Archive for Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Dillons submits plans for new store on Massachusetts Street

‘It is an attempt to make all sides of the building more architecturally interesting’

New renderings submitted by Dillons in April 2011 for its proposed store at 17th and Massachusetts streets.

New renderings submitted by Dillons in April 2011 for its proposed store at 17th and Massachusetts streets.

April 20, 2011


A new Dillons store for south Massachusetts Street now has a date with City Hall.

Dillons leaders have submitted revised plans for a project to replace its existing store at 1740 Mass. with a larger, more modern version. Lawrence city commissioners will consider approving the plans at their Tuesday evening meeting.

The plans include new exterior renderings that attempt to break up the facades of the building with different brick patterns, colors, roof heights and other features.

“It is an attempt to make all sides of the building more architecturally interesting,” said Scott McCullough, the city’s director of planning.

Whether it will make more neighbors happy remains to be seen.

Several neighbors on Wednesday said they hadn’t fully reviewed the plans, but expectations for the new project were mixed.

“We want them to rebuild and we want them to do well,” said Matt Easley, general manager of On the Rocks, a liquor store just south of the Dillons. “There have been some concerns about sight lines and what we’ll see as we look at the back of their building, but it sounds like they are trying to be responsive.”

The idea of Dillons replacing its existing 1960s era store with a new store that will have a Starbucks, Chinese deli, organic foods section and other features has been nearly universally applauded. Concerns, however, have been raised over the details — especially from residents or businesses who are closest to the store.

“My feeling is that they are trying to put too much store onto the lot,” said Frederic McMillan, who lives almost directly behind the store. “They want a drive-through pharmacy, and the only way they can make that fit is to put more traffic onto New Hampshire Street.”

The new store is designed to face north instead of west as the current store does. Its drive-through pharmacy lane would be located on the east side of the building, facing the residents who live along New Hampshire Street. None of that changes in the new plans, and McCullough said city planners would not push for the building to be reoriented.

“The justification that Dillons has offered to us is that they just can’t make a different orientation work for the type of store they need to build,” McCullough said.

But the new plans do include changes that are designed to address neighborhood concerns. They include:

  • A fenced area on the south side — or backside — of the building to store pallets, breadracks and other items that neighbors were concerned would be unsightly.
  • Limiting the store’s New Hampshire Street access point to an entrance only. Motorists who come to the store could enter on New Hampshire Street, but they would have to leave through the store’s main Massachusetts Street driveway. That holds true for people who use the store drive-through pharmacy as well.
  • A traffic study found traffic calming measures could be warranted for both New Hampshire Street and East 17th Terrace. The plan doesn’t include specific traffic calming measures. Instead, McCullough said he’ll recommend that Dillons be required to pay for a portion of any traffic calming measures added to those two streets in the future. He said the city’s Traffic Safety Commission would be asked to determine whether traffic calming devices are needed for the area. Dillons previously has said it is willing to share in the cost for traffic calming additions.

The plans still call for the store to be about 10,000 square feet larger than the existing store. Dillons officials previously have said the store will be open 24 hours, although the drive-through pharmacy likely will have hours of 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. on weekdays and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekends.

The project will require the existing Dillons store to close while the new store is built. A timeline for construction has not been announced by Dillons.

City commissioners will consider the project at their 6:35 p.m. meeting on Tuesday at City Hall.


evaline1964 7 years, 2 months ago

Just reopen your store at 143rd and Metcalf and save the building fees!!!

Stuart Evans 7 years, 2 months ago

yes, because reopening a store dozens of miles away will suddenly negate the need for a modern store in downtown lawrence...

Stuart Sweeney 7 years, 2 months ago

Are you kidding. That would require competing with Associated Grocers. If you recall AG got out of the Topeka market the very same time Dillons left KC. Kind of strange wasn't it?!? If they competed the public migiht win a little!!!!!

Hawkman 7 years, 2 months ago

And how would that help those of us in East Lawrence?

CreatureComforts 7 years, 2 months ago

Why is it Dillons' job to "help" any side of the city?

ivalueamerica 7 years, 2 months ago

because they ask for tax abatements while increasing load on the infrastructure of the surrounding area.

thefactsare 7 years, 2 months ago

As a retail establishment, Dillons can not ask for a tax abatement per the Kansas Constitution. So your statement is completely false as they have not asked for anything.

ivalueamerica 7 years, 1 month ago

income tax, no...

property tax, yes...permit fees, yes...

Speaking of homework, you seem to have failed at yours.

GUMnNUTS 7 years, 2 months ago

On The Rocks might not be happy when grocery stores can sell full strength alcohol, I'm sure Dillons has taken a expanded liquor section into it's new design.

lovinglife 7 years, 2 months ago

it is illegal for grocery stores in the state of kansas to sell hard alcohol

GUMnNUTS 7 years, 2 months ago

I am refering to a bill that got stalled in the Senate this past session but will most likely pass next year, which is why I said "when grocery stores can sell". It is H.B.54.

pizzapete 7 years, 2 months ago

I'm eager to see this built, it can't happen soon enough. And yes, the current location is just about broken.

CreatureComforts 7 years, 2 months ago

More natural light in the summer, perhaps, allowing reduced lighting expenses? Just an idea.

David Albertson 7 years, 2 months ago

How can anybody be oppossed to millions of dollars being poured in to the local economy? I say go for it Dillons.

Shane Garrett 7 years, 2 months ago

This story does not use of the word "undulations". It worked well in describing store facades. :(

irvan moore 7 years, 2 months ago

Dillons is stepping up to make our neighborhood a better place. an investment like this in the present economy is something Lawrence should appreciate.

akuna 7 years, 2 months ago

Are there any more renderings that we can see... and higher resolution?

flyin_squirrel 7 years, 2 months ago

Why is McCullough and the City bending over backwards for Dillions? These are the same people who voted down Lowe's because it didn't fit, and now they want to let Dillion's build a store facing the wrong direction. Look at the stores on 23rd street that were built within the right away: - The old Post Office (now a bookstore), looks terrible and horrible access - The University Bookstore, looks terrible and horrible access - The Mongolian Grill, looks terrible and horrible access

This could turn out to be a worse design than the Louisiana Place strip mall (23rd and Louisiana with Panera, and the old Scholotski's).

As the city said with Lowe's, this isn't the right place for it (especially if it has to face north). If it fits, then it needs to be built to facing Mass St (West).

McCullough puts his fist down for a Lowe's but not for a Dillions? Could it be because it is not West Lawrence but rather East Lawrence....

shadowlady 7 years, 2 months ago

Everyone needs to quit complaining. I'm sure all of North Lawrence would accept Dillons no matter which way it was facing. People of North Lawrence has done without a grocery store for many years now, a community that has done without, they aren't picky. Maybe some of you need to do without, then maybe there wouldn't be criticism, especially about which way a building should be facing.

Yes we now have Dollar General, but thats not a REAL grocery store.

flyin_squirrel 7 years, 2 months ago

And we all know Dillon's will build it facing West if they knew the city wouldn't bend over backwards for them...

irvan moore 7 years, 2 months ago

it appears obvious to me that placement of the building entry is related to the school of building that considers fung shway. why would i care where the door is anyway?

Dayna Lee 7 years, 2 months ago

Dillon's gives a lot to Lawrence. It's crazy that everytime that The Kroger Co. wants to fix anything the "City" thinks they are funny and tells them NO. I get that it's fun to mess with a big company. Those of us that work for that company and shop at the stores, want new, shiny stuff. Let's get this plan approved and work in progress so that we can focus on the 6th Street store next!

Richard Heckler 7 years, 2 months ago

Doing something with this location makes Dillons/Krogers better prepared for future competition.

And it might offer a wider selection of products therefore making life more convenient than driving to the west side of town....

People living across the street have legitimate concerns regarding more traffic and trucks leaving motors running in the wee hours of the day. And headlights shining into their homes. AND tire tracks in the yards = not acceptable.

It seems a north facing entry would certainly allow more north cold air thus using more energy in winter..... we'll see.

Griffin 7 years, 1 month ago

I will still only shop at Checkers. I don't need a fancy store...just decent prices.

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