Archive for Monday, June 22, 2009

Eudora downtown improvements don’t produce desired results

Four businesses have left since construction concluded

Buildings sit empty in downtown Eudora between 714 and 724 Main St.

Buildings sit empty in downtown Eudora between 714 and 724 Main St.

June 22, 2009

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Downtown Eudora struggling

With several businesses moving out of downtown, some Eudora residents are concerned. Enlarge video

— It wasn't supposed to work this way.

The $1.4 million spent on improvements to Eudora’s Main Street was supposed to lead to more foot traffic and a more attractive setting that might attract businesses.

But in the months since the project was completed, Curves, Cutter's Smokehouse and Coffee Talk have left.

Then last week, Madame Hatter's Tea Room owner Bonnie Freeland announced she would move her business to Bonner Springs in July.

Counting an already-empty building, there will be five vacant buildings on the east side of Main Street.

The owners of Black Lodge Recording Studio are also selling their downtown building.

The businesses left for reasons ranging from lack of revenue to better business opportunities elsewhere.

It was the latter for Freeland, who will have more space in downtown Bonner Springs. And so, she can expand the catering and special events side of her business.

“It's really hard to run a busy business in this building, space-wise,” Freeland said. “If you get behind in dishes, there's no place to put them, and when the dining room is full there's no place to walk and move around.”

She said she can seat about 50 people now. Her new location will allow her to seat about 72, plus about 12 more on a patio.

A lack of business also contributed to her decision to move.

Downtown Eudora Business Association President Tina Montgomery said she understood that Freeland was doing what was best for her business and that she hoped to see retail businesses fill up the empty buildings.

“Retail is what's going to bring foot traffic and revenue that the city so desperately needs,” Montgomery said.

She hoped the impending spike in traffic that likely will come with the Kansas Turnpike interchange between Eudora and Tonganoxie would help.

Freeland had been at her location on the corner of Seventh and Main streets for about five years. She began looking for a new location about a year ago and when the word got out, area towns began to recruit her.

“Some of these other towns have economic developers and if they hear you're looking to leave, they come after you,” Freeland said.

The Eudora City Council committed $90,000 in the 2009 budget to economic development efforts. Engineering and planning firm Bucher, Willis and Ratliff will conduct studies and site evaluations.

However, the city does not have a full-time position dedicated to recruitment.

“It's terrible that we haven't done enough with our downtown and gotten further along with our redevelopment that we can't hold on to people,” said Heather Noble, who owns Broers Flower Shop.

Comments

Practicality 5 years, 9 months ago

What about this One_Eyed Wilbur? Are you still singing the praises of Arkdora now? What are they saying at the Gilded Monkey Cage about this?

1029 5 years, 9 months ago

I'm glad to see Eudorianites ran Curves out of town. A strip club has no place in a wholesome Christian community like Eudora. I know some people in my church were circulating petitions to get that place shut down, and I proudly signed my name several times on each. Good things happen when good Christians come together to stand up for what's right.

Alexander Neighbors 5 years, 9 months ago

Curves is not a strip club its a place where large women can go exercise with other large women !...

eotw33 5 years, 9 months ago

Since when is Curves a strip club? You might want to check what your petitioning before you petition it. No wonder they left, they felt like all the "good christians" (as opposed to bad christians?) hated fat people

Alexander Neighbors 5 years, 9 months ago

This is why those businesses left........The Education level of Eudorians is not that high................

igby 5 years, 9 months ago

This made me laugh so hard that I puked!

('<`)~~~~~~~~~

Mike Blur 5 years, 9 months ago

"Eudorianites?"

Isn't "Eudorans" simple enough? Or are the "Eudorianites" their own race of people? Judging by 1029's badly misinformed, moronic post, maybe "Eudorianites" does apply.

And hopefully the good Christian "Eudorianites" can stay there.

Mike Blur 5 years, 9 months ago

The founder of Curves International, Gary Heavin, is, ironically enough, a born-again Christian who contributes heavily to anti-abortion causes.

Eudorianites must be completely whacko to drive one of their own out of town.

bigun539 5 years, 9 months ago

Eudora hasn't wasted any money on a round about. hmmmmmmmmmmmm....

Richard Heckler 5 years, 9 months ago

Eudora will become/remain bedroom community = dollars will be spent elsewhere. Like Lawrence, Eudora is getting in to big a hurry. There simply are not enough retail dollars to support the over retailed of both areas.

The cost of living will increase steadily at more than the normal rate of 4% which should tell Eudora citizens it's time to rein in growth until Eudora catches up with itself.

Bring in to downtown Lands End,Banana Republican, a movie house,natural food grocery store,hardware store,line the streets with antique stores and bring in some music = success. How can Eudora make themselves attractive.... practical rent not high dollar like Lawrence.

lawrencelifer 5 years, 9 months ago

Hey all,

1029 is yanking your chain. He or she knows that Curves is a women's fitness facility . . . . and he or she is as anti-Christian as some others on here. Nice set-up for another anti-Christian rant . . .

Alabamastreet 5 years, 9 months ago

"eotw33 (Anonymous) says… Since when is Curves a strip club?"

Uh, how do you think people get into their exercise clothes? Nudity.

BenA 5 years, 9 months ago

$1.4 million dollars wasted. This is what happens when the government thinks they know what will be best for the private sector. I expect to do-gooder Lawrencians to throw money at something worthless (like roundabouts), but I thought the Eudora people were a little more opposed to government involvement.

BigPrune 5 years, 9 months ago

Unfortunately, downtown Eudora is too small. What Eudora needs is a lifestyle center built on its outskirts. Something that is nicer and offers more than Lawrence's downtown. Something theme based that would draw folks from all over the area or country. Someone should revitalize the Oz Theme Park and move it further west into Douglas County. Then, Lawrence will regret its restrictive anti-business ways.

BigPrune 5 years, 9 months ago

On a more serious note, the businesses that left downtown Eudora were most likely hurt by the construction cutting off the customers to their stores. You always see this especially when KDOT is involved in redoing intersections or widening roads - because their projects take months longer to complete for some reason (gubment workers?). The delays hurt business. Look at how many existing businesses left the 6th & Wakarusa area after enduring the months and months of road construction and eventual closing off of access points. Lots of rent has to be paid even if it is virtually impossible for customers to visit businesses.

kmat 5 years, 9 months ago

mike_blur (Mike Blur) says…

“Eudorianites?”

Isn't “Eudorans” simple enough? Or are the “Eudorianites” their own race of people? _____

I worked in there years ago and we referred to the residents as Eudorkians.

The people in Eudorkia come to Lawrence to shop because it's a short drive and the downtown has been dead for a long time. Heck, the hardware store couldn't even make it down there. Eudora is nothing more than a little bit cheaper housing option for KC commuters that want that small town feeling.

SusieCreamcheeze 5 years, 9 months ago

FYI - The hardware store was pushed out by the Quilt store people......But everyone in Eudora knows that Eudorans will not support local busness....This includes the "chamber"- that would be Sunflower broadband and the World Comp..one in the same and a few local busnesses. When you open a busness in Eudora, the locals come by to wish you luck and inform you that you will not last due to lack of support...Sorry to see the Tea Room go.

A lower rent base would help

Alia Ahmed 5 years, 9 months ago

funny, 1029. I could almost imagine that coming out of the mouth of SNL's church lady!

RoeDapple 5 years, 9 months ago

Hate to say it! oneeye_wilbur wins!

"wilbur is more interested in the vendor license in lawrence for wilbur's one eyed hot dogs"

RoeDapple 5 years, 9 months ago

Always look forward to your posts wilbur!........

....also non-resident of Larryville...........

RoeDapple 5 years, 9 months ago

the beer must be flowing freely and tasting great at the 'Cage' today. Not used to this many posts from you (wilbur) per day, let alone one article.

Leslie Swearingen 5 years, 9 months ago

What is it with you Christian haters? It is like 1st century all over again! Deju vu, big time! Not man enough to make a comment about a Muslim. No, you know what would happen then? Maybe we Catholics should storm the gates like the Muslim community does when there faith is insulted. Eudora could disappear from the face of the earth and no one would notice. I mean why hasn't it been incorporated into Lawrence? Instead of building west, build east for a chance.

Bandwife75 5 years, 9 months ago

Yes call me a transplanted Eudorian but personally I love living here. I agree the it is a small bedroom community but sometimes that nice that you have no one all in your business or your yuppie neighbor is to scared to come out and introduce themselves to you. How many have you have ever walked downtown and talked with the business owners? Maybe you should try it. Some of those business owners are very nice down to earth people. Maybe should have a talk with Mayor Scott on a Sunday morning when he is getting ready to do a benefit run for the Make-a-Wish foundation for children and hear what he has planned for the community. There are all kinds of things that go on in this town from CPA Festival in July, Eudorafest in October, A 5k run sponsored by LMH in October, Haunted House in CPA park on Halloween but what I have noticed is if it's not related around KU or has a KU sponsor or KU player appearances no one wants to come out. I will continue to support my downtown business from Kaw Valley Bank to DC Cycles.

Calliope877 5 years, 9 months ago

Wilbur,

A calliope isn't a merry go round, it's a musical instrument (although I guess sometimes they can be found in the middle of a merry go round, but I haven't seen one of those in years), and it's also the name of one of the greek muses (the muse for epic poetry and song)...but that's besides the point.

I don't drink much anymore, but thanks anyway. And even if I did feel like havin' a cold one, I'd go to our downtown to have one, not Eudora. No offense, of course.

KansasPerson 5 years, 9 months ago

The_Original_Bob (Anonymous) says…

"Some of you all might want to change the batteries in your sarcasmometer and read 1029's post again."

Yes. Their first clue might be "proudly signed my name several times on each." Careful reading can bring more humor into your life, folks!

And don't blame Eudora for the Curves closing. They are closing all over the place and (last I read) the company was in serious financial trouble.

introversion 5 years, 9 months ago

And here I was, pissed that a strip club apparently came and went in Eudora and I didn't hear about it until it was too late...

kawvalleybulldog 5 years, 9 months ago

Anthony's Diner is a nice new place in downtown Eudora, and they have $5.50 dinner specials that will blow your mind! check it out!!!

Alia Ahmed 5 years, 9 months ago

Wilbur,

I grew up in a small town and think there are many benefits to raising children in a small town. I now live in Lawrence and have lived in Chicago and have found value in living in these cities. I don't think everyone in Lawrence looks down on on Eudora. There's a saying, "Wherever you go, there you are" and I think most people are only go to be as happy as they allow themselves to be, no matter where they live.

akt2 5 years, 9 months ago

New schools. No fees to send your kids to school. No fees for your child to ride the bus. They actually shuttle the kids around to the schools. Whatever school your child lives closest to is where they catch the shuttle, or get dropped off in the afternoon. Excellent teachers and staff. Huge reasons to live in Eudora.

Alia Ahmed 5 years, 9 months ago

Wilbur, I never implied the people of Eudora looked up to Lawrence. You're right, I'm missing something. I just don't understand what's to be gained by holding animosity toward another city, bigger or smaller. My point is be happy wherever you live and don't worry about what other people think of your community as long as you are happy with it. But, most of all be yourself.

bonnett1961 5 years, 9 months ago

I think all the business that have left Eudora were for different reasons. Sure there could be more foot traffic and support from the locals. Some great places are leaving. Hope the new locations these places end up in realize what geat businesses they are getting. I hope the best for Eudora and the remaining business. Maybe you all should go over and patronize them???

bonnett1961 5 years, 9 months ago

Oh and by the way. Good article done by David Oaks,

teri pettengill 5 years, 9 months ago

I still think it is funny that they think the new turnpike interchange is going to be the answer to all their prayers. The only people who are going to use that exchange is the Eudora people from the south and Tongie people from the north. Why would anyone else use it? Maybe to deliver goods to the downtown Eudora businesses? Oh wait, there aren't any, thats right.

kansasmutt 5 years, 9 months ago

Sounds as if some have not been to Eudora for some time. They have quite a few businesses and yes a few spaces for new ones as well. Great Food joints and Custom Bike shop. Flower shop and beer store.They even have a Hardware store.The new exit off of I70 will be sending about 5,000 new cars down to Eudora every day.People who used to go to K-7 now can opt off early and head down to olathe, Gardener and other spots to the south.This would be a great time for a business to set up shop in a less costly storefront in Downtown Eudora. A new Coffee Shop , new specialty shop , lots of great ideas can be filled.Eudora is a great litl town and has lots to offer.Just another note. Cutters Smokehouse got hosed and will come back soon.

Deja Coffin 5 years, 9 months ago

***Does anyone know what's going on between Mclouth and Tonganoxie? There have been 7 fire trucks that have drove by my house plus 2 ambulances. Just curioius!**

Deja Coffin 5 years, 9 months ago

Figured it out, bad house fire just outside of Mclouth. My thoughts are with the family and I pray there are no injuries.

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