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Archive for Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Lowe’s asks for indefinite deferral of request to build west Lawrence store

October 12, 2011

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New lows in the economy may mean no Lowe’s for Lawrence.

The national home improvement retailer has asked for an “indefinite” deferral of its request to build a 145,000-square-foot store at the northwest corner of Sixth Street and Congressional Drive.

Lawrence architect Paul Werner, who has been working with the Lowe’s on the site that is just west of the Walmart at Sixth and Wakarusa, said he’s not yet ready to declare the project dead. But he said he can’t say with certainty that it is going to move forward either.

“Lowe’s is following the economy like everyone else,” Werner said. “I think they want to get through the end of the year and then take another look at it.”

Werner said the corporate group for Lowe’s that studies new store openings met in late September — one day after one of the major declines in the stock market. The group then decided to pull back on the project. It wasn’t immediately clear whether the Lawrence store was the only project the company put on hold or whether other projects also were delayed.

In recent weeks, questions have emerged about whether Lowe’s would seek a special taxing district or some other sort of public incentive for the project. Werner said it is his understanding that such incentives have become common for Lowe’s in other communities, but he does not think the incentive question was the key point in the decision to put the project on hold.

“Obviously, an incentive would help,” Werner said. “But I don’t think that is a big factor in this. I think it is more just corporate wanting to get through the end of the year and reassess.”

Lowe’s proposal marked the second time in the last year the company had an attempt to build in Lawrence. In late 2010, city commissioners rejected a plan by Lowe’s to build on a site near Sixth Street and Folks Road. But city commissioners had indicated they felt more positive about this new proposal, which would have moved the store farther away from Free State High School.

Comments

Paul R Getto 2 years, 6 months ago

There's already a Lowe's 20 minutes away in Topeka and it's easy to get to. if they built one in Lawrence, it would be a shrunken version anyway.

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oneeye_wilbur 2 years, 6 months ago

Stores need shoppers, not shoplifters. STores need population around them. Lawrence doesn't have it. Now with trying to make the city a retirement mecca and have the retirees live in big buildings with no kitchens, there is no need for retirees to need a Lowe's or a Home Depot.

Lawrence doesn't get it.

Lowes would be more likely to build In Leavenworth County where the traffic will continue to flow to the Casino and the new turnpike interchange brings shoppers from the south. Costco? REally now. Went to one in JoCo this weekend to look around. Costco is hardly what retirees want. What retiree wants a truckload of depends or 10 pounds of pork chops. All Costco is good for, for retireees, are the food samples.

Lawrence needs to figure out what they want. Right now the city wants more, but not knowing what they want more of.

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purplesage 2 years, 6 months ago

Once again, the fight against progress and change has cost Lawrence a store that would be a convenience to the citizens and a good source of tax revenue. The scaled back versions don't work, either. Anyone besides me disappointed with the Wal-Mart, Jr. ? Or how about the several thousands of dollars of home imporvement business I just had to take to Topeka because the Lawrence Home Depot doesn't carry the products I need?

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Windemere 2 years, 6 months ago

Will Paul or someone please see if Dick's will put a store in Lawrence? We need that more than we need a Lowe's or an Olive Garden.

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toe 2 years, 6 months ago

With a majority of rentals in town, the do it yourself home improvement business is no good. Perhaps discount legal services would be a better bet.

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lunacydetector 2 years, 6 months ago

is paul werner a licensed real estate broker, acting like one, or part of these ownership groups doing these developments? just curious.

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LogicMan 2 years, 6 months ago

"Lawrence architect Paul Werner, who has been working with the Lowe’s"

Paul: Keep trying! A disappointing delay, but understandable in this economy.

Working on Sam's Club, or maybe a Costco? A Sam's Club just next to (east) the new Walmart makes sense.

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sad_lawrencian 2 years, 6 months ago

Let's face it: we're never going to get a Lowe's, or an Olive Garden, or as I would love to see, a Barnes & Noble and a decent movie theater, anytime during my lifetime. Sigh. This town can only be "so" quaint and college-y. Sooner or later you have to give up and go with your Johnson County brethren: if you build it [big-box stores], they [shoppers] will come. And poof! the local economy will be humming again.

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