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

sad_lawrencian 3 years, 7 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.

average 3 years, 7 months ago

From where? With what money?

There's no shortage of big box stores or any other retailing in ex-urban Phoenix, Las Vegas, or Orlando, and I wouldn't call their economies humming, unless it's a faint refrain of 'Brother Can You Spare a Dime'.

LogicMan 3 years, 7 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.

lunacydetector 3 years, 7 months ago

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

BigAl 3 years, 7 months ago

Paul Werner is a licensed architect that has been doing his very best in promoting Lawrence. He is trying to bring in new business, refurbish old business and promote the general overall well-being of Lawrence. Every time Paul gets involved, we are talking about potential new jobs and new sales for local suppliers.

Keep at it Paul. Some of us appreciate what you do!!

lunacydetector 3 years, 7 months ago

a licensed architect and a licensed real estate broker are two different animals.

lunacydetector 3 years, 7 months ago

gee, guess i strick a nerve. i assumed he must have an ownership interest in the development groups, because it sounds like he is acting as a real estate broker, procuring a site for another party.

Windemere 3 years, 7 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.

lizzyp13 3 years, 7 months ago

I find myself agreeing. A Dick's Sporting Goods or a Sports Authority would be so helpful. I understand there are local sports stores but lets just face it, they are not like the "big" stores. Past Garry Gribbles for shoes I have to travel to JoCo for my athletic apparel shopping.

On a side note...I really don't want the Lowe's. But that's mostly b/c my husband works for the Home Depot Dist. Center in Topeka. :-)

CountyResident 3 years, 7 months ago

Lawrence had a Rusty's Sporting Goods store at 23rd & Iowa, where Hastings is now. It closed a few years ago. Don't know why it closed.

purplesage 3 years, 7 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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