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Archive for Saturday, July 20, 2013

Letter: What’s wrong?

July 20, 2013

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To the editor:

Reading the recent articles about Lawrence’s economic growth, I was reminded of a conversation that I recently had. I had the pleasure of a round of golf with the head of a chain store with Lawrence locations. Upon being introduced, he said to me, “What’s wrong with Lawrence? We have been trying for several years to spend $3.5 million on one of our Lawrence locations, and we can’t get it done. We’re about to take our $3.5 million and go elsewhere.” He went on to say that nowhere else has he had so much trouble trying to upgrade a location.

There could, of course, be a lot more to the story, and I am not offering any opinion on the subject. I simply felt the conversation was worth repeating.

Comments

parrothead8 9 months ago

Maybe he should buy a golf course, since he seems to enjoy them so much.

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kochmoney 9 months ago

There could, of course, be a lot more to the story, and since I'm not naming names, I could just be making this whole thing up. Enjoy!

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overthemoon 9 months ago

It is not difficult to get a project thru city hall if you've done your homework, fill out applications thoroughly and have a design plan that solves problems rather than creating them. A business that tries to 'get by' city hall will have problems. Best practice is to have meetings in advance (before plans are done) with planning and zoning, codes admin, city engineer), and, if need be, historic resource planner. They love to be included on the planning process because it makes the review process much easier and more efficient.

Anyone who submits development applications and is surprised by requirements or costs they didn't anticipate has done a lousy job of planning. Everything is on the city website. Having an architect and/or engineer familiar with local conditions on the team is a very worthwhile investment.

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FlintlockRifle 9 months ago

Menards here to stay, Home Depot , move on down the road, please

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oneeye_wilbur 9 months ago

The vague details are ok but the bit about golf is too much like Dolph talking about having lunch or dinner with someone.

Shoot the straight facts, please. I had a phone conversation on the stool but that doesn't make any difference about the subject at hand!

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FlintlockRifle 9 months ago

Dave, you have been around this town long enough to know all the hoops that business like you have and had have to deal with. Well put point and right on, just look at Menards troubles.

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jack22 9 months ago

"There could, of course, be a lot more to the story, and I am not offering any opinion on the subject. I simply felt the conversation was worth repeating." Yes, there certainly is a lot more to the story, you're not giving us enough information. The who, what, where, and why are all missing from your conversation.

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Leslie Swearingen 9 months ago

Upon being introduced, he said to me, “What’s wrong with Lawrence? We have been trying for several years to spend $3.5 million on one of our Lawrence locations, and we can’t get it done. We’re about to take our $3.5 million and go elsewhere.”

They are trying to upgrade a location.

Well, now, let's put our heads together and see if we can come up with a retail chain store in Lawrence that needs upgrading. David, please, more information.

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leonardpike 9 months ago

whose money is he trying to spend?

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Richard Heckler 9 months ago

Lawrence movers and shakers are concentrated on stealing jobs from other communities. This is not healthy for the nation nor for the Lawrence economy. This kind of predator economics requires tons of corporate welfare to bribe others to Lawrence which is unfriendly to taxpayers. We're led to believe that Lawrence does not need these tax dollar tax handouts while at the same time taxpayers are subjected tax /fee increases throughout the process.

Why isn't industry standing on their own two feet? People tell us if Lawrence does not bribe jobs will not relocate to Lawrence. I say fine taxpayers cannot afford those jobs. Those jobs will again relocate elsewhere to the next highest bidder. Nothing solid about predator economics aka reckless

Yes I am for protecting solid economic growth over speculation any day. Tighter markets produce more value and generate solid economic growth. High dollar Lawrence is based on the fact that Lawrence is a college town which for some absurd reason creates a large amount of inflation. Inflation is a negative under most economic umbrellas.

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Richard Heckler 9 months ago

"Lawrence has perpetuated an attitude that we don't want growth and industry in this town." That is perpetuated by over saturation of the market which is unfriendly to business and demonstrates inflation.

The real estate industry does well because they make money selling off parcels. That is not an indication the market and taxpayers can withstand reckless development. Simply put when retail establishments cannot produce expected sales thus produce expected tax dollars the taxpayers lose because city hall will come back on the taxpayers to make up the loss.

City Hall spends based on projected/expected tax dollar revenue generation. The new budget is designed based on an "expected growth in sales" which is without substance because no one knows if that projection is true or will ever materialize.

City Commissioners of late believe taxpayers must take risks no matter that taxpayers are annually hit with fee and tax increases over the past 25-30 years. Which says all of the new "so called growth" is NOT producing economic growth. Would these same commissioners spend as reckless their own small business dollars? Probably not for they would be out of business.

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kansas_cynic 9 months ago

Interesting letter. Why do I have so much trouble believing one single word in it?

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Matthew Herbert 9 months ago

So let me sum up your story: Some anonymous guy who owns some anonymous store is having trouble spending money for some unspecified reason. Yes, very helpful and thought provoking letter.

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Richard Heckler 9 months ago

The lack of details in that conversation is one thing missing. Was the conversation truly and obviously vague?

This repeal will not be necessarily be friendly to existing retailers in Lawrence but wayyyyyy more friendly to further saturating the Lawrence retail market. Apparently there is the mentality that Lawrence,Kansas has access to trillions of unknown retail $$$$$ in spite of the fact that Lawrence is not growing. And in spite of the fact that Lawrence is surrounded by larger retail opportunities within a few minutes drive. http://www.ci.lawrence.ks.us/assets/agendas/cc/2013/07-23-13/pl_ta_12-00205_ord8882.pdf

Eliminating any part of a Retail Market Study ordinance threatens the local economy and should not be considered as a fiscal responsible decision. Federal and State level politicians can wreck a local economy quite well on their own. Local politicians should be the checks and balance NOT part of wreckanomics.

I know some on the commission believe we should bring the shoppers to Lawrence because they have said so. But why would Topeka metro and KCMO metro shoppers want to come to high dollar Lawrence when in fact they have multiple choices, lower prices and larger selections within 15 minutes from their homes?

Of course the local movers and shakers believe all Lawrence shoppers to flock to the westside developments which of course are quite limited in scope. Their choices are not Lawrence choices.

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akt2 9 months ago

It probably doesn't matter one way or the other. They obviously would have closed one or more of their "several" locations by now if business was so bad.

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oneeye_wilbur 9 months ago

I would take the money elsewhere and tell the public why. I have an email from an investor group that claims it is easier in Communist China to do business than in Awrence.

The commission does not care, unless it is THEIR idea!

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Ron Holzwarth 9 months ago

If it takes several years to spend $3.5 million, there is either something wrong with what exactly they are trying to spend it on, or there is something wrong with the way they are going about it, I would think.

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