Archive for Thursday, August 13, 2009

Tractor Supply Co. to open Lawrence store

Tractor Supply Co. is the first tenant to agree to move to the future site of an east Lawrence retail center. The business sells farming supplies and equipment. The retail center is still seeking other businesses to fill the area.

August 13, 2009

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A little bit of the country will be coming to eastern Lawrence’s newest retail center.

The national chain Tractor Supply Co. has signed a deal to become the first tenant in a new retail center near 23rd Street and O’Connell Drive.

The farm and home retailer plans to build a nearly 20,000-square-foot store south of Kansas Highway 10 between O’Connell and Franklin roads.

“This is a company that has had Lawrence on its radar screen for quite a while,” said Bill Newsome, who is leading the Lawrence group that is developing the retail area. “We’re excited to have them.”

Attempts to reach a representative of the Brentwood, Tenn.-based retailer weren’t immediately successful. But according to the company’s Web site, the stores aren’t just for farmers. Only about 10 percent of the company’s customer base are full-time farmers and ranchers. The majority of customers are rural or suburban homeowners who need various equipment or supplies to maintain their property.

The stores stock a variety of merchandise such as welders, generators, mowers, power tools, garden products, workwear, pet supplies, and fencing and livestock equipment, according to the Web site.

Newsome expects the store to generate more interest in the area from other retailers. The store will require two roads to be built to serve the property, which currently is farm and pasture ground.

“We think that will spur other demand and will push the demand closer to becoming reality,” Newsome said.

The property still has room for one large retailer and about a half-dozen other smaller retailers, according to plans filed with the city. Newsome said his group remains optimistic the large retail site will be filled by a grocery store.

Newsome said the smaller retail sites are good candidates for fast-food type of restaurants, and also for the types of neighborhood businesses that traditionally open next to grocery stores.

“As difficult as things are with the economy, we’re still getting phone calls about the property,” Newsome said. “It is well-situated. At the end of the day, I think people see there is a need for services out there.”

Representatives of Tractor Supply Co. recently have filed development plans with the city. Lawrence-Douglas County Planner Sandra Day said the property already has an industrial zoning that will allow the store to operate and also will allow the company to have certain amount of outdoor retail display space for items like fencing and livestock equipment.

The store is not expected to be a large enough traffic generator to require a stop light for the 23rd and O’Connell intersection, Day said.

Newsome said he believes the store would open next spring. Construction on the store and roads could begin in the next 45 days, he said.

The Tractor Supply development comes at the same time that Orscheln Farm and Home has filed plans to build a new store near its current location at 1541 E. 23rd Street. Day said those plans are still on track to receive city approval.

Comments

persevering_gal 5 years, 7 months ago

I guess this means no more K-State farm jokes

Richard Heckler 5 years, 7 months ago

Does that mean bye bye Orchleans Farm Supply? Bring in one new business to put another out of buisness = economic displacement = zero net gain = bad for business = bad for taxpayers

By Kim McClure

July 24, 2009

The July 14 editorial asks, “What’s downtown going to look like five, 10 or 15 years from now?” The answer can be known, and the picture is not pretty.

Lawrence has enough spending to support about 4.1 million square feet of retail space, but the City Commission permitted developers to expand the supply to over 5.5 million square feet.

Lawrence has too much retail space chasing too few vendors, which means that many stores go empty, especially in the older shopping centers like downtown.

The surplus development has stalled redevelopment plans downtown and has pushed the vacancy rates so high that disinvestment and blight now threaten. Investment, both public and private, is wasted. The taxpayers’ $8 million parking garage stands largely empty. The Hobbs-Taylor building and the 600 block of Massachusetts should be the top performing spaces in the community, but they have significant vacancies.

The recession has contributed to the problem, but had we properly managed our growth we would be much better off.

The developers’ short-term gain is now our long-term loss. Managed growth would have prevented much of the problem and would have protected and enhanced our downtown.

It will take many, many years to absorb this surplus space and, until this happens, it will be hard for downtown to compete. We can only look forward to many years of high vacancy and disinvestment. We need a City Commission that knows how to pace the growth of supply so as to protect our unique downtown.

McClure is from Lawrence

http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2009/jul/24/retail-space/?letters_to_editor

Can the new buisness make it in a flooded market? Where is the market to supply two stores in the same end of town?

LogicMan 5 years, 7 months ago

Woo hoo! They sell good stuff. A new toy store for real men and women. :-)

But I agree, Orchlens' days here are likely numbered.

LogicMan 5 years, 7 months ago

But wouldn't the old Food-4-Less be a better/faster-to-open location?

Zachary Stoltenberg 5 years, 7 months ago

Merril,

"Lawrence has too much retail space chasing too few vendors, which means that many stores go empty, especially in the older shopping centers like downtown."

I hate to burst your bubble but the reason new businesses don't move downtown is the nightmare the city puts you through, not because the buildings are old. The bureaucracy, red tape, expense, and time it takes to get approval for a project downtown make it much more attractive for a business to relocate to the edge of town and build a new building.

Out of curiosity, where would you propose location 20,000 s.f. of retail downtown? Don't criticize without an alternative.

Steve Jacob 5 years, 7 months ago

That is good news, new strip malls all over at empty. Orchleans for sure is in trouble.

Aisling 5 years, 7 months ago

I'm sorry, I tried to let this go and I just can't (yes I know that means I should probably get a life) but it is 'Orscheln Farm & Home' not 'Orchleans' or 'Orchlen's'. okay, carry on.

average 5 years, 7 months ago

If TSC wants a fight with Orscheln, they'll win. Honestly, there's room for two farm/garden stores in the market. With the new competition, Orscheln would do much better moving to North-of-the-river, 6th and K-10 (plenty of semi-rural around both), or even the old Food-4-Less (at least until the SLT is finished). Unfortunately for them, they apparently own their current building and land, including the land they've bought for expansion. Virtually no chance of finding a new business for it, either, so they're going to hurt.

puddleglum 5 years, 7 months ago

yeah! mmmmmmmore corporate chain stores and fast food places....we are really running low on fast food places. and we also need more big box stores that sell inferior chinese-built crap. can't wait.

Zachary Stoltenberg 5 years, 7 months ago

puddle,

Maybe K-Mart could move into the old food for less!

puddleglum 5 years, 7 months ago

that would be neat.

they would probably just bring another tornado, though.

clarkentsman 5 years, 7 months ago

Orscheln Farm & Home actually wanted to move to the old Food 4 Less building but the commercial zoning ordinances/restrictions would not allow the outside storage that they need. Also, it contains 35,000 square feet - much larger than what either one of these users need under roof.

Evan Ridenour 5 years, 7 months ago

"Newsome said the smaller retail sites are good candidates for fast-food type of restaurants, and also for the types of neighborhood businesses that traditionally open next to grocery stores."

Read: Liquor store

LogicMan 5 years, 7 months ago

"Maybe K-Mart could move into the old food for less!"

"they would probably just bring another tornado, though."

And some unfortunate guy in the back of the store would refuse to take cover.

With the distribution center nearby it seems that a K-Mart scratch and dent store would be quite do-able at the old Food-4-Less.

cowboy 5 years, 7 months ago

Woo hoo..... This is great. Orscheln's is about the most sorry excuse for a farm store as I have ever seen and in the last couple years the service there has been nothing but terrible. they better get a new attitude and some decent staff or TSC will put em under.

Richard Heckler 5 years, 7 months ago

Don't need another 20,000 sq ft of NEW retail space in Lawrence anywhere.

Lawrence,Kansas taxpayers cannot afford another new retailer in Lawrence Kansas because economic displacement = anti economic growth = increased taxes and increased user fees = wreckanomics.

More new retail does not magically create more available retail dollars BUT does consistently increase taxes and user fees.

Flooded retail markets are bad for new and existing business = not enough profit to go around = wreckanomics.

mom_of_three 5 years, 7 months ago

Now if George Strait would come and open it, it would be just about perfect

imastinker 5 years, 7 months ago

Any of you complaining about Orschelns actually shopped there? I have and wouldn't miss them if they did leave. The store was cluttered and hard to find things. When I was able to find things, they were out of some fitting or part needed to finish the job and I had to go somewhere else anyway - only to find out that prices were much cheaper at the other store.

average 5 years, 7 months ago

Orscheln seemed aware that their store here wasn't keeping up, thus the new building plans. TSC is indeed the bigger/better store. But, Orscheln did have a niche of customers. If they didn't own the land/building on 23rd, again I'd suggest that there are a lot of hobby farms, etc, north of the river between Perry and Tonganoxie who might go to a closer store over a better one.

Steve Miller 5 years, 7 months ago

If anyone in the system would wake up to the fact that traffic is bottle knecked so bad within lawrence. It needs the bypass connected to be able to make the "circle" around the entire town to allow access anywhere easily. i for noe try to avoid lawrence due to 23rd street jamb ups ect. Get the bypass completed and connected to make the circle. Until this happens, good bye downtown.. hello perimeter business. glad to be ale to access you easily.

Steve Miller 5 years, 7 months ago

If anyone in the system would wake up to the fact that traffic is bottle knecked so bad within lawrence. It needs the bypass connected to be able to make the "circle" around the entire town to allow access anywhere easily. i for one try to avoid lawrence due to 23rd street jamb ups ect. Get the bypass completed and connected to make the circle. Until this happens, good bye downtown.. hello perimeter business. glad to be able to access you easily.

Steve Miller 5 years, 7 months ago

Besides all of the above, orsch. needs the competition, they have poor selection as well as poor service and no one knows anything about the farming needs, it has turned into a city farmers haven.

labmonkey 5 years, 7 months ago

I wasn't impressed when I went to Orschelns. I like TSC because they usually fill up the large, abandoned buildings left behind by Wal-Mart when they decide they need to take over more of the world (I know this isn't the case in Lawrence, but is very much so in other towns). Plus I can ususally find an American-made item of what I need at TSC whereas I was very disappointed when I went to Orschelns.

Steve Miller 5 years, 7 months ago

You see alot of "R.O.C. " stamped on alot of orsc. items. TSC rocks...

true_patriot 5 years, 7 months ago

TSC is fine, though the complain about lots of new unfilled retail space when the area is already rampant with unfilled retails space is valid. That area needs a grocery store, there's nothing out there.

Be3, if you've been downtown at all recently, you'd know it wasn't dying at all. I've been very surprised the past few years at how crowded it is even on weeknights - I'm not sure what, but something has actually caused a surge in activity downtown over the past few years.

Thats_messed_up 5 years, 7 months ago

Merrill you are the worst broken record I've ever heard! Take your meds!

Flap Doodle 5 years, 7 months ago

Can you get a good deal on a lawn mower at TSC?

LogicMan 5 years, 7 months ago

"usually fill up the large, abandoned buildings left behind by Wal-Mart"

In Lawrence, Sears is in that building already and hopefully can stay around.

Any one know if Wal-Mart still owns their old building (and is leasing it to Sears)?

zettapixel 5 years, 4 months ago

Talk Whataburger into moving in next to Tractor Supply!

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