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Letters to the Editor

No gains

August 31, 2010

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To the editor:

Economics offers much to teach us. Dolph Simons’ Saturday Column of Aug. 28 states that Lowe’s would add sales taxes, jobs and property taxes. Economics shows this to be incorrect.

There is a finite number of people and income in Lawrence to provide demand for home improvement and other retail goods. Sales taxes are paid by consumers; vendors simply pass them through. Lowe’s would not add any people or income, so there would not be any additional sales tax revenues. The revenues from Lowe’s would simply be taken away from other stores.

Retail jobs depend upon spending, and the count of retail jobs have been going down slowly over time. Lowe’s would not change this. There would be a momentary increase in property tax revenues, but ultimately, the aggregate value of retail property depends upon spending, not the number of buildings. Lowe’s would not change this, and after a period of time, other stores would suffer a loss of value with no net gain to the city’s tax base.

For too long, the City Commission let retail space grow much faster than the growth of demand for that space. This is too bad. The surplus is causing blight and disinvestment throughout the retail districts of the city. Given this problem, there is no gain in adding to the surplus, and it will be a long time before we can absorb another home improvement center. The Planning Commission was right to stop Lowe’s.

We should learn from economics and plan accordingly.

Kirk McClure,

Lawrence

Comments

Richard Heckler 3 years, 7 months ago

Any Lowe's that comes to Lawrence will be built for a small town aka downsized. Lowe's will NOT build a KCMO metro size store in Lawrence,Kansas. That means choices will be limited just like Home Depot.

Lawrence does not offer regional buying power it's as simple as that.

Lawrence is surrounded by many many many home improvement store corporations that will provide more choices and maybe better prices.

I believe that KCMO metro is becoming over saturated just like the rest of america. Not only that they building mall areas that resemble the Plaza.

One day residents will wake up and realize they are paying out so much money in taxes to new development that is doing them no good.

What do we need close to home? 1. Grocery store/drug store 2. Gas station or two 3. Hardware store

Why build a new home improvement store in a sea of brand new homes? Are these new homes falling apart?

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Clevercowgirl 3 years, 7 months ago

Being the child of two econ. professors, and having grown up in the academic environment, I feel qualified to jump into this discussion. Professors are obviously highly qualified in their areas of expertise. They are experts in theory, and without them, our knowledge as a society in a given subject would not significantly move forward. They are the ones that create and test theories, and help us better understand the world around us.

As we all know, only a small percentage of theories hold true under study, and fewer hold true in practice for a given geographic area. Every area has its own unique demographics and economic variables. While we can probably all agree on certain theories such as supply and demand, and economic cycles, we tend to dissagree on how to manage these variables.

Obviously some planning and zoning is needed to make a city grow in a cohesive, orderly manner. I think that we go astray when we try to impose a lifestyle or set of beliefs as a model for city planning. I don't think it is appropriate or effective for those espousing a walkability, buy local, or low growth model to impose this as a policy on the community. These things are better implemented on a personal level. Imposing rules on who can be in business, or how many of a given type should be in business is playing with fire. We should govern by consensus, not theory.

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Richard Heckler 3 years, 7 months ago

Shopping malls indoor or outdoor most always become dinosaurs as is evident by all the dinosaurs around the USA. Schools and downtowns hang in there.

Bottom line : this Baur Farms project is a losing deal which never should have been approved. As the letter states there are only so many retail dollars in any town.... Lawrence,Kansas is no different.Tenants are not running to Baur Farms UNLESS they get local big government tax dollars and creative sales tax swindles oops I mean schemes.

Lawrence would have been better off building a Vo-Tech campus, a business school and developing an Art and Design School for those who are NOT KU inclined instead of building and expanding a high tax dollar bedroom community which will never pay for itself.

Education is among the strongest and most reliable industries in the USA. During down times people go back to school,enter school for the first time or perhaps go for the Masters or a PhD.

After graduating college some need VoTech to develop a skill = a good paying job. It's a great combination I'd say.

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George Lippencott 3 years, 7 months ago

merrill (anonymous) says…

You have an interest in the status quo. Why should we believe anything you write?

As for the professor - he is a learned man. So are others who hold different beliefs.

That is the problem with using "experts" to set public policy. Your end up having to sort them out and in the end the bias that would have been without them wins out because they are seldom definitive.

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Richard Heckler 3 years, 7 months ago

For all that believe it is okay for others to lose their jobs should a Lowe's come to town is being short sighted and insensitive.

Repairing streets and sidewalks creates new jobs without risking jobs and taxes elsewhere. Local spending can increase etc etc.

Again Lowe's is looking for local big government tax dollar hand outs plus being part of the Community Improvement District Sales Tax = who wants to pay additional sales taxes?

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notajayhawk 3 years, 7 months ago

Wow! It's a good thing merrill doesn't ever have anything original to say, and just cross-posts the same spam full of canned links on every thread. Allows him to catch up with his quota quickly when he's been away for a day or two.

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Richard Heckler 3 years, 7 months ago

Second Stimulus

Op-Ed Contributor Why We Need a Second Stimulus By LAURA TYSON Published: August 28, 2010

By next year, the stimulus will end, and the flip from fiscal support to fiscal contraction could shave one to two percentage points off the growth rate at a time when the unemployment rate is still well above 9 percent. Under these circumstances, the economic case for additional government spending and tax relief is compelling. Sadly, polls indicate that the political case is not.

Two forms of spending with the biggest and quickest bang for the buck are unemployment benefits and aid to state governments. The federal government should pledge generous financing increases for both programs through 2011.

Federal aid to the states is especially important because they finance education. Although the jobs crisis is primarily a crisis of demand, it also reflects a mismatch between the education of the work force and the education required for jobs in today’s economy. Consider how the unemployment rate varies by education level: it’s more than 14 percent for those without a high school degree, under 10 percent for those with one, only about 5 percent for those with a college degree and even lower for those with advanced degrees.

The supply of college graduates is not keeping pace with demand. Therefore, more investment in education could reduce both the cyclical unemployment rate, as more Americans stay in school, and the structural unemployment rate, as they graduate into the job market.

An increase in government investment in roads, airports and other kinds of public infrastructure would be cost-effective, too, as measured by the number of jobs created per dollar of spending. And it would help reduce the road congestion, airport delays and freight bottlenecks that reduce productivity and make the United States a less attractive place to do business.

The American Society of Engineers has identified more than $2.2 trillion in public infrastructure needs nationwide, and a 2008 study by the Congressional Budget Office found that, on strict cost-benefit grounds, it would make sense to increase annual spending on transportation projects alone by 74 percent.

Over the next five years, the federal government should work with state and local governments and the private sector to finance $1 trillion worth of additional investment in infrastructure. It should extend the Build America Bonds stimulus program, which in the past year has helped states finance $120 billion in infrastructure improvement.

More on this story http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/29/opinion/29tyson.html

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Richard Heckler 3 years, 7 months ago

There is no proof anywhere that new construction will be bouncing back anytime soon. In fact it is being said that new home starts can no longer be used as a measure of economic growth in this nation for many years to come...according to radio news.

IF Lawrence wants new jobs and more economic growth there are plenty of sidewalks and streets to repair/ replace for at least the next two years. Repairing the existing infrastructure is a worthwhile investment. Maintaining infrastructure is considered fiscally responsible just as maintaining a home is considered fiscally responsible. It is irresponsible to allow existing infrastructure anywhere to go straight to hell.

There is no sense in risking jobs,sales taxes and paying out local big government tax dollar handouts that may never ever come back to taxpayers. Where is the gain?

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Richard Heckler 3 years, 7 months ago

Empty buildings are NOT producing jobs or sales tax revenue.

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Richard Heckler 3 years, 7 months ago

All empty buildings are a drag on the taxpayers. They are producing jobs or sales tax revenues. And they may not be producing property taxes IF building owners are granted an unauthorized moratorium.

Sure jobs would be lost. If sales drop staff gets laid off. If Home Depot goes down jobs are lost.

The object of new establishments is NEW economic growth NOT economic displacement

The object of new establishments is new jobs not creating lost jobs and lay off's

The object of new establishments is MORE tax dollars not lost tax dollars due to lost sales elsewhere and/or running a business out of town

Lowe's is looking for local big government tax dollar hand outs and would be part of the Community Improvement District Sales Tax = who wants to pay additional SALES TAXES?

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notajayhawk 3 years, 7 months ago

And? So what?

As the LTE hypothesizes, those jobs wouldn't be lost, they'd just be moved. Why doesn't Lowe's have a right to build a store and compete with the businesses that are already here? If those stores can't compete, too bad for them, there's a reason for that.

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Richard Heckler 3 years, 7 months ago

Lawrence has: Mick and Greg Palmer Cabinet Designers,building and installation

ES Lighting 724 Connecticut www.electricsupplylighting.com Fixtures,celing fans,repair,lamp shades

Paradigm Design 785 840-0313

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Richard Heckler 3 years, 7 months ago

"The revenues from Lowe’s would simply be taken away from other stores. " = a perfect example of economic displacement NOT economic growth.

Home Depot goes out of business = loss of jobs and loss of sales tax revenue = unfriendly to existing business

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Richard Heckler 3 years, 7 months ago

Lawrence has: Home Depot

Cottin's Hardware & Rental www.cottinshardware.com - (785) 843-2981

McCrays Lumber - friendly and knowledgeable 1516 West 6th Street Lawrence 66044 (785) 843-3270

Westlake Ace Hardware (785) 865-2622

Ernst & Son Hardware - Downtown (785) 843-2373

Schmidt Builders Supply Inc (785) 838-9200

Lawrence Winnelson Co 1025 East 23rd Street, Lawrence, KS 66046-5003 (785) 841-6333

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Richard Heckler 3 years, 7 months ago

Kirk McClure Professor

Teaching and Research Interests

* Housing Affordability, Community Development, Real Estate Development

Academic Areas

* Urban Planning

Areas of Expertise

* Housing:  Affordable housing programs and finance
* Real estate development:  Market anaysis, project feasiblity

Courses Taught

* UBPL 710, Introduction to Housing Policy
* UBPL 714, Local Economic Development Planning
* UBPL 742, Quantitative Methods II
* UBPL 764, Real Estate Development Planning

Education

*
  B. Arch., U. of Kansas, 1973
* B. A, Urban Studies, U. of Kansas, 1974
* Master of City Planning, M.I.T., 1978
* Ph.D., City Planning, U. of California, Berkeley, 1985

Awards

* Urban Affairs Association Award for Best Paper Presented, 2004.  Annual Conference of the Urban Affairs Association.
* Fannie Mae Foundation Award for Best Research in Housing, 2002,  Annual Conference of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning.
* Fannie Mae Foundation Award for Best Research in Housing, 1997, Annual Conference of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning.
* Jack and Nancy Bradley Award for Excellence in Teaching, 1997, School of Architecture and Urban Design, University of Kansas, 1997

Recent publications

  “Monitoring Retail, Office and Industrial Markets,” in Land Market Monitoring for Smart Urban Growth, Gerrit Knaap, editor, Cambridge, Massachusetts: Lincoln Land Institute, pp. 265-286, 2002.
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Mike Ford 3 years, 7 months ago

I live in Douglas County. I've worked in Lawrence for 13 years. I lived in lawrence from 1996 to 2004. I see this whole town on my job 22 days a month for the last 13 years. My family has been in Douglas County since 1940. I have a family member that was a mayor of a Douglas County town at one time. I must be doing something right to be called a bigot by people who act bigoted towards a minority president all the time. Deny history, deny the obvious and atttack the person who sees what you really are... priceless...

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BorderRuffian 3 years, 7 months ago

Before we all bow down to the article's logic, perhaps we ought to take a different look. Perhaps Larryville HAS grown close to retail saturation - for Larryville. But what about all those small towns that surround Larryville that nobody wants to take into account? Towns like Eudora (no Lowes there), Baldwin (no Lowes there), Lecompton (almost no retail there), Perry (Lowes there), Oskaloosa (well at least there's a Meyer Lumber), McLouth, Winchester, Ozawkie, Meriden, Grantville, etc., etc.

Where do all the people in outlying towns go to shop? LARRYVILLE! And most of them want to do a little more than spend the day strolling up and down Mass street buying quaint little Larryville or Jayhawk souvenirs or bar-hopping. If economics is important, might it not be a good thing to develop Larryville's retail centers to draw more bucks into Larryvillain coffers?

I wonder if the genius who wrote the article even stopped to consider the impact of small towns surrounding Larryville? Larryville benefits greatly from the real people who surround the town. An establishment like Lowes, along with offering competition with places like Home Depot, helps draw more people from outside Larryville, which adds nice dollars to the town itself.

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blue73harley 3 years, 7 months ago

Maybe Lowes agreed to a brick road to their store, they could get it by the Lawrence Progressives.

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Tom Shewmon 3 years, 7 months ago

Tuschy is the left's champion of labelling people, this is for sure. Possibly the most bigoted and intolerant LJW neighbor.

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andolini1 3 years, 7 months ago

Lowes will be welcomed to this market and the planning officials so stated.

The developers would have everyone believe there is ONE AND ONLY ONE site in Lawrence. Theirs of course, which requires extensive planning changes to the 2020 Master plan, the neighborhood plan, access plans and zoning plans. The much touted new urbanism plan promoted, begged for and utilized for previous numerous concessions by these same developers MUST NOW be junked to allow a 150,000 S.F. building, material storage and 400-500 car/truck parking area to be jammed on a too small site not planned for that size building or use.

If planners and city officials don’t roll over for this monumental list of planning changes the next tactic is to label them anti-business.

Alternate solutions for Lowes or any other home improvement store exists, one of which is a larger site properly zoned and located on the SAME side of the SAME street approximately 5000-6000 feet away.

Planning officials did not stop Lowes. They simply denied an amendment process to guide plans specifically for this one site in front of our newest high school complex.

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estespark 3 years, 7 months ago

Four interesting things to consider:

  1. HD stock has generally trended downward for the last 10 years.
  2. Lowes stock has generally trended upward for the same period.
  3. HD's revenues are down 15% over the last 3 years.
  4. Lowes revenues have held steady over the same period.

Lowe's wants to run HD out of town. Which is fine.

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estespark 3 years, 7 months ago

The simple fact is Lowe's is better than Home Depot. What if Lowe's was here first and Home Depot wanted to build on West 6th Street? Would anyone care if the Planning Commission shot down their proposal? Probably not.

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Mike Ford 3 years, 7 months ago

notajayhawk admits to not shopping or living here anymore....can anyone say astroturf......

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jayhawklawrence 3 years, 7 months ago

I hope we don't end up in another lawsuit over this.

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northtown 3 years, 7 months ago

The job trailer and outhouse is already on the site--Let them build it-already half way there!! Who cares what Lawrence needs-look around and see what you have-Nothing-Just service jobs-if not lowes-well Burgerking-Wendy's any of this kind-they make jobs also-the good paying kind???? Just another Lawrence Kansas mess-

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northtown 3 years, 7 months ago

The job trailer and outhouse is already on the site--Let them build it-already half way there!! Who cares what Lawrence needs-look around and see what you have-Nothing-Just service jobs-if not lowes-well Burgerking-Wendy's any of this kind-they make jobs also-the good paying kind???? Just another Lawrence Kansas mess-

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Clevercowgirl 3 years, 7 months ago

LOL......how about a dog fight, NIMBYS vs. Developers

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Hope_And_Change 3 years, 7 months ago

To many cooks spoil the broth.

Democrat business opinions are like rectums. Everyone has one but nobody wants to hear from them.

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Kontum1972 3 years, 7 months ago

wouldnt it be easier to bring some B-52's & some B-1's to come in and carpet bomb from one end to the other end of the town and ..then just start over....it worked wonders in europe...and japan..

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George Lippencott 3 years, 7 months ago

A very compelling and cogent argument, professor. Perhaps you could help me with a detail I do not understand. It would seem to me that retail is not a singular but a collective of many different elements focused in diverse directions. It would seem to me that if some portions of a market are overbuilt that does not make the market in general overbuilt.

Lowes does not compete with restaurants, bars (probably overbuilt), grocery stores and the like. I would assume, perhaps naively, that the managers of Lowes have determined that there is a market for their products. I presume they are considering new customers from rural Douglas County, Jefferson County and eastern Shawnee County. If they are right, they will bring in new tax revenue. If they are wrong they will fail.

I can understand your argument in the larger context of “growth” where a community has a responsibility to insure that unjust burdens are not placed on existing resources to the gain of new arrivals. I am not sure I see the correlation with respect to Lowes

It would seem to me that a too strict adherence to my understanding of your argument would freeze things as they are. That would seem to me to benefit existing business and residents at the expense of consumers and natural human growth. That does not seem like a desirable approach.

Is there no balance? Who might be the entity to make the decisions as to who can compete and who must not? Is government any better equipped to make those decisions than the “market?”

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GUMnNUTS 3 years, 7 months ago

Having just remodled my kitchen I spent plenty of time in Home Depot, Lowes, Sears, Best Buy, and others. The quality of cabinets and Home Depot and Lowes were very similar and seemed cheap, so we purchased them from Custom Wood Products out of St Mary's. As for the appliances, right here in town at Stoneback which matched any price from the "big box stores." All profits went to support true Kansas businesses.

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Clevercowgirl 3 years, 7 months ago

Here's what burns me about the Lowe's situation: we are being asked to pay for "economic development" out of our tax dollars, and yet we can't allow a quality development in, when it knocks on our door. Instead of saying no, why doesen't the city put some requirements in such as: hiring a certain percentage of local construction workers, use local asphalt and concrete, etc. This will give our local economy a boost, until things get better. Yes, there will be winners and losers arising from Lowe's coming to town; there always are. I just believe that it is incumbent on our local government to do what it can to create more short term jobs. In the business short-term, (3-5 years), new construction and remodling will rebound, but not to the frenzy it was. Opening a store like Lowe's is predicated on the assumption that there will be a regional draw: away from KC and Topeka. As to Home Depot vs. Lowes, the local consumers will benefit from better service and more deals. Both stores could make it in the long run, as several lumber companies went bust early in the great recession. And by the way, I have no interest in engaging in a "is so, is not" quasi-intellectual, my model is better than yours, conversation. Does anyone really think that there is business interest in opening "small box" retail at this time. Let Lowe's in. Something is better than nothing.

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akt2 3 years, 7 months ago

We just dropped a few grand at Sears. We were buying regardless of any salesperson. But it turned out to be a pleasant experience because of the salesperson. We chose to shop local and I'm hoping that the continued service will be there. On another note, I was downtown last weekend. I thought the stores smelled old and musty. And I saw a bunch of poor quality crap. The parking was horrendous. The salespeople seemed like robots. I didn't spend a dime.

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jayhawklawrence 3 years, 7 months ago

The best companies and communities always have great sales people.

The problems in Lawrence are sales problems.

Nobody likes a negative salesman.

There are too many negative know it alls and bad sales people in this town.

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jayhawklawrence 3 years, 7 months ago

I guess I should have said, "were planned in the former Soviet Union."

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jayhawklawrence 3 years, 7 months ago

My understanding was that these plans are guidelines.

That leaves the door open for open and creative discussions. If we cannot have that, then no plan is going to work very well.

Economic growth is not something you plan like collective farms in the Soviet Union.

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jayhawklawrence 3 years, 7 months ago

John Kenneth Galbraith put it (Wall Street Journal, Jan 22, 1993, C1): "There are two kinds of forecasters: those who don't know, and those who don't know they don't know.''

We seem to have more experts on the economy then at anytime that I can remember. The Republican politicians absolutely know everything about everything and Obama has it all wrong.

The Democrats are like the farmer who prays for rain in the middle of a drout. They spent it all and they are just at the mercy of Yahweh.

The truth is that we need to do our best to allow entrepreneurs to work their magic. We have to be pro-business whenever we can but not stupid. Lowes is a good company. We need not play politics with every company that wants to locate here.

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salad 3 years, 7 months ago

There are lots and lots of Lowes and and Home Despots in Joco. Tom, Cato, Nota, et al: move to cupcake land! Come to where the giant pick-ups and SUV's roam free! Retail abounds! It's good to be a conservatard there! Leave the filthy hippy infested birkenstock clad Lawrence to fall into a giant wetland!

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gl0ck0wn3r 3 years, 7 months ago

I'm curious... exactly how many businesses has Kirk run? It's pretty hilarious that Dolph writes a op-ed about Lawrence being anti-business and huge number of posters/LTEs are indeed anti-business while at the same time trying to appear as if they aren't.

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jayhawklawrence 3 years, 7 months ago

What was not mentioned in this article, irresponsibly, is the issue of traffic congestion at this location and the reasons behind choosing this site.

I think Lowe's has merit as a new retail store that could attract more customers from out of town (or keep customers from leaving town) but this location has inherent problems for the city if it goes there.

A very motivated developer would prefer it be built at that site for obvious reasons since they own the land. I think the city has every right to be concerned and needs the authority to make decisions that will protect the community.

To use this issue to bash the city of Lawrence as anti-business is unhelpful to anyone but a newspaper looking to create controversy and sell more papers.

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rockchalk1977 3 years, 7 months ago

Only in the illogical mind of a liberal can we have the following:

Ground Zero Mosque = good Lowes in Lawrence = bad

Hypocrites!

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Tom Shewmon 3 years, 7 months ago

Why is it that a university town that is filled to the rim with the intelligentsia (at least going by this fairly representative award-winning website's ad nauseum claim) has an economy that is in the dumper? No response is needed, thank you.

Shake your money-maker until he or she blesses you.

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supertrampofkansas 3 years, 7 months ago

I would use Lowe's if they were here. Tired of driving to the one on Shawnee Mission Parkway. By the way I use all of the hardware stores in town including Cottin's, Westlake, Schmidt, and Whelans. I like having choices. I don't plan on quitting my day job and economics isn't my field but I would say the matter is a little more complex than what is being said on here. My two cents worth.

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econ101 3 years, 7 months ago

A company like Lowe's does not become as prominent as they are by tossing stores willy-nilly into communities where they won't be successful. There is a very precise formula by which corporations like this one execute new ventures. Rest assured, they've got our number! Tracking our habits as consumers is their business. I challenge anyone to cite an example of Lowe's building a store in a location that ultimately did not produce the numbers it needs... I understand the arguement that this would just divert dollars from one place to another, but that's sort of their job, right? Is it a city's right to regulate what businesses are allowed to compete in their local marketplace?

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Lynn731 3 years, 7 months ago

I frequently shop at the Lowe's store in Topeka, preferring it to Home Depot. I would be pleased if they opened one in Lawrence as it is half the driving distance for us. We just bought a $225 grill from the Lowe's in Topeka. It is a mistake not permitting Lowe's to build a store in Lawrence. Thank you, Lynn

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Lynn731 3 years, 7 months ago

I frequently shop at the Lowe's store in Topeke, preferring it to Home Depot. I would be pleased if they opened one in Lawrence as it is half the driving distance for us. We just bought a $225 grill from the Lowe's in Topeka. It is a mistake not permitting Lowe's to build a store in Lawrence. Thank you, Lynn

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mom_of_three 3 years, 7 months ago

And what about the people from neighboring towns who would come here to Lowe's instead of going to Topeka or Olathe?
We do shop here in town at HOme Depot, but if they don't carry it, then we go to Lowe's.
I would love for them to build one here. If you would rather I keep spending my money in Olathe, then okay.

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Hope_And_Change 3 years, 7 months ago

Lawrence is a Government town.

Nothing more needs to be said.

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cato_the_elder 3 years, 7 months ago

The letter writer has it backwards. Significant commercial growth, including retail, has been stymied in Lawrence for three decades. On the other hand, residential growth was virtually unchecked until the bubble burst, first locally from a market that had become shamefully overbuilt and then nationally from the recession (which, quite ironically, was brought about by government housing policies that had been exploited by many in the Lawrence real estate industry to create the overbuilt market in the first place). Many of the buyers of the vast number of new homes built in Lawrence since the late 1980s began to live here but work elsewhere, i.e. for employers that were themselves paying property taxes to taxing districts in Kansas City and Topeka, not Lawrence. Many of these same Lawrence residents have also engaged in much of their discretionary spending outside of Lawrence.

On a relative basis, residents of homes in Lawrence utilize a great deal more government services (especially those with children in public schools) than do most commercial properties, especially major manufacturing plants. This results in net gains for the tax base and lower taxes with increased commercial development, and net losses for the tax base and higher taxes with increased residential development that occurs without the commercial development necessary to support it. While commercial office space in Lawrence is also presently overbuilt and has been ratcheted back by market forces, we should never turn down retail or, especially, manufacturing. In short, the balance between commercial development and concomitant residential growth in Lawrence that we used to know has been way of of whack for years. Any project such as the Lowe's store would undoubtedly draw many customers from neighboring counties, improve our tax base, and help to ameliorate the lack of relative balance to which I refer.

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Mike Ford 3 years, 7 months ago

wow we have a collective group of name callers who whine when people call them names who want unbridled sprawl and act like the thieves in line at the Sooner land rush in 1893. What we really need is a bunch more JOCO looking homogenous strip malls that go through tenants like the one at 15th and Wakarusa. Where's my Pizza Shoppe, what is Zig and Mac's now, where did the liquor store go? oh that's the ticket, build baby build with tax abatements, in the end we can get the taxpayers to foot the bill like all republican unfunded mandates and then we can blame the Democrats who inherit our messes at all levels from municipal to national... yeah that's the ticket....

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Tom Shewmon 3 years, 7 months ago

The economy in Lawrence sucks. Let's just leave it at that.

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grammaddy 3 years, 7 months ago

We have a Home Depot, and I never see that parking lot full. Why would we need a Lowes?

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notajayhawk 3 years, 7 months ago

"There is a finite number of people and income in Lawrence"

Well, unless you count the 11% population growth in the past decade. Of course, if you limit the availability of goods for sale, particularly those having to do with building or remodeling homes, you might cut that back some ...

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tsunami9320 3 years, 7 months ago

Written by someone who is "book smart and street stupid." Not a single second of actual practical, hands-on business experience. All theory, no practicality. Just another adherent to "Welcome to Lawrence. The answer is NO!"

So sad.

(Oh, and fawning praise post from "merrill" in 5...4...3...)

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Liberty_One 3 years, 7 months ago

"There is a finite number of people and income in Lawrence to provide demand for home improvement and other retail goods."

Wow, 18th century mercantilism is alive and well. Too bad it was discredited 200 years ago....

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Benjamin Roberts 3 years, 7 months ago

"There is a finite number of people and income in Lawrence...." Ergo, the reason to build business that are competitive, draw from outside a specific geography, and provide a diversity of product.

"There is a finite number of people and income in Lawrence...." If this statement were true there would never be a COLA or merit increase for anyone. Those without a direct means of increasing profit to their employer would never see a raise. Professors' and teachers' wages would have been frozen the year the schools were founded.

Whatever your day job is Mr. McClure - don't give it up - economics is not your strong point.

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Practicality 3 years, 7 months ago

So, by your logic we should close all grocery stores except one. We should close all gas stations except one. We should close all . . . . . except one. Why pick on Lowes?

I have driven to Lowes in Topeka multiple times to get specific items sold only by Lowes. I am not the only one either. You are failing to take into account that Lowes probably keeps track of their sales by zip code information, which is why they think coming to Lawrence would be a good idea. If the market can not handle however many retail stores which are here, then some will close. But shouldn't the market decide that and not the arbitrary decision of Kirk McClure?

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