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City planners recommending denial of proposed Menard’s store; Planning Commission to debate project Monday

April 19, 2013

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The latest efforts to build a new home improvement store in Lawrence already are on shaky ground.

The city’s Planning Department is now recommending city leaders reject a proposal by Menard’s to build an approximately 190,000-square-foot home improvement center on a vacant site just east of Home Depot at 31st and Iowa streets.

“We’re basically dealing with a policy issue of whether we want to continue to focus our retail development along the Iowa Street corridor, or whether we think now is the time to branch out along another arterial road, like 31st Street,” said Planning Director Scott McCullough.

The recommendation for denial goes to the Lawrence-Douglas County Planning Commission at its meeting at 6:30 p.m. Monday at City Hall. Ultimately, it will be up to the Lawrence City Commission to make a final ruling on the proposal.

Recommendations from the city’s professional planning staff, though, usually carry some weight with commissioners. McCullough said his department is concerned about the proposal on two fronts:

• If retail development is allowed on the proposed site — which is where the Gaslight Mobile Home Village was located — it could set a precedent for more retail development eastward along 31st Street. The city’s comprehensive plan calls for that area to be residential in nature.

• Data is beginning to show, McCullough said, that the supply of retail space in Lawrence is starting to outpace the demand for retail spending in the city.

That portion of the city’s analysis may spur debate. McCullough conceded the city’s retail market analysis for the project is using vacancy rate data and spending data from 2010, when the economy was mired in a deep downturn.

Since 2010, numbers have indicated robust activity in the city’s retail market. The city’s sales tax collections in 2012 grew by more than 5 percent, the highest annual increase since the late 1990s. A key retail statistic kept by the state — the city’s retail pull factor — increased by about 7 percent during the time period.

“There are some mixed issues we need to work through here,” McCullough said.

The difference in data could be significant. The city-produced retail vacancy rate study estimated the retail vacancy rate in 2010 was 7 percent. But a privately produced study by the commercial real estate firm Colliers International estimated the retail vacancy rate in 2012 at 5.4 percent. Due to funding and staffing issues, the city hasn’t produced a retail vacancy study since 2010, but McCullough said his office is scheduled to publish one next month.

A Menard’s spokesman on Friday didn’t have any immediate reaction to the recommendation for denial.

The store is expected to employ about 250 people. The project also proposes a future phase that would accommodate up to six smaller stores or restaurants on the outer edge of the site.

If city officials reject the Menard’s plan, it will be the second time in the last couple of years the city has rejected a proposal to build a major home improvement center. In late 2010, the city rejected a plan for Lowe’s to build a store near Sixth Street and Folks Road.

That project drew stiff opposition from neighbors and from people concerned about traffic in the area. Thus far, that hasn’t been the case with the Menard’s project. McCullough said a neighborhood association hasn’t filed objections about the plan. The 42-acre site — which currently is zoned for dense, multi-family apartment development — is adjacent to one single-family house on the east and three single-family homes on the north. Most of the site abuts Ousdahl Road, which will separate Menard’s and the existing Home Depot store.

McCullough said the idea of having two home improvement stores right next to each other did not factor into the recommendation for denial.

Currently, there is only one vacant site in the city that is zoned to accommodate a store as large as the one proposed by Menard’s: the Mercato development at the northeast corner of Sixth Street and the South Lawrence Trafficway.

But Menard’s officials previously sent a letter to city officials saying they had no interest in that site because of a lack of housing near the location. The site is just south of where the city plans to build its $25 million recreation center, which it hopes will spur development in the area.

Comments

swampyankee 1 year, 5 months ago

there is a city park and wetlands east of the proposed site so how will retail develop to the east ?Iowa street is kind of full is it not?

3

skinny 1 year, 5 months ago

Oh give me a break. How many more Business's are you guys going to run off?? I already have to run to Kansas City or Topeka half the time to find a good restaurant to eat at as well as do a lot of my shopping!

How about we keep some of those tax dollars here?

27

Hooligan_016 1 year, 5 months ago

I seem to manage to have great food and complete all my shopping within the city limits. Odd.

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hooligan01 1 year, 5 months ago

All while riding the "T" too I imagine

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Jack Clayton 1 year, 5 months ago

Oooooh buuurn you really got him with that one bro.

You know, because supporting mass transit and local businesses are bad things and all...

I bet you're "the type" to drive around in your SUV and shop at only big box stores?

See, we can all make uninformed judgements about people

2

mdlund0 1 year, 5 months ago

Obviously said by someone who has no idea what great food tastes like and who doesn't care for the finer things in life.

0

hooligan01 1 year, 5 months ago

What a joke this is. We (city of Lawrence) spent how much money on the old Farmland site to develop into a business park to attract jobs? And here we have a company wanting to come to town and "create" (or how ever you want to look at that) ~250 jobs.
I could see if this was in a residential neighborhood, but its not. Businesses have already expanded to the west of Iowa street on 31st St and that worked out perfectly fine. What a joke of planners we have around here!!!

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workinghard 1 year, 5 months ago

Why am I not surprised? It already is a retail area. Come on County Commissioners, just this once quit letting the city call the shots. We got the rec center rammed down our throats whether we liked it or not so at least give us the Menards for crying out loud. For once give us something we actually want.

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hedshrinker 1 year, 5 months ago

don't really agree with the Planner's rationale (residential?REALLY? would YOU live there?) . but Menard's is a crappy store with crappy politics..other options?

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mdlund0 1 year, 5 months ago

Or have they been paid by HomeDepot to keep Lowes and Menards out? Last I checked, both have been told to take a hike.

0

jesse499 1 year, 5 months ago

Have you been to one are do you work for home depot? I've been to the one in Topeka and it makes home depot look like a also ran.

0

cowboy 1 year, 5 months ago

That land is not preferred residential property. Who would want to live there given the choices in the city.

McCulloughs comments i.e. commercial space , residential use , sound quite lame. To suggest turning down a major revenue generator is ridiculous.

Now we all would rather had a Lowes but the city trashed that opportunity now didn't they.

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Carol Bowen 1 year, 5 months ago

The long range plan for this piece of real estate is multifamily. Any development will severely impact Louisiana Street and its four neighborhoods in addition to the neighborhood to the north of the site. Our street system is poorly planned. Louisiana Street is beyond capacity.

Having said that, I have often thought that multifamily complexes are a poor neighborhood buffer. Most retail and offices close at night and are much quieter. With careful planning and collaboration with neighborhoods, Manards could work . . Except for street capacity. It would be a shame to lose 250 jobs. The city's long range plan should include more areas for business with capacity to service development.

1

hooligan01 1 year, 5 months ago

But it (proposed location) is so far to the West of Louisiana Street, how is it really going to add any additional strain on to it that Home Depot and WalMart don't already? I agree with you 100% though about it being beyond capacity though.

0

Carol Bowen 1 year, 5 months ago

Home Depot, Walmart, and Target each added thousands of car trips to Louisiana Street. The Exchange also added car trips.

0

Patricia Davis 1 year, 5 months ago

Pleazzz after RCJ park with NO planning, the city is now throwing the planning book at Menards? Fasten your seat belts. I smell more lawsuits.

9

Carol Bowen 1 year, 5 months ago

We are. H2020 was developed by the community. I'd say it's time for a rewrite.

0

Stop_the_Madness 1 year, 5 months ago

How old does a city need to be in order to execute proper planning?

1

sditt54 1 year, 5 months ago

250 new growth jobs should trump any flimsy recommendations of the planning commission. Plus, Home Depot needs the competition.

12

SouthernMan 1 year, 5 months ago

Without question, the single most dysfunctional and delusional Planning Office in America. Continue the heavy tax burden on citizens of Lawrence and deny new sales tax dollars for city coffers. These people in City Hall should be indicted. They are complete failures.

18

gccs14r 1 year, 5 months ago

More retail (especially bad retail) is not going to significantly increase sales tax revenue.

If Menard's wants to open a shop here, it can be in one of the areas that is zoned for that type of business.

4

Bladerunner 1 year, 5 months ago

Really? Could Wal*Mart open a store on 6th Street on land zoned for "that type of business" without a lawsuit? I just shake my head at these people.

0

gccs14r 1 year, 5 months ago

Wal-Mart tried to claim that it is a variety store, rather than a department store.

0

absolutelyridiculous 1 year, 5 months ago

And the retail choices just keep getting worse. I cant get a good selection of shoes in this town because the low volume stores we have. Come on...lets get some competition going in this town. I will drive to Menards in Topeka because our choices stink in this town. Get a clue,city hall, saled taxes dollars are driving down I70.

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LogicMan 1 year, 5 months ago

Apparently sage advice goes unheeded even in times of hardship:

"Don't look a gift horse in the mouth."

0

gccs14r 1 year, 5 months ago

Always look a gift horse in the mouth--it might need $2000 in dental work.

1

mdlund0 1 year, 5 months ago

Then turn it into glue and dog food.

0

mineonly 1 year, 5 months ago

You know us old people could get lower prices on things if these high and mighty idiots appointed to run this city would let some competition in. I figure they on this panel and all the city government leaders are taking money to keep the competition out. I ain't wrong!!!

3

2002 1 year, 5 months ago

What kind of planning is going on in Lawrence. There is a market for a home improvement store of this size and there is only one location in the city where it could located and that location is on far west 6th Street?

That isn't planning at all, it is more of the same crap that this city had been subject to for years. Terrible, incompetent planning. The planners in this city worship sprawl and do whatever they can to encourage it.

The proposed location is good because it is near Home Depot so people can make one trip to the area and get that part of their shopping done. And if South Iowa is so bad, why not North or East Lawrence?

The planners are encouraging westward sprawl.

3

gccs14r 1 year, 5 months ago

A casino is no great loss (all they are is an express route for a community's money to leave the area), and have you eaten in a Cracker Barrel? That is not food.

2

Bladerunner 1 year, 5 months ago

Don't forget Dillard's wanted to open a distribution center here awhile back. It was denied because evidently Lawrence doesn''t need low tech jobs. It went to Olathe instead and they currently employ over 500 people.

2

kwilkins74 1 year, 5 months ago

I wonder if Home Depot and the city of Lawrence have a "secret" deal going.

2

jhawk1998 1 year, 5 months ago

City vs Wal-Mart Part Deux How many dollars is this going to cost the city in legal fees before building begins?

2

Steve Jacob 1 year, 5 months ago

Why are they so worried about overbuilt retail when they approve large apartments complexes monthly with a city not growing?

6

Brett McCabe 1 year, 5 months ago

According to Menard's executives just a few months ago, they weren't adding any new stores because Obamacare was going to make them go bankrupt. I guess that it didn't.

There are a lot of reasons to turn this down. I lived in Wisconsin for many years and am very familiar with Menard's.

First, the jobs they say that they will add are mostly part-time, below poverty-wage jobs without insurance. A job is not a job is not a job. We have an ample supply of poor-paying jobs with bad hours already.

Second, while I am no fan of Home Depot and have no problem with competition, Menard's won't add anything to the tax base, it will just cannibalize current sales, so there will be minimal net gain to the community.

Third, we have plenty of existing retail corridor and we should not add anymore. If Menard's wants to come to town, they should buy the Malls at 23rd and Lousiana, the old Sears site, the soon-to-be defunct J.C. Pennney site, the movie-theatre site or any number of other locations that need to be revitalized.

The 23rd-Street and South Iowa corridor is a mess. It needs to be brought up to snuff - we don't need any more retail real estate, we need to revamp what we have. To prove I'm not anti-business, we should be looking to help businesses revitalize the dead zones in our current retail spots with tax or redevelopment incentives.

Finally, Menard's is just another big home improvement store with a bunch of stuff made in China - no different from any other mass retailer in America. You aren't missing anything.

4

mae 1 year, 5 months ago

Menards expanded in a big way recently in Wichita so it makes sense that they want to reduce shipping costs and expand revenue.

Putting it next door to Home Depot pretty much makes profit for both nil as they compete. Lowes across town was a much better idea.

I wonder if the planning commission considered sizes? A larger menards would kill home depot and create another empty large space. Not to mention lawsuits until home depot was allowed to expand on the property it has.

My opinion is allow something in west lawrence and build on that retail area. The draw of iowa is that everything is there that you need. Do the same thing out west.

0

del888 1 year, 5 months ago

evidently you have never been inside of a Menards store. It will not kill Home Depot. I was in Menards in St. Joe. They sell furniture (Home depot does not). They sell groceries (Home Depot does not). They sell lower quality home improvement items that are needed for those who can't afford the higher priced items.

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Budgets_Smudgets 1 year, 5 months ago

1) Constructing new big box retail stores or restaurants does not necessarily increase retail sales or improve the Lawrence economy.

2) Making it "more convenient" for us all to buy shoes, or cheap 2x4's closer to us does not necessarily increase retail sales or improve the Lawrence economy.

3) Businesses cannibalizing other businesses causes a lot of empty stores and hurts cities and neighborhood plans. And it doesn't create growth of "new jobs."

4) The City should not modify long range land use planning for every store or restaurant who wants to build here. Or we should not have a plan at all.

6

SouthernMan 1 year, 5 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

0

Richard Heckler 1 year, 5 months ago

Over saturation is unfriendly to business and taxpayers .... believe it. It appears that some taxpayers don't care.

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.

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

Face it Menard's can only be successful if Home Depot goes out of business. Then Lawrence is left with a huge empty store that will not be generating enough tax revenues to meet demand...after taxpayers were swindled into providing all of that multi million dollar tricky street design.

BTW the economy is only getting better according to politicians NOT to the more than 11 million still unemployed.

1

Sue McDaniel 1 year, 5 months ago

I am still ticked Lowe's was given such a hard time, great store we should have welcomed. I shop out of town, Lawrence is ruled by a few and it is not elected, it is good old boy money....

3

Richard Heckler 1 year, 5 months ago

With increased numbers of real estate developments you have increased demand on services, and historically the funding of revenues generated by real estste does not pay for the services, they require from a municipality.

With saturated and over saturated markets you have increased demand on services, and historically the funding of revenues generated by over saturated markets will never pay back for the services, they require from a municipality. Known as a tax increase on local property owners = who else can they tap?

Without local property owners city government could never function in such a reckless manner.

0

esteshawk 1 year, 5 months ago

Price Banks has the sense to call time-out on soth Iowa development 20 years ago. He was run out of town because he was viewed as an incompetent planner that was against development. The old WalMart sat there empty for years, and now Lawrence looks just like so many other suburban developments, with an overbuilt commercial hub that is tucked into one corner of the city. The planning staff tried to warn of the consequences but the naysayers of lawrence were too stupid to listen to sense and instead listened to dollars. Now look what you have. Long range decisions should be long range, and not at the whim of "this developer is here now and no other developer will ever come along if we say no."

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Budgets_Smudgets 1 year, 5 months ago

esteshawk hits the nail on the head.

2

2002 1 year, 5 months ago

Price Banks did a good job. I may not have agreed with every planning decision, but at least there was planning. Today it is 100% reactive and there is no plan. Shame on the City for its collective incompetence.

0

Tony Kisner 1 year, 5 months ago

Really an issue of highest use, a Red Lobster would be more appropriate in that space.

0

LogicMan 1 year, 5 months ago

Why does Lawrence want our sales tax dollars and jobs to keep going to Topeka and KC?

2

OonlyBonly 1 year, 5 months ago

1) For years the city has denied it's "overbuilt." Now all of a sudden it is. 2) For years the city has allowed helter-skelter development contrary to the great Master Plan. Now it's not such a good idea.

1

Steve Jacob 1 year, 5 months ago

I don't like empty storefronts, but I don't like some government group picking winners and losers in the free market.

2

In_God_we_trust 1 year, 5 months ago

If Lawrence doesn't want Menards, other cities south of Lawrence would be glad to have 250 new jobs.

0

workinghard 1 year, 5 months ago

Hmm, I would drive to Ottawa, Baldwin, or even Tonganoxie which would be better than driving to Topeka. Heck, build it in Eudora. Hope one of them picks it up if Lawrence drops the ball.

0

del888 1 year, 5 months ago

"Data is beginning to show, McCullough said, that the supply of retail space in Lawrence is starting to outpace the demand for retail spending in the city"

Could it be that the spending is going down because we have to go to Kansas City or Topeka to shop!? If the citizens of Lawrence want variety or even lower prices then they have to go out of town to find it. Competition breeds lower prices. As long as Home Depot is the only game in town then we are either forced to shop there or forced to shop in another town. Topeka has a Menards, Home Depot, and Lowes. If you are looking for a particular item for the best price, you can go to Topeka and shop all 3 stores which are all conveniently located near each other. Then there's the 250 jobs. I can think of a few city commissioners and a planner who might be needing a job soon.

1

infidel 1 year, 5 months ago

I'm starting to think the commissioners must be protecting Home Depot for some reson. First Lowes is denied then Menards.

I spend a lot do money in home improvement stores, unfortunately, most of it is out of town because Home Depot in Lawrence is small and doesn't have the selection or prices due to lack of commpition.

The vast majority of the 30k I've spent in the last year in home improvement stores has been in Topeka were Home Depot, Lowes and Menards compete with in a couple of blocks of each other.

It would be nice to spend my money locally, but it appears that I'll continue to support Topeka's tax base.

2

infidel 1 year, 5 months ago

I'm starting to think the commissioners must be protecting Home Depot for some reson. First Lowes is denied then Menards.

I spend a lot of money in home improvement stores, unfortunately, most of it is out of town because Home Depot in Lawrence is small and doesn't have the selection or prices due to lack of commpition.

The vast majority of the 30k I've spent in the last year in home improvement stores has been in Topeka were Home Depot, Lowes and Menards compete with in a couple of blocks of each other.

It would be nice to spend my money locally, but it appears that I'll continue to support Topeka's tax base.

2

TexasTwister 1 year, 5 months ago

All of this whining about how posters will drive out of town to shop at Menards or Lowe's? Give me a break! Home Depot can pull items in from their other stores if the local store doesn't have it. How ADD are you to throw a fit if the local store doesn't have it available for you to buy and take home RIGHT NOW?

4

workinghard 1 year, 5 months ago

Now why on earth would we drive out of town to buy something we can get at Home Depot? The point is the selection is different. I have found things at Lowe's that Home Depot doesn't carry. Menard's carries many things Home Depot doesn't. I found a wood front entry door at Lowe's for a fraction of what Home Depot wanted. In your own words, "Give me a break"

2

TexasTwister 1 year, 5 months ago

Good job supporting retail in Lawrence, how much did you spend on gas and time & energy to go to Topeka to do that? Was that wooden door really so much more spectacular than anything else you could have found here? Did you know you can go ReStore and find one of a kind doors for a fraction of the cost of Home Depot as well? Want to support Lawrence? Buy in Lawrence!

2

mdlund0 1 year, 5 months ago

Why buy in Lawrence when all of the selection is in KC or Topeka? Some of us would like our Model T's in a color other than black.

0

TexasTwister 1 year, 5 months ago

From the above description of Menards, they sound more like competition for Walmart. And how much money, time & energy did you spend going to Menards to buy this one-of-a-kind object that absolutely could not be found anywhere else but another big box store? Want to support Lawrence? Buy in Lawrence!

1

mdlund0 1 year, 5 months ago

Who says anyone cares about supporting Lawrence? You're a bit hung up on it, but the rest of us only care about getting the goods and services we desire... if they aren't in Lawrence (and often they aren't), we'll go elsewhere. You can't pick and chose the vendors that should be available to us, then get on a soap box and scream that we should buy our goods from them when they don't have what we want. You want us to support Lawrence, get Lawrence to support us.

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workinghard 1 year, 5 months ago

Why yes, I did go to the Restore frequently for over 6 months. I had no luck finding the size I needed. Saved $500 going to Lowe's, so yes it was worth it. I do order online from Home Depot if they have what I want, if not, I look elsewhere. By the way, I just came from Home Depot, picked up some painting supplies. Now if I need a paint color matched, I go to Lowe's at 13750 S Black Bob Rd, Olathe, KS. I have tried several places in Lawrence and nobody seems to be able to get it right.

0

gccs14r 1 year, 5 months ago

When comparison shopping online between HD and Lowe's, I find Lowe's to be more expensive. Having to drive to Olathe to pick up whatever it is adds to the cost.

I've browsed the Menard's site and have yet to find anything there I felt compelled to purchase.

0

smileydog 1 year, 5 months ago

The retail spending per capita is a bogus theory used by the old hippy radicals to stifle growth. Another example of "how to kill a town". A book about Lawrence that would be deserving to be written.

0

Jack Clayton 1 year, 5 months ago

Depends on your definition of a "dead town", I guess. To me, miles upon miles of parking lots and corporate blandness represents not only the death of Lawrence, but culture and community in general.

4

patkindle 1 year, 5 months ago

this is a college town with professionals and artists we don't need anymore places that sell hammers and 2 x 4s the govt knows what is best for us

0

Richard Heckler 1 year, 5 months ago

There are other competitive sources in this town such as the expanded Cottin's Hardware and the other lumber store on 6th street. Both stores can special order in. Everyday home repair needs can be found at Cottin's no problem. Much closer than KCMO or Topeka.

Lawrence would not support that huge Pay-Less Cashways store that went out of business.

Menard's can boast all they want. Sooner of later they will downsize the stock in this store instead of stocking dead inventory. Yes it will happen. Lowe's would do the same. The business is not in Lawrence,Kansas. Dead inventory is not worth one thin dime.

30%-40% of Lawrence is students = not necessarily big on do it yourself home repair. KU is cutting back on staff. Brownback put a lot of people out of work some of which hit Lawrence, Ks. City Hall puts people out of work. USD 497 has put a lot of people off the payroll.

Approximately 15,000 leave town 5 days a week working elsewhere = spending elsewhere.

I think some on this board should send a memo to city hall requesting that YOUR taxes be increased no matter how much to make up the difference lost to economic displacement. And I will send a memo gladly rescinding my share in order that a willing taxpayer can celebrate in supporting economic displacement.

The folks selling off that piece of real estate are all for just about anything so they can laugh all the way to the bank. This is about real estate sales not fiscal responsible urban economics.

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Richard Heckler 1 year, 5 months ago

No matter what some of you will still be driving to KCMO metro and Topeka simply because stores shelling smoke and mirrors will not be stocking everything in sight. Most all big box stores in Lawrence,Kansas are that way.......... designed particularly for the Lawrence market.

0

jhawkinsf 1 year, 5 months ago

When the stats come out reflecting the slow growth in jobs because of the jobs not created on this project, do I blame the bad job numbers on Sam ALEC Brownback or Barack HUSSEIN Obama?

0

LogicMan 1 year, 5 months ago

"There are other competitive sources in this town such as the expanded Cottin's Hardware"

That's a fine, corner hardware store, but not a supplier of the big, expensive, or bulky stuff.

"and the other lumber store on 6th street."

McCray's caters to builders, not retail.

"Both stores can special order in."

Who does that anymore? Smart people cut out the middleman and have it shipped directly to them via Amazon, etc.

0

LogicMan 1 year, 5 months ago

"Lawrence would not support that huge Pay-Less Cashways store that went out of business."

Patently false. The Lawrence store was their most profitable. The entire company went under, taking the Lawrence store with it, because it was a leveraged buyout that went bad.

3

Jack Clayton 1 year, 5 months ago

For god's sake, educate yourselves about planning, economics and sustainability. You act like adding another big box store is going to end unemployment and help the vitality of Lawrence. If you hate small businesses so much perhaps you should move back to Johnson County.

8

Jack Clayton 1 year, 5 months ago

There is a difference between no-growth and smart growth. I seriously doubt a college town of less than 90, 000 people needs two of the top three largest hardware superstores in the United States in addition to these http://www2.ljworld.com/marketplace/categories/retail/hardware-stores/

0

Jack Clayton 1 year, 5 months ago

Because it's not a level playing field. The market will be overextended and the ensuing cannibalization will favor the larger corporations (as it always does). Whether you want to believe it or not, this will eventually kill the small business-oriented culture, vitality and "sense of place" of Lawrence. Again, if you favor one-stop corporate shopping and driving over culture and vibrancy, then be my guest and drive half an hour to big box wonderland. Some of us, however, don't want to see our town become Everywhere, USA.

2

hedshrinker 1 year, 5 months ago

not all jobs are the same: 250 jobs could be living wage with insurance/vacation benefits or they could be temp/casual minimum wage with no benefits, AND the City/taxpayers could be so eager for the supposed great jobs/etc it would shell out lots of corporate welfare to incentivize their location here, only to have them cut and run after the tax breaks are gone..or before. The profits fr the big box stores go some place else, while locally owned store profits stay in the community. Sometimes the sticker price at Cottins may look a little higher, but I can find a friendly staff who is knowledgable (try that in any big box store) AND I will see most of the staff around the community supporting various community causes...will you ever see the owners of Walmart or Home Depot or Menards at your kid's T-ball game or Farmer's Market? When will consumers learn not all jobs are created equal and there's more to buying something than the purchase price....unless all you want is cheap Chinese crap that's probably contaminated with melamine.

1

TexasTwister 1 year, 5 months ago

Let's do a study of all the whiners that are essentially pro-development but buy of all of their goods out of town. So smart! Haters will hate!

1

TexasTwister 1 year, 5 months ago

H*ll's bells, we have 2 walmarts, 2 westlakes, 1 cottins, 3 paint specialty stores, 1 target, 1 restore. What on earth are you folks shopping for that cannot be found at these stores?

1

Carol Bowen 1 year, 5 months ago

Lawrence is not a large community. It is overwhelmingly residential, and we do not have a large enough employer base to support the residential and more retail. We need more ordinary industry like warehouses and manufacturing to become more economically balanced.

0

jesse499 1 year, 5 months ago

The planners and City Commission always talk about jobs growth but unless one of our local in group of developers are involved ( rec-center and 9Th &New Hampshire) come to mind It won't gets the ok. If they are then get the rubber stamp out where it's at are what it will effect will not enter the picture just how much money gets put in these guy's pockets!

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LogicMan 1 year, 5 months ago

In this morning's Menard's sales insert there are eight items that I would go buy this morning, seven of which Home Depot does not carry.

Oh well Lawrence, you lost out on those sales taxes and jobs yet again.

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TexasTwister 1 year, 5 months ago

What were those 7 items Mr. LogicMan?

0

jesse499 1 year, 5 months ago

Put it in North Lawrence we're smart enough to know whats good for our part of town!!!!

1

Mark Currie 1 year, 5 months ago

We don't need Menards, Olive Garden, Cracker Barrel, Red Lobster, Lowe's, etc. They might pay property taxes & everyone knows we have plenty of money, right? We are rebuilding our schools, The Fritzel Rec Center, Library, on and on. I was in a Menards once, while I wasn't impressed, that doesn't mean others might like it. Out west might be better, that way you could stop in after you had been to the rec center.

0

LogicMan 1 year, 5 months ago

"Out west might be better"

Maybe in the old debt-fueled days of rapid growth, but no more. Projects must pay for themselves now, or they won't be built.

0

jesse499 1 year, 5 months ago

Why does everything have to be out west don't you think people live in the other parts of town I get so tired of that BS!

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jesse499 1 year, 5 months ago

Oh! Forgot the high rollers out west don't want to get their BMW tires dirty in any other part of town.

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sunny 1 year, 5 months ago

The two Long Range Planners don't live in Lawrence or Douglas County.

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Bug 1 year, 5 months ago

I think the City requires that managers and above live in Douglas County but planners are just regular employees. The City would have to require all employees live in Lawrence or Douglas County to make planners live here and not many (if any) municipalities do that. And I could be wrong but I don't think the City has any long range planners anymore. Everyone is now a Planner II. http://www.lawrenceks.org/pds/contact_us

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Mark Currie 1 year, 5 months ago

I actually don't care if they build one or not. A little more research on Menards and my stomach, says an Olive Garden would be better. They could put it in that building next to 5 guys that has sat empty for what 10 to 12 years?

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Loretta James 1 year, 5 months ago

bambam73222@yahoo.comut">p>bambam73222@yahoo.comut something there besides menareds like olive garden their are some of us that like it wht put 2 aImilar stres next to each other.

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