To the editor:
My wife and I own and operate Paisano’s Ristorante at 25th and Iowa. I am writing in regards to the development of the property at 27th and Iowa, into a proposed Olive Garden by M.D. Management, an out-of-town developer.
My reasons for writing are obvious; we are certainly concerned with this potential development. We are also members of the Lawrence Originals, a group of 21 locally owned restaurants, representing over $21 million in sales revenue and well over 1,000 employees.
The development company essentially is requesting approximately $600,000 in tax abatements over a 10-year period in order to build and lease an Olive Garden, under the Neighborhood Revitalization Act incentive. These savings will be passed on, in some degree, to the end user, Olive Garden, through lower lease payments, while the out-of-town developers recoup their money because they bought a piece of property at the height of the real estate bubble and that bubble has burst.
Does that sound fair to you?