Advertisement

Archive for Friday, June 14, 2013

City commissioners to consider final approvals for Menards project

June 14, 2013

Advertisement

With two approvals already in its tool belt, home improvement retailer Menards will try to hammer out a deal with Lawrence city commissioners on Tuesday for a 31st Street store just east of South Iowa Street.

Store officials likely will face a split commission.

“I am concerned that this development will put some stress on our neighborhood retail centers that are only marginally full right now,” said City Commissioner Bob Schumm. “There are only so many dollars to be spent in a community, and when you stretch it out too much, something has to give, and usually it is the older retail centers.”

But Menards’ plans for an approximately 160,000-square-foot home improvement center on property just east of Home Depot near 31st and Iowa streets, has some support on the commission.

Mayor Mike Dever said development needs to occur soon on the proposed site, the former Gaslight Mobile Home Village.

“We’re dealing with a piece of property that I think is blighted,” Dever said. “It really is kind of an eyesore right now, and it is the first thing you see if you are driving into the commercial area from the east.”

Dever said he’s not convinced the new development — which also would have spaces for about 65,000 square feet of smaller restaurants and shops — would damage the city’s existing retailers.

“I think the town is going to be positively impacted by the completion of the South Lawrence Trafficway,” Dever said of the bypass project that will start construction again later this year. “I think there is a good possibility that we can bring in more shoppers from outside the community if we have more variety.”

The project already has won a positive recommendation from the Lawrence-Douglas County Planning Commission, and the Douglas County Commission approved a needed change in the joint city-county comprehensive plan to allow the project to move forward.

But the development won’t proceed unless city commissioners also give the necessary approvals to the project on Tuesday.

The project needs extensive approvals from City Hall because Menards officials want to build on a piece of ground that is zoned for apartment development. Menards officials have bypassed other locations in the city that are already zoned for big box retail development, most notably the property at Sixth Street and the South Lawrence Trafficway in northwest Lawrence. Site selectors for Menards said the location doesn’t have enough homes nearby to make it a viable location. Lowes, within the last two years, also made the same comments about the northwest Lawrence site.

Dever said the fact that Menards isn’t taking advantage of an area already zoned for retail development is the one part of the project that bothers him.

“But all of the conversations I’ve had about trying to steer companies to what we think are better locations out west have fallen on deaf ears,” Dever said. “They tell us that they’re not interested in being pioneers. I don’t think they’re going to be interested in that area until we have more development out there.”

Menards officials have said they are very interested in being a part of the South Iowa Street corridor. They note 31st Street just east of the proposed site will be widened and improved as part of the SLT project.

The new store would be next door to Home Depot, but Menards has pointed to several other communities where Menards, Home Depot and Lowes are all in close proximity and all do well.

Thus far, neighborhood opposition to the proposed store has been limited. Several neighbors said at previous Planning Commission meetings that they would rather have a home improvement center on the site than a large apartment complex, which is what’s allowed under the current zoning.

Schumm said he agrees that the community probably doesn’t need another apartment complex at the site, but he said he would like to explore other zoning options, such as a mix of office and residential uses.

“This whole retail area has been built up over the years by adding just one more and then just one more,” Schumm said of the South Iowa Street corridor. “I feel like it already has become a large commercial area that is somewhat complicated to move around in.”

Commissioners meet at 6:35 p.m. Tuesday at City Hall.

Comments

LogicMan 10 months ago

Yes! Four to one vote to approve tonight!

0

oneeye_wilbur 10 months, 1 week ago

How much longer will the Journal World milk this issue for news?

Did John Stavros have to go through this scruntiny?

0

Brett McCabe 10 months, 1 week ago

No to Menard's. The Lawrence City Commission will be reviewing the Menard's application soon and I encourage you to let them know that NO is the right answer.

The following two links are good places to start:

http://www.theinvestigativefund.org/blog/1717/menards_chain_gives_employees_anti-obama_propaganda/?page=3

http://www.uppitywis.org/blogarticle/menards-just-another-small-family-owned-business-hurt-obama-righ

Because Kansas is a Right-To-Work state, Menard's employees will easily be bullied by the Tea Party agenda of Menard's management. These workers will have little or no recourse if they do not buy into the Menard's ultra-conservative way of thinking.

As the last bastion of intelligent thought in Kansas, Lawrence needs to refuse these types of businesses.

0

Richard Heckler 10 months, 1 week ago

City hall, elected officials and local profiteers are draining OUR pocketbooks and raising OUR taxes. We've subsidized local profiteers at such a basic level for so long, that many people believe Lawrence will die if we don't. This is false-what we think of as a level playing field is tilted steeply in favor of local profiteers driving development.

How do we subsidize profiteers?

--- pick up the cost of more criminal activity as Lawrence grows.

--- building new and wider roads such as the SLT.

--- building schools on the fringe.

--- extending sewer and water lines to not necessary development.

--- extending emergency services to the fringe.

--- direct pay-outs to developers.

--- For example in Lawrence downtown two more 9th and New Hampshire structures looking at more and quite healthy multi-million tax $$$$ “donations if you will”. http://www.sierraclub.org/sprawl/report00/intro.asp

"Free Lunch: How Local Wealthiest Americans Enrich Themselves at Taxpayer Expense (And Stick You with the Bill)." This reveals how local government subsidies and new regulations have quietly funneled money from the local poor and the local middle class to the rich politically connected.

Bill Moyers http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/01182008/transcript.html

David Cay Johnson – What exactly is TIF? http://www.democracynow.org/2008/1/18/free_lunch_how_the_wealthiest_americans

0

cindy321 10 months, 1 week ago

upto I saw the check that said $7641, I didn't believe ...that...my sister woz realey taking home money in their spare time at there labtop.. there best friend has been doing this for less than fourteen months and a short time ago repayed the mortgage on their place and bought a great new Bugatti Veyron. we looked here, http://m3mi.com/3621CHECK IT OUT

0

juma 10 months, 1 week ago

Schumm should Zchumm out of here . Go hang out with your buddy Tommy F. at the new RCPark and discuss all your great development ideas.

1

LogicMan 10 months, 1 week ago

"But, where should this vendor locate along our beach? I say, ..."

You put up the money and the NW land, and maybe they'll take it! But until you do, it's their money at risk and their analysis showed the most promising location for their store is on the south side.

I do agree a store is needed up on the NW, but Lowes is a better fit. Or a greatly expanded Westlake.

0

JayhawkFan1985 10 months, 1 week ago

This is the classic "vendor on the beach" case. When you have a beach and only one ice cream vendor, it makes sense for the vendor to locate in the middle of the beach to minimize travel for everyone playing along the beach. However, when you have two vendors, it makes sense for the customers for the two vendors to locate at the 1/3 and the 2/3 locations along the beach to minimize the distance the patrons have to travel. However, it makes sense to the vendors to stay in the middle on the outside chance they can capture customers away from the other vendor. Thus, the interests of the vendors and customers diverge. This is our problem here. Home Depot and Menards offer the same products at the same prices with the same quality of service...at least roughly.

We need to remember that Lawrence doesn't belong to big business. It belongs to those of us who live here. So I ask you, what makes the most sense to the people of Lawrence? Clearly, Menards would be great for Lawrence. But, where should this vendor locate along our beach? I say, west Lawrence or north Lawrence or east Lawrence makes the most sense and is consistent with our city's comprehensive plan.

0

Richard Heckler 10 months, 1 week ago

This is a all about trying to make Lawrence appear as something it isn't. The Chamber and the government are presenting a facade. What is this this big debt development doing? Draining OUR pocketbooks and raising OUR taxes courtesy of elected officials and local profiteers.

At great expense to taxpayers. As a great retail center Lawrence cannot compete with KCMO metro or Topeka. But the real estate executives and Chamber will keep telling us different.

Why would anyone want to shop Lawrence when KCMO metro and Topeka have many many more choices and perhaps lower prices? Lawrence needs to pull away from saturating the markets and come up with substantial long term well paying job potentials.

Simply put supporting a ton of retail requires a ton of expendable retail dollars which Lawrence does not have. Like Wal-Mart Lawrence represents Always Low Wages.

Sure we go to KCMO when we can't find something in Lawrence. But that is no reason to pretend that Lawrence can pretend to be a large retail center.

What goes with becoming a larger retail center? A larger city that comes with wayyyyyyyy more criminal activity,higher taxes,wayyyy more traffic congestion and polluted air. I PREFER TRAVELING TO KCMO METRO once in a while than to have that nonsense living in my backyard.

It seems to me both Topeka and KCMO have wayyyyyyy more criminal activity than Lawrence for sure. How many Lawrence taxpayers want the Chamber,the builders and the elected officials bringing that to Lawrence,Kansas? Most certainly not I !

0

oneeye_wilbur 10 months, 1 week ago

Logic of Schumm

  1. 19th and Haskell will fail because of Menards
  2. Blighted 6th street from Iowa to Maine will decline because of Menards
  3. Vacant Tager Mall will decline because of Menards
  4. Where was the reporter to interview Schumm for facts on the neighborhood retail centers he spoke of?

The Malls? Is that what Schumm speaks of? Ace has survived Payless, 84 lumber, Wickes, Kmart, Walmart and even Ernst, the hobby hdwe store.

1

Richard Heckler 10 months, 1 week ago

Menard's the Wal-Mart of the home improvement store industry = Menard's expects Home Depot to go out of business.

Do conservative billionaires like John Menard Jr. ever, ever, ever take personal responsbility for their actions?

Menard's has on numerous occasions famously gotten into trouble with pollution-control regulators in Wisconsin and Minnesota when it -- and Menard himself, personally -- have been caught illegally dumping company garbage, including toxic wastes.

The Menards chain has been planning to move into Missouri with new stores in three St. Louis suburbs, but yesterday the firm unexpectedly announced that one of those stores, in suburban O'Fallon, is being dropped from the expansion plan. Why?

http://www.uppitywis.org/blogarticle/menards-just-another-small-family-owned-business-hurt-obama-righ

0

average 10 months, 1 week ago

“I think there is a good possibility that we can bring in more shoppers from outside the community if we have more variety.”

FROM WHERE DEVER? Can somebody please buy our commission a Got-damned Rand McNally?

The number of people 'outside the community' who are closer to Lawrence than Topeka or KC but shop outside because we lack variety? That'd be Baldwin, Eudora, Lecompton, and, on a really good day, Tongie or Ottawa (KCK or Olathe is closer, though). Added all up... it's still a small town.

It's a fine line of reasoning if you're Columbia MO or even Manhattan KS. You're the closest major shopping center for 100 miles of small towns and farms. This is not the case for Lawrence and will not be the case.

1

Richard Heckler 10 months, 1 week ago

BTW who is paying for this improved section of 31st? Local taxpayers will be on the hook like we were for $2 million in improvements for Home Depot.

"The new store would be next door to Home Depot, but Menards has pointed to several other communities where Menards, Home Depot and Lowes are all in close proximity and all do well."

Within 2-3 miles of each other? Not in communities of 68,000.

Maybe in communities which are part of a very large metro population such as Philadelphia, San Francisco, St Louis, Dallas, Denver etc etc in which there are millions in a metro area.

I've never seen this in the KCMO metro. We see a Home Depot at 119th and I-35 then we see a Lowes at 135th near Black Bob. Not next door to each other.

Smart elected officials don't want a situation such as this in their community because empty big buildings are hard on the local economy.

Menard's is anticipating Home Depot going out of business. The bottom line.

0

LawrenceTownie 10 months, 1 week ago

Please guys, NO MORE HAMBURGER JOINTS close to this new Menards. We have too many HB restaurants in that area now. Back Yard already went out of business because it was sandwiched between two other HB restaurants. Get us in something entirely different.

0

FlintlockRifle 10 months, 1 week ago

Yup , in the crime capital Lowe's and Menards are just a few yards from each other, time will tell.

0

Richard Heckler 10 months, 1 week ago

“I think there is a good possibility that we can bring in more shoppers from outside the community if we have more variety.” There is no way to substantiate such an irresponsible economic theory.... this is reckless indeed.

Extremely risky grounds to support a big box store. The market is not here simple as that. One third of the Lawrence population is students which brings the population to 68,000. 58% of Lawrence residential is rental property. Most landlords do not maintain their properties ... just let them deteriorate.

Not a lot of retail dollars left in this market.

0

Richard Heckler 10 months, 1 week ago

“We’re dealing with a piece of property that I think is blighted,” Dever said. “It really is kind of an eyesore right now, and it is the first thing you see if you are driving into the commercial area from the east.”

This is no reason to support a risky business decision. Nothing needs to be built today or tomorrow. Simply because the property owner wants to is no reason to impact the economy with a bad business decision. It is not the responsibility of elected officials or the taxpayer to insure this person makes a lot of money at the demand of the property owner. Property owners assume all risks aka the free market.

0

Richard Heckler 10 months, 1 week ago

“There are only so many dollars to be spent in a community, and when you stretch it out too much, something has to give, and usually it is the older retail centers.”

Yes the smart economic attitude and business friendly.

0

smileydog 10 months, 1 week ago

The city gave Home Depot fits to get built. I think it took 2 1/2 years to get approval. Will the city allow Home Depot to expand?

0

mikekt 10 months, 1 week ago

Let me get this straight ?!

Dillons, HVYEE and Checkers are all going out of business because Target, Walmart and Aldi are so close to each other on South Iowa ?!

Because there are so many franchise fix your car places on South Iowa including Walmart, every other fix your car place in town will just fold up and disappear ?!

Obviously, there is no way to be a car dealer anywhere else in Lawrence, but on south Iowa St so the rest of the auto dealers should just leave town ?!

Gasoline sales in Lawrence must be down and need support (with the newer efficient vehicles ) that the city commission wants to force us to drive from pillar to post, to find a fix it widget that is going to be at 31st and Iowa ( in a Menard's or a Lowe's, ) a destination where most of us go to regularly anyway as it is ?!

Sending me all over town from store to store looking for a widget just wears out my tires, my vehicle and waisted my gasoline and time .

1

nugget 10 months, 1 week ago

Ah, Lawrence, Kansas, the champion of more big box stores in one location than just about anywhere in the midwest. Or if not, they wish to be. Yawn.

1

deec 10 months, 1 week ago

Have they asked for their TIFs and/or tax abatements yet?

It will be convenient for Menards to have water nearby to pollute .

http://www.wwdmag.com/menards-guilty-polluting-wisc-waters

2

streetman 10 months, 1 week ago

Office building needs are hardly as dependent upon location as is the case for retailers. Despite the analysis of renowned economist Schumm, Menards in Topeka must attract (suck?) a heck of a lot of business from Douglas Co -- they wouldn't pay for weekly advertising circulars (sometimes twice a week) in the LJW if it didn't pay off. That could only grow -- to the benefit of Lawrence in general -- if they had a store in Lawrence to attract more out-lying customers from Douglas Co than now make the trip to Topeka -- all providing tax $ to Lawrence. And the 31st location seems perfect, being by US 59 and the SLT. They know what they're doing.

0

Ginny Hedges 10 months, 1 week ago

“I am concerned that this development will put some stress on our neighborhood retail centers that are only marginally full right now,” said City Commissioner Bob Schumm. “There are only so many dollars to be spent in a community, and when you stretch it out too much, something has to give, and usually it is the older retail centers.”

... so it is better for us to go to KC or Topeka and spend our money there at Lowe's or Menard's like we have done a few times?

Look at Topeka - the Lowe's, Home Depot and Menard's are close together , and they seem to be doing okay. Just sayin...

1

jesse499 10 months, 1 week ago

You won't have to worry the only things our boys at City Hall want to build is things that add to our taxes nothing that will bring in tax money. They have ran off Lowes,Cracker Barrel, Olive Garden and so many others I can't name them all but they all run for office to bring more business in to Lawrence but when their in they do there best to run business off and build rec centers and things that we have to pay for Then after they get that oh I forgot we need a new Police and legal center that you have to pay for but they don't want any new business to help pay taxes for all these things.What's wrong with this picture? Is it because their developer friends are not making money off building them like they do the others? HMMMMMM

0

Barclay 10 months, 1 week ago

For heaven's sake... let the retailers decide profitability! The area is blighted and empty. What am I missing? Menard's would not build and smaller retailers would not come in beside if they were wanting to lose money!

2

3up3down 10 months, 1 week ago

Why can't we get Lowes in here. Lord knows the expansion of Lawrence is NW and the possibility of development south is land locked by farmland and the Baker Wastelands. Lowes or Menards would do well on the north end of the city. Red Lobster tried for 31st and Iowa years ago. Get them in here along with Olive Garden.

0

average 10 months, 1 week ago

If they were on west 6th, they'd probably get 95% of my business in that category. 100 feet from HD... no real reason to bother.

0

richh 10 months, 1 week ago

If I am City commissioner and I would not let the Menard's site near Iowa and 31 street, because that place already have the home improvement center as the Home Depot! I would put Menard's on the former farmland site by 23rd street! There is no home improvement in east of Lawrence area! Just think about it! We need to improve more business on east side of Lawrence! They were talking about add new many stores on south side of Lawrence area!

2

irvan moore 10 months, 1 week ago

I like mr. schumms comment about the area building up by adding one store at a time, I wonder if he has figured out that downtown probably developed the same way

2

LogicMan 10 months, 1 week ago

Anyone interview Home Depot yet to see if they want to expand their Lawrence store? Or open another, bigger store in NW Lawrence?

0

mikekt 10 months, 1 week ago

I have a great idea of how to deal with the feared overbuilding of business space In Lawrence or the possible collapse of small retailers elsewhere due to development on South Lawrence .

Simply go and get a Menard's or a Lowes to move into the former trailer park site on 31st, and then force the South Iowa St Walmart, Target, Pennies, a car dealer or two, and lets not forget a restaurant or drive thru, etc., to pick straws at a public event, to see who folds up shop, tears down their property.... and leaves town, to help control the amount of retail space in Lawrence ! .

Well, ...OK....it's probably not such a good idea.........and it really sounds dramatic .....but it makes about as much sense, to me, as what i have read in the content of this story, concerning how development "should work". DRAMA !

"Should Work"..... and some very real money,.... might get you a cup of coffee, somewhere ! ?

While you are at it, ......kindly bring back the "corner grocery store".....and control all of their arch enemies, like Dillon's ,HyVee, Checkers, Walmart, Target, ( did i leave anybody out that you shop at, for food.? ......sorry !!!) .....who did destroy the good old corner grocery days of the past, never to return again, by luring you away as a customer, by cutting your food bill .

And what happened to those corner grocery store spaces ? Just asking ? Did anybody ever rent or use them ever again ?......and is that the end of change in this world ?

.

0

Loretta James 10 months, 1 week ago

how about olive garden and red lobster, or golden coral get some good places to eat here menards will do nothing but hurt home depot

0

Number_1_Grandma 10 months, 1 week ago

Bob Schumm has shown himself to be a total disappointment this time as commissioner and Mayor! Don't run again, Bob. Get off and stay off as you are only on the commission for your own selfish needs. Use your criticism of this project and use it on apartment requests! Talk about "overbuilt"... But, the apartment dwellers might eat at your restaurant for your own personal gain, huh Bob?

Mayor Dever, build it and they will come.....businesses that is!!!

1

dirt 10 months, 1 week ago

No to apartments and YES to Menards! If people wonder why we are losing tax dollars to other areas, it's because other areas have more options! I would prefer Lowes, but Menards would be better than nothing!

3

oneeye_wilbur 10 months, 1 week ago

If Schumm wants office space, build it on 23rd street between Iowa and Louisiana and get rid of all the curb cuts and presently vacant buildings!

1

LogicMan 10 months, 1 week ago

The time is ripe to build there. Great store proposed; best use of the land.

3

SpeedRacer 10 months, 1 week ago

I have been Menard's in Topeka a couple of times; and while an interesting store, I can't see it as the go-to place for things I purchase at other retailers now.

3

SeaFox 10 months, 1 week ago

“But all of the conversations I’ve had about trying to steer companies to what we think are better locations out west have fallen on deaf ears,” Dever said. “They tell us that they’re not interested in being pioneers. I don’t think they’re going to be interested in that area until we have more development out there.”

Sounds like a classic cache-22.

To get more development out there, you need businesses to locate there, but businesses wont locate there because there isn't more development.

0

Commenting has been disabled for this item.