Deciphera Pharmaceuticals has nixed plans to expand at the East Hills Business Park following significant community outcry over how the city approved a package of economic development incentives for the start-up company.
In a letter to city, county and chamber leaders Deciphera executives stated: "In light of recent community discussion regarding the appropriate use and timing of public incentives, we feel it is in the best interests of both Deciphera and the Lawrence community to postpone any investment in public incentives in Deciphera at this time."
Deciphera officials said they have renewed the lease at its existing laboratory in West Lawrence. The company did not rule out seeking future public incentives from the community.
The chamber, city and county issued a joint statement expressing disappointment in the company's decision, but said it would be open to working with the company in the future.
"We continue to support a strong Deciphera presence in Lawrence and will seek to encourage future expansion opportunities at the appropriate time," the group said in the statement.
The package of economic development incentives - valued at more than $1 million over a 10-year period - included a never-before-used tax rebate provision for the company. The tax rebate provision was never publicly discussed in a City Commission meeting, but was explained to commissioners during a closed-door executive session. The closed-door executive session eventually was determined to be ruled illegal under the Kansas Open Meetings Act.