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Archive for Monday, May 24, 2010

Lowe’s seeking to build home improvement store near Sixth Street and Folks Road

The home improvement store hopes to open near Sixth and Folks Road.

May 24, 2010

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Lowe’s, the major home improvement retailer, hopes to build a new store near Sixth Street and Folks Road in northwest Lawrence.

Bill Fleming, a part of the property ownership group, confirmed that plans for an approximately 100,000-square-foot Lowe’s store are being developed for prime ground just north of Sixth Street and just south of Free State High School.

“We just think it will be a great use,” Fleming said. “We need a little bit more power out there at that intersection to make all the businesses in the area work better.”

But the project will require several rounds of approval from City Hall, including rezoning and a change to the city’s comprehensive plan that currently limits how much retail can be located in the area.

Traffic studies, especially for a new right-turn lane on Sixth Street, will be required. Fleming said his group is optimistic the store won’t cause traffic problems.

“If you look at the traffic counts for these type of stores, we’re encouraged by the fact that peak traffic is on Saturdays and Sundays,” Fleming said. “We knew a big concern would be whether it would interfere with the high school traffic, and we do not believe it will.”

The store also would mark a deviation from the group’s original plan of creating a “new urbanism” development that would have a strong mix of retail and residential uses. The Lowe’s store would be located on property previously set aside for residential development.

Reaction from surrounding neighborhoods — many of which fought plans to build the Walmart at Sixth and Wakarusa — was still developing Monday, although some said they expected the Lowe’s project to be less controversial. But concerns about the changing nature of the development were expressed.

“I just remember that this development was going to be our walkable European community,” said Alan Cowles, a board member of the nearby West Lawrence Neighborhood Association. “It really is not going to look anything like that.”

Comments

true_patriot 4 years, 7 months ago

Special taxing is a bad idea, because it's not transparent to the taxpayer. Much better is to make the developers pay for whatever improvements are reasonably required and have them build that into their business plan.

If they have a viable project even with those costs factored in, investors will be fine with it. if they need to pass extra cost on to the consumer for a while, let the free market sort out whether traffic goes there even with higher prices or goes elsewhere for a while.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 7 months ago

Looks like the typical bait-and-switch development model.

And what happens if/when the town can't support both a Lowe's and Home Depot?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 7 months ago

No argument about that, but how many more vacant stores do we want in that area?

mikebaker7 4 years, 7 months ago

I'm pretty sure the guys at Lowe's have thought about if the town of Lawrence can support to big box hardware stores. Most times they don't just put in a store because they are bored.

true_patriot 4 years, 7 months ago

Yes, as far as the chains go, I do like Lowe's better than Home Depot, though I'm a big believer in supporting the local hardware stores - the quality of service at a place like Cottin's can never be pulled off by a Lowe's or a Home Depot.

While small locals don't compete in terms of lumber supply, roofing, etc, the reality is that they may still be damaged when folks go to the big box chains for things other than materials supply.

funkdog1 4 years, 7 months ago

I'll ALWAYS pick up paint, screws, plumbing supplies, yard supplies, etc. at my local ACE. I'm not going to wander around a big home store for little stuff.

scopi_guy 4 years, 7 months ago

Yep. Anytime I'm in there for more than 3 minutes, I'm asked if I need help finding something. Can't say that about many other places, regardless of the type of store.

abw2102 4 years, 7 months ago

Ace hardware is one of the largest hardware chains in the world and there are 89 Westlake hardware stores in 7 states. I think it's hardly a Mom & Pop operation.

frankfussman 4 years, 7 months ago

Ace at the Malls Shopping Center is a great place to shop, second to Cottin's. By the way, there is an Ace Hardware in Dubai, UAE, and elsewhre around the world.

hungryhustler 4 years, 7 months ago

Don't think too highly of yourself. He doesn't need your contributions.

kef104 4 years, 7 months ago

I like the idea of a Lowes, but will not shop anywhere if there is an extra tax added on. With the new state sales tax, parts of Lawrence will be charging close to 11%. Since when did we become New York city?

true_patriot 4 years, 7 months ago

Well, and don't forget that our water and sewer will likely be soaring soon, even though they are already quite high. I know a few people that moved to Lawrence recently and were shocked by their water bills - they use very little water but it's all the other stuff built in that drives their bills up higher than they were used to in other parts of Kansas.

gl0ck0wn3r 4 years, 7 months ago

Merrill cut and paste in 3... 2... 1...

sherbert 4 years, 7 months ago

Glad to hear about Lowes, but agree with the tax comments. Should be built into business plan and not added to buyers cost. Will keep a lot of people away for big purchases, including me.

kefarris 4 years, 7 months ago

As one of the closest houses to this property, I am not happy with this change in plans. It has nothing to do with what the area needs and everything to do with money. I do not want a big box store in my backyard.

kefarris 4 years, 7 months ago

We do not need this increase in traffic and noise on Folks road.

matchbox81 4 years, 7 months ago

The CID tax needs to be limited to those areas that wouldn't have been developaple without the added incentive to developers - i.e. blighted parcels that have been vacant for a long time, or to attract significant regional attractions that don't have another retail type in the city like a warehouse store or big sporting goods store. This particular piece of land seems like it was going to get developed anyways. While I like Lowe's and appreciate the competition it brings to Home Depot, it doesn't seem particularly special.

true_patriot 4 years, 7 months ago

One potential problem even with that approach is in how something comes to considered "blighted".

When Douglas County Bank took over a city block years ago and destroyed classic historic Lawrence homes along Tennessee and Kentucky to build a parking lot, part of the stealth strategy was to get the area to be labeled as blighted. Lot by lot, properties were purchased, deeds were either not filed or filed in other names, like power utility companies, and these homes and properties were allowed to deteriorate externally, so they looked kind of worn down, while inside were beautiful built-ins, hardwood pocket doors, chandeliers, beveled glass windows and doors, and in one instance of mid 1800's Spanish architecture several fireplace hearths made of tiles from Native Americans.

But they just had a photographer take a few shots from the street of a few of the unpainted houses and got them declared blighted, won a hard fought battle to get the zoning changed, then laid all their cards on the table, bulldozed everything, and built a parking lot. People hung signs out on their fences all over Lawrence and many people yanked their savings and banked elsewhere.

Keith 4 years, 7 months ago

Tell em no, and they'll reprise the Wal-Mart fight of years ago. I agree, classic bait and switch, along with the extra tax, will keep me going to HD.

conservative 4 years, 7 months ago

I am fully against these special taxes and will not shop anywhere they are implemented. And that sucks because i have wanted a lowes here for a long time. A better location for it would be 6th and k10. As far as bait and switch i think it is much more that this stupid new urbanism idea isn't panning out and they need to build something in the area.

kshiker 4 years, 7 months ago

Do you really think the extra sales tax would be a deal killer??? On a purchase of $100, you would pay an extra $1.00 if the community improvement district adopted a 1% sales tax. I would gladly pay an extra $1.00 in sales taxes for the privilege of having a new shopping destination in northwest Lawrence.

parrothead8 4 years, 7 months ago

As someone who lives much closer to where this Lowes is, I agree with your sentiment. I'm going to save more in gas going to Lowes instead of Home Depot for most purchases than I'll pay in sales tax surcharges (for most stuff, though, I'll just keep going to Westlake Ace like I do now.) However, I simply can't agree with forcing consumers to pay for amenities a developer wants to make a business more attractive. Either you have a good business plan and you're willing to make a go of it using your own money, or you don't.

nut_case 4 years, 7 months ago

It's not the tax, it's the principle....50 cents here, dollar there, etc. Pretty soon, it's just like getting an airline ticket....you see a fare for $150 and think that is a pretty good deal, then there is normal tax, special tax, landing fee, airport use fee, fuel surcharge, 9/11 security fee, baggage fee, depreciation recovery fee, environmental fee and suddenly you're shelling out about $400. Plus it makes it VERY hard to comparison shop or come up with a dollar figure you want to spend / can afford, then find out there are extra fees tacked on to your sale.

LogicMan 4 years, 7 months ago

"Lowe's"

Great news!

"Whether the store will be part of a new type of special taxing district"

Lowe's: Please don't be since I do often want to shop at your store. That 1 to 2% will put you at a competitive disadvantage with Home Depot, Ace, the internet, etc., etc.

John Hamm 4 years, 7 months ago

You've missed the point. They don't have to charge more using the tax. They can reduce the cost of items and let the tax make up the difference. It appears the items are less expensive because the 1% or 2% is added on at checkout.

gilly 4 years, 7 months ago

This plan makes planning and zoning in this town meaningless.

The land is zoned residential. Fleming, Compton, Treanor, et al .want to place a store on land that is zoned residential and they want to contravene the cap on retail businesses at the intersection, and they want an exception to the Comprehensive Plan.

Traffic? Fleming said that he is "optimistic that the store won't cause traffic problems," which is PR-speak for " we don't care what kind of traffic problems or accidents our new access point off of Sixth directly into our parking lot causes." Interfere with high school traffic? Fleming says "We do not believe it will." What drives this belief? Studies? Facts? Wishing it were so?

Bearing the cost of their project? No, Fleming, Compton, Treanor, et al. want the development to be subsidized with our money by creating a CID. Why?

What justification can Fleming, Compton, Treanor, et al. make for asking us to fork over our money for a project that will benefit them?

What benefit would the residents of Lawrence get by subsidizing developers so they can add more retail to a city already overrun with retail, add more traffic to an intersection that already has too much traffic, and continue treating planning by the city as a trifle that can tossed aside?

puddleglum 4 years, 7 months ago

a special private tax that goes into the developers' pockets????

how is this even legal?

yeah, forget me spending one dime in that area-I'll never support developer-welfare.

does 6th st need the extra traffic?

DeAnn Seib 4 years, 7 months ago

Why would I pay more to shop at Lowe's in Lawrence when I can go drive west the same distance but pay less tax in Topeka? Sorry, boys, any business that charges me extra for the privilege of driving to Lawrence won't be getting my money.

Bob_Keeshan 4 years, 7 months ago

Now here's a plan with something for everybody.

They antagonize the left by promisting to develop "new urbanism" and then suddenly doing a 180 and promising to build a big box store.

They antagonize the right by asking to fund their business model with this ridiculous tax.

This should be fun.

IndusRiver 4 years, 7 months ago

Drive around Lawrence and you see massive apartment complexes, not individual homes, but it's where the homes should have been built. Lawrence is a badly managed town. City manager is an entrenched politician - worthless. I wouldn't trust David Corliss to have any part in building a sidewalk even since some of the newer ones are laid in the ground so crooked that after a rain the flood remains on the sidewalk.

lawrencechick 4 years, 7 months ago

I'm all for a Lowe's, but that's a really bad site. Bauer Farms was supposed to resemble a smaller version of the Legends with smaller shops and sidewalks, not a giant big box with a parking lot in the middle. That area of road in front of Dillons is already way to crowded . Just west of Walmart would be a much better location.

bangaranggerg 4 years, 7 months ago

I'm warming up to this idea, does this mean they aren't building the single family homes or they aren't building the multi-family units and/or appartment buildings?

jj14 4 years, 7 months ago

THANK GOD Home Depot will finally have some competition! It drives me crazy every time I go there - it's sooo small compared to all the other Home Depot's in the area. I hope Lowes does not run into the same problem when trying to get their store built. PLEASE whomever approves this store, let them build the size they want! Anything is better than another apartment complex! Plus, think of the jobs it will bring.

Charles L Bloss Jr 4 years, 7 months ago

That special tax is a horrible idea. I will not shop anywhere where I have to pay more tax to line the pockets of the owner's. Thank you, Lynn

Kirara 4 years, 7 months ago

Yes Home Depot offers a 10% Military discount. Just show your valid military ID

Lee Eldridge 4 years, 7 months ago

Well considering I have to drive to Topeka a couple times each year because I can't find what I need in Lawrence, even with the special tax, having a Lowe's here will still save me money.

7texdude 4 years, 7 months ago

Why don't we have Lowe's buy Home Depot and then everyone is happy.

Richard Heckler 4 years, 7 months ago

How will a special tax aka taxpayer subsidy save anyone money?

Home Depot will be a goner. That will provide one more empty building in Lawrence,Kansas for taxpayers to support. Yes empty houses,retail space,office space,light industrial are all a drag on the Lawrence economy = higher taxes and user fees.

Eastside tax dollars are supporting westside economic displacement = no economic growth. Convenience can cost plenty...

America Is Over Stored

This decade's building frenzy produced a bumper crop of new retail space. But the occupants haven't materialized.

The carnage in retail hasn't been this bad since an anarchist bombed Chicago's Haymarket Square in 1886. In January, Liz Claiborne said it would shutter 54 Sigrid Olsen stores by mid-2008; Ann Taylor announced that 117 of its 921 stores would be closed over the next three years, and Talbots axed the Talbots Men's and Talbots Kids concepts and 22 Talbots stores. (Those muffled screams you hear are Connecticut preppies trying to suppress their rage.) Even Starbucks has scaled back its yearlong saturation-bombing campaign.

Blame that exhausted marathon runner, the American consumer. Fueled by cheap credit instead of PowerGel, she looked great at Mile 16, but bonked at Mile 23 and is now crawling to the finish line. Sales fell in December, putting the cap on a miserable Christmas season. Last week the government reported that retail sales rose 3.9 percent between January 2007 and January 2008. But back out inflation and sales of gasoline, and retail sales fell in real terms in the past year. Clearly, demand is down.

And supply is up. This decade's building frenzy produced a bumper crop of new retail space—from McStrip malls built near new McMansions, to hip new boutiques in the ground floors of hip new Miami condo buildings. But as is the case with those McMansions and condos, the occupants for new retail space haven't materialized. In the fourth quarter of 2007, the national retail-vacancy rate rose for the 11th straight quarter to 7.5 percent—the highest level since 1996, according to research firm Reis, Inc. With new projects coming online—34 million square feet of retail space will be completed in 2008—the rate is expected to spike further to 8 percent. In the parlance of the trade, many chains are simply over-stored.

Con't http://www.newsweek.com/id/112762

Richard Heckler 4 years, 7 months ago

"Johnston then boggled the crowd with a blunt assertion: "We pay billions of dollars in taxes that never get to the government." Much of the sales tax we pay at big box stores and shopping centers is diverted to the large companies that own the stores. It's just one of the many swindles these chains have learned to perpetrate against city and county governments. This is so effective that the Cabela family, which owns a chain of big-box sporting goods stores, receives 137% of its profits from taxpayer subsidies. If they couldn't work this scam, they wouldn't be in business at all.

The heart of the wealth transfer is tax increment financing (TIF). Store owners come to town leaders and offer to build a new store that, they promise, will "create jobs." In exchange, the city gives them the land, builds the store to their specifications, and finances it all with tax-free municipal bonds (which are usually held by associates of the store owners). To cap it all, the store keeps the sales tax generated in the store to pay off the bond holders. If the store is built on government land, it's also exempt from paying any property taxes.

Why do city governments take such a blatantly bad deal???

"Free Lunch: How the Wealthiest Americans Enrich Themselves at Government Expense (And Stick You with the Bill)"

http://www.democracynow.org/2008/1/18/free_lunch_how_the_wealthiest_americans

Richard Heckler 4 years, 7 months ago

Other scams Johnston noted:

* Market electricity, which is now the policy in 28 states and the District of Columbia—and causing prices to rise higher and faster than in non-market states.
  • George W. Bush's personal fortune, almost all of which came from the deal he fronted to buy the Texas Rangers, build a new stadium using public funds, and then sell it at a profit. (Oh: and when it came time to pay the taxes on his windfall from the deal, he shorted the government $3 million on his tax returns.)

    • The use of legislation to override large court awards granted to victims of corporate misbehavior. Our own legislatures and Congress are relieving corporations of these debts, and accepting them on behalf of the taxpayers.
  • The use of court decisions to limit liability. Johnston cited the recent Supreme Court case affirming that discrimination claims can only be filed within six months of the incident—which is useless if you don't find out until years later that the company was paying you less because of your race or gender.

  • CEOs being paid vast amounts of money—even if their companies' performance declines. Much of this extravagant compensation comes right out of the pockets—or, more likely, the benefits packages—of the people on the shop floor. "They say they have to cut benefits to stay competitive," said Johnston. "But the competition is not coming from the shop down the street—it's between the executive floor and the shop floor."

Johnston says that the media doesn't explain this because reporters these days don't really know how government works. Without that watchdog on duty, he said, "we now live in a society where it is the de facto policy of our government to take from those who have less, and give it to those who have more." Ironically, the politicians who do this often invoke religious texts in which the most consistently denounced evil is taking from the poor to give to the rich.

In conclusion, Johnston said, it's time for us to step up and do our piece of the work of democracy. "If we don't address these problems peacefully, we will do it violently—like the world has never seen," he predicted. "But we started this country with the thesis that we didn't need King George to tell us what to do—and we can solve any problem, if we want to."

http://www.uua.org/events/generalassembly/2008/commonthreads/115777.shtml

David Cay Johnston is a Pulitzer Prize winning investigative reporter for The New York Times, author of the best-selling book Perfectly Legal. His new book is Free Lunch: How the Wealthiest Americans Enrich Themselves at Government Expense (and Stick You with the Bill).

matthewjherbert 4 years, 7 months ago

As someone who does quite a bit of construction and home improvement work, I can attest to the fact that Westlake Hardware is a joke. A) They are a hardware store that doesn't sell things basic DIY supplies like lumber, drywall, insulation or even small items that could be easily stocked like tile adhesive (they only sell it in the tiny size which is useful if you plan on putting up less than 10 tiles). Items they do carry are frequently sold out. Yesterday I attempted to buy light bulbs for a ceiling fan. Westlake Hardware had a spot for them, but none on the shelf. Comparing Westlake's to a REAL hardware store is similar to comparing Dillon's to the inside of a gas station. Sure, both sell Twinkies, Cokes and Tylenol....but I doubt too many of us can successfully get our grocery shopping done at the Kwik Shop. Bring on the Lowe's, and more importantly, I look forward to whatever goes into the old Westlake's building once it's gone.

matthewjherbert 4 years, 7 months ago

And one other thing while I rant.......I also enjoy the fact that stores like Lowe's and HD have specific areas of the store with which to do returns. So you bought something that wasn't what you needed...you're not necessarily a complete idiot, but please, don't slow those of us down who actually know what we're buying before we buy it. I don't know how Westlake's stays in business, as I think everything they sell gets returned. EVERY TIME I find myself in that store their ONE cashier has someone trying to return something, which requires a manager to come over, who is probably out in the parking lot watering their seasonal plants (nice selection though in the area of plants, I will admit) and ten minutes later after listening to their kid obnoxiously play with the "talkin' Billy Bass" or whatever as seen on tv aisle ender they are trying to pass off as necessary, I finally get to pay.

LogicMan 4 years, 7 months ago

"I look forward to whatever goes into the old [w. 6th st.] Westlake's building once it's gone."

Hopefully they'd survive, just as the south store did after HD opened. But if not, a Trader Joe's would go nice in there on 6th st.

Different topic: Any one know when TSC opens? And the new Orsceln's?

BigPrune 4 years, 7 months ago

That property will sit vacant for years to come if this doesn't happen. The sacred cow Horizon 2020 comprehensive plan was outdated the very day it rolled off the presses years ago.

Jonathan Kealing 4 years, 7 months ago

That was blog spam that our automated filter made go away. But until I permanently delete the spam, it will still register as having posted. As for the time order, we're considering giving users the choice between a flat view or a threaded view, but no research has been done about how much work it would take to implement that. And no decision has been made about whether even to do it.

anonyname 4 years, 7 months ago

Jonathan - all of the sports blogs under the "SBNation" umbrella site have a feature you should look into. Once you are logged in, you can use keyboard shortcuts to go one by one to the posts you haven't already read, wherever they are in the chronological (threaded) stream. It's worth checking out if you're not already familiar with it - the KU one is rockchalktalk.com.

Thats_messed_up 4 years, 7 months ago

Love the Lowes-Hate the 10.85% sales tax to build their store. I know Lowes has been trying to get into Lawrence for at least 6 years but city Kommission wouldn't allow it. The one built in Derby has generated millions of dollars for the city of Derby over the last 2 years.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 7 months ago

To my knowledge, no proposal for a Lowe's store has come before the city commission. Did I miss it?

Thats_messed_up 4 years, 7 months ago

comes from a manager at the topeka lowes Bozo.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 7 months ago

There may have been internal discussions within Lowe's, and perhaps with developers, but If no development plans were submitted to the city, then it was never turned down by the city commission.

pagan_idolator 4 years, 7 months ago

I would like a Lowes here. I hate Home Depot. I understand about folks wanting others to shop locally. I have been making an effort to spend at least 50 bucks a month at one local store. I hope I can keep it up!

cowboy 4 years, 7 months ago

Bring on Lowes , better selection of high end items , better style selection. HD just really is more concerned about counting things than they are about service.I have had them just flat walk away from me after asking for help finding something. HD uses KC contractors for the most part and actually will compete against local contractors. I cannot count how many times my customers have to make a trip to KC Lowes to find lighting , kitchen / bath items that are modern and attractive.

MattressMan 4 years, 7 months ago

  1. Everyone is always complaining about residential being overbuilt and priced in this town, well at least it's not a residential project even though right now is zoned as such.
  2. With the condition of the economy is it really "bait and switch" when the property owners decide that housing is not going to be feasible and instead try and do something rather than leave a field full of weeds?
  3. I know about the extra tax in the area for some of the business', but where did it state in the article this tax will be levied at the Lowes?

anonyname 4 years, 7 months ago

  1. It doesn't state as such in the article. As I understand it, the developers who want to build the store are the same developers who applied for the special tax zone in the first place. Do you really think they wouldn't use it?

MattressMan 4 years, 7 months ago

One more thing, the current special 1% sales tax for the business' in the area is a Transportation Development Tax (not CID or TIF) which goes for street/sidewalk improvements. Which seems to me is fair, let the patrons of the business' pay for the infrastructure that needs to be in place to get them in and out of said business.

parrothead8 4 years, 7 months ago

Respectfully disagree. I think the business should pay for the infrastructure if they want customers. It's not a customer's responsibility to shop somewhere OR to make it more accessible. If a store wants my business, they'll make it worth my while to shop there.

MattressMan 4 years, 7 months ago

I understand what it was but that was then and this is now and it's not going to change back. So what is the best use of the space now is what the developers are looking for.

parrothead8 4 years, 7 months ago

Tragic. God knows this country doesn't make enough corn.

bangaranggerg 4 years, 7 months ago

Here is a glimpse of what idea they had of it a few years ago. I bet I'd feel more comfortable if they'd just update this image to see what's changed and what they still intend to do. If building Lowes gives them the cash to go big and make their other buildings nice, let's hear that angle.

None

somedude20 4 years, 7 months ago

Maybe Gene "Popeye' Doyle" Hackman will come and cut the ribbon. I think it would be ultra cool to grab a brew with that dude and he was a Marine too!!

Come to lawrence Gene. We have Freestate beer, college girls, and Spacehog's eightball!

Thats_messed_up 4 years, 7 months ago

We need to fight this for 6 or 7 years then sue then lose then put 3 full stop lights in front of it on 6th to make this work since lawrence drivers can't be trusted to use a stop sign.

LogicMan 4 years, 7 months ago

"However, I watched Payless Cashways dwindle from shelves stocked full higher than my head when it opened, to them breaking those down to be around 4 ft high so that the store didn't look 50% empty as it came to a sad ruin."

PC wasn't a bad store, but their framing lumber wasn't so great. I talked with their people a few times as things were looking bleak -- the Lawrence store was the most profitable by far nationally. It was their central, way over leveraged management that forced them into bankruptcy. Too bad for us -- we had over a year without before HD opened.

I drove past the proposed Lowe's location. Not a bad placement, but I suggest that the special taxing district there be repealed and not replaced with the new version as part of the deal with the City.

Or an even better site is just west of the new Wal-Mart, on the old horse farm. Or if really thinking ahead, at K-10 and 6th street on the northwest corner where a commercial development was planned but has stalled.

moe481 4 years, 7 months ago

I just moved from Denver about a year ago, just wondering what the talk is about how many fires until the store opens? I think the sales tax is ridiculous, but this town needs 2 home improvement stores, and all it does is help the town grow. I've seen a few towns in Colorado that can support 2, so why not Lawrence? The small ma and pa stores will be fine, you'll have the loyal customers to keep them in business, and all of the dirty hippies that will support them.

irvan moore 4 years, 7 months ago

One of the problems here in River City is that the city commissions keep upzoning property for one purpose and then it gets to keep the upgraded zoning when the developer "changes his mind" about what will go there. Zoning should revert to original if not used for rezoned purpose.

BigPrune 4 years, 7 months ago

...in the meantime, retail sales tax dollars are going outside the county.

Like I said before, the comprehensive plan Horizon 2020 was outdated the very day it rolled off the presses. Why might you ask? Because it never took into account the population explosion Lawrence experienced in the 1990's.

They need to throw the Comprehensive Plan away as they should've years ago. I wonder who is working on the next comprehensive plan and what it will say? No announcements for citizen input at all - just like the last one, done behind closed doors by the no-growthers. Just like the development code was rewritten by the "progressives" a few years back that conspired to set Lawrence in reverse motion, and though it is slowing way down because things were changed recently using a logical approach, Lawrence is still in reverse because of the poor reputation by "the progressives" action that must be overcome. I wonder how long this thing will take to get approval? 1 year, 2 years or 3 years or will it be like Walmart and take 5 years?

estespark 4 years, 7 months ago

I'm assuming the fire talk has to do with certain properties in the mid/late 90s and early 00s catching on fire while under construction/renovation. I believe construction equipment and/or fitness equipment mysteriously burst into flames during the overnight hours as well. Occassionally with the fire doors propped open. So very strange...

I remember my move-in date being pushed back, at a certain apartment complex, because it mysteriously caught on fire...like twice.

7texdude 4 years, 7 months ago

They need to look at the residential traffic if they build Lowe''s there. If you want to seriously analyze traffic flow then look at the residential streets, too.

A lot of drivers already use Harvard from George Williams to Wakarusa to avoid 6th Street. That number will surely double if they put a Lowe's in there. Will there be police there to monitor the speeders? There are a lot of kids playing there in addition to walkers and bikers in a neighborhood that is still growing.

I hope the city and developers have plans for the safety of the homeowners in that area.

Thorny904 4 years, 4 months ago

I lived in Lawrence for 20 years, and left in pursuit of a great job that didn't last about 5 years ago. Now I work at Lowe's in Wichita. I want to come back to Lawrence! So, obviously, I'm all for Lowe's in Lawrence, because I could just transfer (hopefully).

I don't know about the site... I haven't been back for awhile, but it seems to me to be not the best location, for traffic, for customers that buy a lot of stuff from us, etc.

I also philosophically do not support tax increases to lure stores, and I gotta tell you, I think Lowe's is just trying to get the best deal they can, as any large business would do. I do not believe they would bail out of the project if they had to pay for it all themselves.

For many reasons, I believe Lowe's really wants a presence in Lawrence, and if they don't get a bunch of special tax breaks, I'm pretty sure they would go ahead with the project anyway.

Having been in building materials most of my life, I can tell you that most of us Lowe's employees will try to give the type of service you would find at your old Mom and Pop store, if any of them still existed. Sure, there will be people working there that just don't care, but most will try to do the best they can for you, especially me! :-) But at the prices people want to pay for stuff, leading to the type of wages big box retailers pay, results inevitably in a degradation of service. Good salespeople like me just can't get to all the people that need us. :-) But you get what you pay for. TNSTAAFL.

I'll be watching this story closely.

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