In Kansas, home rule is a city's power to determine its affairs and to govern without having to rely upon a specific Kansas statute authorizing the exercise of a particular power. Home rule power has been granted to Kansas cities by the Kansas Constitution.

Article 12, Sec. 5 of the Kansas Constitution states that cities are empowered to determine their local affairs through ordinances passed by the governing body and by referendum in cases as prescribed by the Kansas Legislature. It also states that these powers are to be "liberally construed for the purpose of giving to cities the largest measure of self-government".

Cities may pass ordinances in areas not addressed by state statute or in areas not expressly pre-empted by the Kansas Legislature. Cities may also supplement state law with more stringent local regulation. They may also pass ordinances on state enactments that are not uniformly applicable to all Kansas cities through the passing of a charter ordinance.

You can read the above, here:

"liberally construed for the purpose of giving to cities the largest measure of self-government"

WWoftheW 10 years, 12 months ago

Escapee; The zoning to not allow a department store at the NW corner of 6th and Wak was already in place when Wal-Mart tried to submit plans. The city did not change the zoning in the middle of the game at that time. Later the city did use a lesser change table and limited the amount of commercial at that corner after Wal-Mart was denied. The reason being is that the corner was only supposed to have 200,000 sq ft of commercial and we are now looking at almost 500,000 sq ft at that corner. The city tried to bring the corner into complying better with the zoning that was in place at the corner and did up the amount of commercial at the corner.

Peppermint - Thanks!

Wilbur_Nether 10 years, 12 months ago

KawValleyKid noted that right_thinker was "not thinking [but] speculating." Which is a very interesting semantic distinction...and I wonder what KawValleyKid sees as the difference? And would there be a difference between speculating and wondering? I wonder if right_thinker would speculate on what KawValleyKid thinks about that? (Oh, no...where does it end?!)

peppermint 10 years, 12 months ago

It is Wal-Mart who tried to change something in the middle of the game.

Wal-Mart tired to redefine itself as a "variety store" because the city zoning forbade a "department store" at that location, and the rest is history.

I assume the city was against a department store because of amount of parking needed and the amount of traffic such a store generates. Clearly a Wal-Mart, with its high-volume business model, and its many clearly defined departments, violates the original zoning intent for that corner.

No fair for Wal-Mart reinventing itself on paper just to skirt the zoning rules. Wal-Mart and Doug Compton are just playing word games with the city.

coneflower 10 years, 12 months ago

peppermint said: "I assume the city was against a department store because of amount of parking needed and the amount of traffic such a store generates."

Exactly why I am opposed to this project in my neighborhood. I hate Wal-Mart and won't shop there, but even if the developers proposed a Target or another high-traffic-generating department store at that corner, I would still be fighting it because our kids' safety should be paramount.

roger_o_thornhill 10 years, 12 months ago

How is Mr. Brown related to this situation? It would be nice to know where he is coming from. Why he cares.

bunnyhawk 10 years, 12 months ago

Wal-Mart is evil, pure and simple.

Their priority is to completely control all retail markets. They do everything in their power to prevent manufacturers from producing goods that they don't sell. In other words, it's not enough to use their big bucks to bully towns like ours into accepting whatever they choose to cram down our throats. That's not even close to enough for those greedy devils. They actively and aggressively seek to limit the variety of goods that are available to us to choose from other retailers as well. If you value your economic freedom, you will boycot Wal-mart and you will demand that our city council tells them to take a barefoot hike back to Arkansas!

greenworld 10 years, 12 months ago

Walmart....let's see how would any people who live in trailor parks get jobs around town?

white_mountain 10 years, 12 months ago

Is he correct in saying we unfairly changed the rules for China*Mart?

And have we been sued yet?

Linda Endicott 10 years, 12 months ago

In all fairness, the term isn't something that Wal-Mart suddenly came up with on the spur of the moment. Sam Walton referred to his stores as variety stores way back in the 60s.

But you tell me what the hell the difference is between the two:

"Department store

Main Entry: department store. Function: noun : a store having separate sections for a wide variety of goods

Variety store

Main Entry: variety store Function: noun : a retail store that carries a wide variety of merchandise especially of low unit value"

What makes it even more confusing is that when Sam Walton first started out, he was operating 5 and 10 stores. His first business experience was with a Ben Franklin store he purchased. He had several Ben Franklin stores at one time, before they became Wal-Marts.

Now, what are the differences between a variety store, a department store, and a 5 and 10?

Are we dizzy yet?

And that doesn't even consider what the legal definitions are of the two. I don't know what the legal definitions are. Do any of you?

It seems to me to be purely semantics. You can call it anything you want, but any store that sells merchandise in separate departments is a department store. This as opposed to stores which sell merchandise in a particular genre, like Best Buy, Home Depot, or Hastings.

Next time you go to Wal-Mart, ask them to show you where the auto dept. is. Or the crafts dept. I'll bet they're able to show you the way there.

karensisson 10 years, 12 months ago

It seems to me to be purely semantics. You can call it anything you want, but any store that sells merchandise in separate departments is a department store. This as opposed to stores which sell merchandise in a particular genre, like Best Buy, Home Depot, or Hastings.

I think any store that has multi categories and gives more than an aisle to a category is a dept store. Does WM have a toy dept or a toy aisle?

Linda Endicott 10 years, 12 months ago

I really got a laugh out of Wal-Mart's "Buy American" promos a few years ago, when most of what you found on their shelves had Taiwan, China, Korea, India, or other country names on them.

Yeah, I remember a time when shoes were so well-made that a child would outgrow them before they could wear them out. Same with children's clothing.

I remember a time when big ticket items, like TVs, radios, and stereos, had warranties of several years. This three month stuff is ridiculous. I'd be embarrassed to market stuff if I could only guarantee it for three months.

Pretty shoddy workmanship, if you ask me. Who would buy anything substantial there if they don't want to be replacing it every three months to a year?

Sigmund 10 years, 12 months ago

Home Rule is as described by Peppermint with several large caveats. Home rule may not violate Federal or State Laws, once in place must be applied impartially, and it may not be applied after the fact. And if Blackwalnut can show that my economic analysis is incorrect I would expect more than insults.

Linda Endicott 10 years, 12 months ago

I don't know that Best Buy has been claiming not to be a department store.

But it's still not the same as Wal-Mart. Best Buy is solely for electronics items and things related to that...TVs, video games, DVDs, computers...etc.

They don't sell tires, or auto parts, or clothing, or garden supplies, or food, or toys (except for the electronic ones), crafts, camping supplies, cleaning supplies, kitchen supplies, health and beauty products, jewelry, baby supplies, pet supplies, paper products, etc. Wal-Mart does.

How does this not make them a department store?

karensisson 10 years, 12 months ago

Pilgrim said, And the next time you go to Best Buy, ask them where the computer department is. Or the home theatre department, or the appliances department, or the audio department, or the digital camera department. I guess that makes Best Buy a department store too, eh?

Good God, man, is it obvious to everyone but you? Those are all ELECTRONICS!!!

Wal-Mart has an electronics department, a food department, a garden department, a clothing department, a housewares department, an auto department, a sporting goods department...


karensisson 10 years, 12 months ago

Sigmund: Getting tired? You're way, way, way off topic now. Have fun.

blackwalnut 10 years, 12 months ago

Sigmund (Anonymous) says: Walmart is simply leading the way to Government Paid for Health Care.

Wal-Mart is a huge cause of taxpayer funded health care AND food stamps, because its employees are on the dole in droves. Some Wal-Mart stores have an employee whose job is to help employees obtain social services. People should be holding Wal-Mart accountable for this.

This is why people say there is a hidden cost to Wal-Mart's low prices. Those who can't wait for the sales tax revenue to roll in, should be ready to pay it all out again in the form of taxpayer-funded health care and food stamps.

You can google up these facts about Wal-Mart's reliance on taxpayer-funded social services for its employees.

Linda Endicott 10 years, 12 months ago

Politics be damned. Politics really has nothing to do with it.

People who are against Wal-Mart are against it because they see how the company screws people over, including their own employees. And their customers.

But you want to bring yet another Wal-Mart in, so they can do this in Lawrence on a grander scale.

Linda Endicott 10 years, 12 months ago

Does Home Depot sell food? Do they sell baby supplies? Toys? Shoes? Electronics? Jewelry?

Home Depot is a specialty store, selling items related to home improvement. Any clothing they sell is related to that specialty.

Wal-Mart sells everything that the other stores do, combined, though not in the same volume nor with the same quality.

Again, Pilgrim, is Home Depot planning to build another store on 6th? Are they claiming not to be a dept. store, so that zoning already in place won't apply to them?

You're comparing apples and oranges.

karensisson 10 years, 12 months ago

A Home Depot would bring too much traffic to 6th/Wak.

The point about whether it's a department store is moot. It's a question of traffic. I don't think the zoning ever cared exactly what a proposed store would sell; it's the amount of parking & traffic that they hoped to control by forbidding a department store.

Bubbles 10 years, 12 months ago

Why is the traffic at 6th & Wak more important than the 4 way cluster f--k at 31st and Louisiana? Thousands of cars have to negotiate 4 $200 stop signs while other insignificant intersections recieve $100,000 roundies.

karensisson 10 years, 12 months ago

Bubble: It is not more important. That mess on Louisiana is terrible. Does that mean we should duplicate that mess in another part of town?

I don't know if they can fix Louisiana. I was trying to shop at Checkers after 5 the other day and it is just awful. I hope the city will learn something from past mistakes.

Sigmund 10 years, 12 months ago

Well there you go. The inescapable conclusion bumper sticker logic!

Linda Endicott 10 years, 12 months ago

When a Wal-Mart store closes, they frequently refuse to sell the building. Even when they do, they often put a no-competition clause in, so that no other store can move into the old building and compete against them.

One of the old Wal-Mart store here now is filled by Orschelin's. Since they deal mainly with farming supplies and related items, they're not much competition for Wal-Mart.

The other old store was split into three separate sections. It now houses The Dollar Store, Goodwill, and Goody's, none of which are competition for Wal-Mart.

Richard Heckler 10 years, 12 months ago

Large scale retail projects in the town of Blacksburg, Virginia will face a lot more scrutiny because of a new zoning law passed yesterday. On May 14, 2007, Sprawl-Busters reported that the town of Blacksburg was going to vote on land use ordinance 1450, which would limit the size of retail buildings in town to 80,000 s.f. Larger buildings would require a special use permit issued by the town council. Jubilant residents tell Sprawl-Busters today that they have at least succeeded in getting their zoning law passed. "Last night, after a marathon 5-hour public hearing," citizens wrote, "the Blacksburg Town Council passed, by a 7-0 vote, an ordinance that will require a special use permit for any retail over 80,000 square feet. A grassroots effort by Blacksburg United for Responsible Growth (BURG) brought in petitions with over 3,500 signatures. This was more than the total number of votes cast in the last, hotly contested, mayoral election. Speakers at the hearing in favor of the ordinance outnumbered those opposed by a ratio of 8 to 1. Almost all of the opposition to the ordinance came from individuals with a direct stake in a development on South Main Street that includes a Wal-Mart Supercenter. The ordinance gives us the breathing room we need to have the thorough study and public discussion of the best way of regulating big box development. We will be looking at ways to strengthen the protections of the new ordinance.

Linda Endicott 10 years, 12 months ago

But Wal-Mart, unlike a lot of other stores, can have a store that loses money. Because there are so many of them, and some in other locations make more profit, they can afford to have losses at some locations.

For awhile, anyway...but what happens when they decide they can't handle the loss anymore. Then they pull out and leave the community high and dry.

It's happened in other places.

What is so all-fired important about having two Wal-Marts in Lawrence? Isn't one enough?

greenworld 10 years, 12 months ago

lets face it people, what Walmart is doing shouldnt be as a surprise to anybody. They dont pay their employees anything, dept managers probably make between 10-1050 an hr and from all of the lawsuits that various women have filed they get paid even less and proved it in court and won. God, you nasty bastards you. Jippin those woman like that, shame on you. Anyway they have the money to mass buy goods or bulk buy items at a very low price and sell them not at a high cost but rather a middle of the line cost which means profit in the millions folks. this isnt rocket science, this is just the ability to overrun the show and turn the lights out on a few people. Hey Kmart couldnt stick around so what it comes down to is money talks and BS walks...

peppermint 10 years, 12 months ago

Marion, here you are again, contributing little of substance and adding lots of filler material: slurs, insults and name-calling. You must know that it doesn't add any credibility to your posts to constantly call perfect strangers insulting names. In fact it's childish.

crazyks: Wal-Mart did what you describe in a community where one of my relatives lives. Left a big ugly building unattended, didn't water the lawn or cut the dead weeds or fix broken windows or wash anything. But kept the lease up for three more years so that no other store could move in and compete with their Sam's Club. Empty, neglected building right smack in the middle of the highest-traffic street in town. The city tried to make them keep it up, but you know, Wal-Mart has bigger lawyers and the little town couldn't afford to make them comply.

coneflower 10 years, 12 months ago

crazyks: Where I used to live, a smaller town than Lawrence, the WM abandoned a huge building for over two years to build a superstore in another location. They had torn out houses to build their first building. It finally became a Lowe's - not attractive, but an improvement over the abandoned WM.

Within a year of WM coming to that town, at least a dozen family-owned businesses folded - stores that had been there for many decades and generations. It became common to see it in the newspaper, people being interviewed, lifelong employees laid off, people crying. Especially sad was the combination hardware and toy store where people had bought their toys for generations. Now there are 3 Wal-Marts in a town of 50,000 - each one bigger and uglier than its predecessor. Why can't they at least make attractive buildings? I've never seen a Wal-Mart that was anything but ugly.

Jayhawkbanker 10 years, 11 months ago

We dont need another Wal Mart, give up darnit. I hate wal-mart as it is. They give their money to some organziations that are not charities and I don't agree with giving money to HUGEEEE groups that support ideas and lifestyles that I don't support.

pace 10 years, 7 months ago

The figures are so bogus .This isn't even about Walmart, what is this guy trying? So all the purchases that could of been made at Walmart 2# if it had been built, just weren't made so we lost our portion of the sales tax on the items. Just maybe some of the items were bought different stores in town.

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