Lawrence and Douglas County

Lawrence and Douglas county

City approves Menards store next to Home Depot at 31st and Iowa streets

June 18, 2013


The stage is set for a home improvement center battle in Lawrence.

A Menards home improvement center won the necessary city land use approvals Tuesday evening for a nearly 190,000-square-foot store and outdoor lumber yard just east of the Home Depot at 31st and Iowa streets.

“This looks like a very good project to me, and I think it is a development that the city can support,” City Commissioner Mike Amyx said.

The approvals put the store on track to begin construction in 2014 and perhaps open by the spring of 2015, Tyler Edwards, a real estate representative for Menards, told commissioners.

A majority of city commissioners rejected concerns that the city’s retail market is being overbuilt and that the large new store would increase vacancy rates of existing retail development.

“I see the economy improving,” said City Commissioner Terry Riordan. “I think this is the time to allow this type of development to occur.”

City Commissioner Bob Schumm was the lone vote against the project. He expressed concerns that city residents' income hasn't grown enough in the past decade to give them more money to spend on retail. That causes him to worry that major new development will come at the expense of existing retailers.

“I have to be concerned with the entire city,” Schumm said.

The concerns were the same expressed by Kirk McClure, a Kansas University professor of urban planning and the only member of the public to speak against the project Tuesday night. The city’s planning staff also produced a report that raised questions about whether the city’s retail market is becoming overbuilt.

But commissioners and other staff members said they were seeing no signs on the ground, such as blighted retail areas, that would suggest the city’s retail market is over-saturated.

“I’m just not seeing the symptom that we’re trying to cure here,” City Manager David Corliss told commissioners.

Amyx said it was important to remember that McClure and others previously predicted that a new Wal-Mart on West Sixth Street would run a nearby Dillons store out of business. Instead, the Dillons store expanded.

“I obviously lost that immediate bet,” McClure said when challenged on the point by Amyx.

Commissioners did, however, question the Menards official on why the company was not willing to locate on property already zoned for retail development. Edwards said the other sites in the city simply didn’t produce either the traffic or the visibility that the South Iowa Street corridor offered.

“When you do your shopping in Lawrence, you go down to South Iowa Street,” Edwards said.

In other business, commissioners unanimously agreed to temporarily relocate the city’s public transit hub to the 700 block of Vermont Street. The move is expected to take place in the next several weeks as construction begins on a new hotel in the Ninth and New Hampshire area, home of the current transit hub.

The hub likely will remain in the 700 block of Vermont, across from the library, for about a year, while the city looks for a permanent location.


Thomas Christie 5 years ago

I have not agreed with even one of Shumm's votes. I've lost all respect for him and his ability to make good decisions for us common folk?

Bobby Burch 5 years ago

So I understand it's going in "just east" of the Home Depot, but what will happen with the trailer park directly north of Home Depot? Are those set to be demolished? They're quite an eye sore, and appear to be mostly abandoned ... Also it would probably suck to live in between/next to two large stores ...

LogicMan 5 years ago

"but what will happen with the trailer park directly north of Home Depot?"

They are part of Menards land; the trailers be gone. From what I saw, it will become green space and a pond.

patkindle 5 years ago

we so need two hammer stores side by side at least menards knows more than we do a

riverdrifter 5 years ago

They both buy their lumber, sheet rock and so on by the carload market from the railroads that haul it, so their prices and quality of such will be the same. HD & Menards are both the same damn thing: big box discount outfits that pay dismal wages to the 90% of their employees. They both suck to work for but the upside is more part-time jobs for KU students.

Bob Forer 5 years ago

Actually, the quality may not be the same. I see Mennard's as very similar to Sutherland Lumber, which always had the best prices but the worst quality. Home Depot, on the other hand, is closer to Lowe's in its product line.

There isn't a whole lot of difference in sheet rock, nails, etc. But when you're trying to build something, good lumber makes all the difference in the world.

Will be interesting to see whether folks prefer the better quality of Home Despot, or the lower prices of Mennards.

jesse499 5 years ago

Better quality of Home Depot? You've got to be kidding.

Bob Forer 5 years ago

Comared to sutherlands and Mennards, I thnjk its better. I am not suggesting it is great number, but merely stating that it is better the the low quality of some of its competitors.

tomatogrower 5 years ago

Yeah, the south side is just sooo far from the west side. This isn't exactly a large city.

jesse499 5 years ago

Why do you think everything has to be on the west side? I for one do NOT want to drive out into that mess for anything you take your life in your own hands getting in and out of any store out there. Most people think the parking lot speed limits are 45 and the stop signs are to wave at as they go by.

skull 5 years ago

Yes, west sixth is sooo crazy compared to south Iowa. It's a mess...

gatekeeper 5 years ago

Have you seen any Menards in other cities? They always build by Home Depot and Lowes. The lots for all three stores are always full. There's a reason they do this. You go to Home Depot and don't find what you wanted. You then go across the street to Menards or Lowes. You'll see that Menards carries cheap stuff. I wouldn't buy tools or lumber there. If you want quality, you go to Home Depot or Lowes. I have bought one thing at Menards, storm doors, because they actually had them on sale for a great price (store grand opening) and it was a good, American made brand. You'll also see that Menards doesn't carry many things during the off season that Home Depot does (gardening and outdoor stuff). Once Menards sells out of the allotted amount of grass seed, mulch, BBQ grills, etc.... for the season, they don't restock. Home Depot carries year round.

The owner of Menards is a political hack and the main reason I won't go to their stores very often. He constantly complains how he's going to have to close his stores if anyone but a republican is in office. Funny, they keep building stores. He's even had fits about how a Taco Bell that was going in by his store wasn't acceptable and tried to stop them from building. He pushes republican talking points on his employees and has tried to get them all to take an anti-Obama civics course taught by Herman Cain (remember, tried to run for Prez).

jesse499 5 years ago

I've been in the Menards in Topeka and it is so much cleaner and better stocked then any Home Depot or Lowes. Plus if you ask someone where something is it's not (that's not my dept.) it's they take where it's at are they find someone who can..As far as the Owner from what I've read he started from the ground up building pole barns with his college buddy's. Makes me mad when someone bad mouths someone they don't even know I found the article that said all this stuff you talk about and right below it was a Home depot add amazing isn't it?

LogicMan 5 years ago

"The only thing I have against them coming to Lawrence, is that the size is unfair to Home Depot."

So call up their CEO and ask them to expand their store. Lawrence is Open for Business.

harleydan 5 years ago

31st and Iowa sounds like a corner in the Highlandpark area

Richard Heckler 5 years ago

If you are referencing Highland Park,Illinois Lawrence is in no way a Highland Park, Illinois. Not by a long shot.

Richard Heckler 5 years ago

City Hall knows very well that Kirk McClure is far from the only one concerned about the over saturation of the markets in Lawrence.

When Wal-Mart went in Hy-Vee and Dillons both felt the impact thus fewer employees. And both store margins of course were impacted.

Then again the newer Wal-Mart is not as busy as projected. In essence there are three grocery stores in NW Lawrence under performing. Suppliers of these three stores feel the impact as well.

No symptom of an over saturated retail market. Tanger Mall retail center went out of business. Riverfront Plaza retail center went out of business. The original concept of Baur Farms never materialized as a New Urbanism retail/residential concept and is years and years and years behind being completed into some other concept beyond junk food heaven. The nations many retailers would be standing in line IF Baur Farms,Tanger Mall and Riverront Plaza were retail hot spots.

Banana Republic turned down an opportunity. Eddie Baur went out of business downtown. Abercrombie & Fitch and Ann Taylor went out of business downtown.

Downtown Lawrence has had more vacancies in the past 10 years than during the 27 years since we located back to the area. Yes there was that time when downtown vacancies did not exist. To make over overextended retail appear not real City Hall rezoned Tanger Mall to light industrial and who knows what the Riverfront Plaza zoning is.

LogicMan 5 years ago

"27 years since we located back to the area"

August, 1987?

Alex Keiffer 5 years ago

The closure of Tanger Outlet Mall was the exact same situation that many other outlet malls have faced. Olathe's Great Mall of the Great Plains hasn't fared that well either.

Richard Heckler 5 years ago

American Eagle and Old Navy left Lawrence as well. Home Depot is a slow Home Depot.

Local politicians claiming to believe that the economy is going to perk up is based on what? That it has been so far down that anything looks up to them? That is not good enough. Selling people homes that could not afford them was a failed economic experiment. Are Lawrence politicians thinking this is making a comeback?

Stop and take a deep breath. Close to 20 million jobs have been lost to Reagan/Bush and Bush/Cheney home loan scams alone that sent our economies down the tubes and jobs abroad never to return.

Corrupt Wall Street activity and monster fraud has killed jobs for millions of Americans and for people in Lawrence,Kansas as well.

The following activity has been going on for 33 years in which Romney has been an ongoing player.

--- Mergers = industry and jobs lost to other countries.

--- Hostile Takeovers = industry and jobs lost to other countries.

--- Leveraged Buyouts = industry and jobs lost to other countries.

--- Free Trade Agreements = industry and jobs lost to other countries.

--- Who Killed the Economy and Why?

Matthew Herbert 5 years ago

Home Depot will not close in Lawrence. As part of my business, I'm in HD a lot (at least once a day...three times yesterday). I can tell you just by shelf observation day to day that they move a large amount of product. You will not find a time of day where there aren't 100 cars in that lot, and a line of trucks waiting to fill in at contractor pickup. Go try to buy paint on a weekend...better bring a magazine. Menards will not shut down HD, I'd gamble a LOT on that fact.

tomatogrower 5 years ago

I don't think that it's just the economy. I just think a huge chunk of Lawrence citizens don't shop chain stores if they can help it, and for good reason. My son was looking for a suit last year and went to the one that's over on Vermont, because they advertised a sale. He's tall and skinny and this store couldn't fit him. He went to Weavers and they had him fitted and tailored by the next day. Chains are like the No Child Left Behind. They try to fit us all into the same mold. I'll continue shopping at Cottins or Westlakes, unless I need wood, or an item that these 2 stores don't carry. Only then will I go south.

LogicMan 5 years ago

"I just think a huge chunk of Lawrence citizens don't shop chain stores if they can help it,"

To each, his own. But do drive through the south Iowa store's parking lots on Saturday afternoon to see that "a huge chunk of Lawrence", and others, do shop there.

How do the sales tax revenues compare from Downtown vs. elsewhere in the City?

Matthew Herbert 5 years ago

"an item that those two don't carry"......that would be a long list

PhilChiles 5 years ago

Why would Obama have to be in bed with the oil companies? If they want more money for a gallon of gas then they go ahead and raise the price. They don't check with the president first.

gatekeeper 5 years ago

You are very very wrong and I know first hand because my husband is in the loan business. Yes, loans were being given to many that wouldn't have qualified before. The whole problem wasn't Fannie, it was every Tom Dick and Harry that started doing home loans and were loaning to people that NO ONE else would touch with a 100 foot pole. They then lumped these loans together, sold them out to others and laughed that others were so stupid to believe that all these loans were good.

Keep spitting out those republican talking points instead of looking at the facts. AGAIN, I know because my husband's been in the business for over 20 years (with an honest bank).

skull 5 years ago

Last time the u.s. had a budget surplus was under Clinton, Bush took care of that real quick. Price of gas more than doubled under bush, not that Bush set the price of gas...

Alex Keiffer 5 years ago

I still don't see why Old Navy closed their Lawrence store. They did pretty good business there off South Iowa between Famous Footwear and Kohl's. I'd say that was very poor judgment on Old Navy's part...

Richard Heckler 5 years ago

Meanwhile the GOP continue their efforts to destroy the USA economy over new economic growth and new industry.

All of above activity ultimately killed millions upon millions upon millions of blue and white collar USA jobs which in most cases went to evil dictatorships abroad. This has not ceased. There was a time when becoming employed by corporate America came with long term employment, fine wages and dependable retirement benefits. Those days are gone.

For mountains of new retail to succeed lots of people with tons of expendable cash is required. Where exactly is this tons of expendable cash located in Lawrence,Kansas?

Menard's pulled the plug on one new store project in the St Louis area recently . It could happen here.

Eugehne Normandin 5 years ago

Home Depot does not sell quality lumber

Richard Heckler 5 years ago

My experience say's it does not matter where lumber is purchased each piece needs to be individually inspected. With zillions of Home Improvement stores buying lumber quality will be measured one piece of lumber at a time.

If Home Depot does not sell quality lumber is this an indication that this Home Depot will be run out of business?

LogicMan 5 years ago

"My experience say's it does not matter where lumber is purchased each piece needs to be individually inspected."

Then you have never purchased wood at a real lumber store, for contractors.

At retail store, yes, you need to go over each stick carefully.

Richard Heckler 5 years ago

Such as McCrays on 6th street?

What exactly is a real lumber store? Lowe's and Menard's are retail through and through.

LogicMan 5 years ago

"So long sad times Go long bad times We are rid of you at last

Howdy gay times Cloudy gray times You are now a thing of the past

Happy days are here again The skies above are clear again So let's sing a song of cheer again Happy days are here again

Altogether shout it now There's no one Who can doubt it now So let's tell the world about it now Happy days are here again

Your cares and troubles are gone There'll be no more from now on From now on ...

Happy days are here again The skies above are clear again So, Let's sing a song of cheer again

Happy times Happy nights Happy days Are here again!"

(Music and Lyrics by J. Yellen and M. Ager, 1929)

Welcome Menards, and a bright future for Lawrence under the new, rational leadership!

LogicMan 5 years ago

SLT will be funded by the Feds and the State; it's already scheduled.

Lawrence's own related road improvements will need some or all local funding. But in last night's meeting someone (Dever?) said that they expect the developers to pick up the tab for work needed for their own projects. That's fair and appropriate.

More tax dollars to spend? No, but I do want to spend in Lawrence, instead of in Topeka or Kansas City. Others too, I'd wager.

LogicMan 5 years ago

Schumm and McClure, from watching you last night on Ch. 25, and with all due respect, it is well past time for you to go tend the garden. All good boxers know when to hang up the gloves.

LogicMan 5 years ago

"for a nearly 190,000-square-foot store and outdoor lumber yard" (Menards)

A detail from last night's meeting: The actual store is predicted to be only about 96000 square feet. That's smaller than the Home Depot (106000 if I'm remembering correctly).

I, and I presume others who shop their Topeka store, hope they go big in their final plan!

Richard Heckler 5 years ago

AS I suspected this store is being designed for the Lawrence market aka downsized which may mean still driving to Topeka for ALL the things people claim cannot be found in the existing market.

Chad Lawhorn 5 years ago

One point about that number, the 96,000 square feet is of showroom space. That's not the total size of their facility. For example, the 96,000 square feet doesn't include their lumberyard or other building material storage. That's a separate yard area where customers place their orders inside, then drive to the back yard area to have the material loaded. That's quite a bit different than Home Depot. All indications are, the Menards will be significantly larger than Home Depot. Menards hasn't indicated this will be less than a full-size Menards store. Final details, however, will show up in the site plan that will be filed in the coming weeks. I'll report those details when we get them. Thanks, Chad

Richard Heckler 5 years ago

Thanks Chad for the clarification.....

Goodbye Home Depot...

LogicMan 5 years ago

More news: They looked at the old Walmart/Sears store (too small) and the trailer park just south of Target! The latter was too expensive, but it's news that the trailer park is actively being shopped around for development. Losing that trailer park would help the apartment rentals and entry level home sales in town, though.

Richard Heckler 5 years ago


Kirk McClure is right on the money. Stores do not close right away. They do battle first. Three under performing grocery stores is no winner for taxpayers. Local politicians who believe that Lawrence can subvert the KCMO/JOCO and Topeka markets might want to take time out to study the politics of only so many retail dollars in any community.

ESPECIALLY in a vulnerable USA economy such that it is. Frankly Kirk McClure is far more educated on these matters than all of the commissioners combined. Too bad they choose not to appreciate such a valuable source of wisdom.

SaraM 5 years ago

Does anyone know what's going in just east of 23rd and Harper? The field has been cleared behind the Harper Woods mobile home community.

Richard Heckler 5 years ago

There will be a road building plus widening into 19th street project in that area I believe. Don't know how many if any residents will be displaced.

Ask David Corliss..... he knows. For the most correct information.

Chad Lawhorn 5 years ago

It is part of the project to convert Farmland Industries into a business park. They have begun clearing land and building internal roads, waterlines and other such infrastructure. There is a master plan that includes improvements to 19th Street, but that's not part of this phase. It will take separate city commission action. I have heard no discussion of any residents being displaced by any of it. Thanks, Chad

LogicMan 5 years ago

"Out of business" -- Like Builders Square and Payless Cashways, it is possible that a whole company could call it a day. But making a business decision to close a store is just that, business. Anything can happen, of course, but more likely Home Depot, locally, will step up to the challenge instead of balling up in a corner and crying for mommy.

My outside-the-box prediction: Lowe's attempts to buy privately-owned Menards. Menards politely say thanks, but no thanks.

Prediction #2: Unfortunately many prime K-Mart and Sears properties will come available. Walmart and these home improvement stores will have a feeding frenzy on the best sites.

William Weissbeck 5 years ago

Capitalism at work. Almost any town has nearly the same set up. Come to NWI and see a Lowes across the street from Home Depot that had Menards next door which was next door to a Sears Hardware. Remember Circuit City across from Best Buy? Or now HG Greg across the lot from Best Buy? Shoes stores? Mattress stores? (That one really amuses me). We just end up with vacant spaces and unnecessary swaths of pavement. And with this expansion - just try to find a store clerk anymore. They build the stores, but no longer employ anyone to operate them. Your shopping experience is to wander aimlessly until you are compelled to buy something.

LogicMan 5 years ago

With the imposition of sales taxes on internet purchases, I think you'll see the pendulum swing back, somewhat, to local sales. With nominally improved service. But the 1950s style of, and expectation for, doting service is history.

sciencegeek 5 years ago

the difference is that Menard's intentionally builds next to Home Depot or Lowe's with the express intent of forcing one of them to close. One just opened in Topeka, next to Lowe's, which is within a few blocks of Home Depot. That means that you have to travel to one spot for home improvement stuff, and now the same thing is happening here. Why do they all locate together? Is ther only one part of town that uses tools or lumber?

FWIW, I talked to some professionals in other towns who say that Menards may be cheaper, but their quality on many things is much poorer. They won't buy from them.

Richard Heckler 5 years ago

I suspect a lot of energy is being wagered on the SLT. Local real estate companies have had their names on property along that route for a very long time.

Following the construction of the $90 million tax $$$$ sewage treatment plant,which in and of itself increases the cost of community services, will be ADDITIONAL high dollar items.

-- city staffing and equipment / -- water and sewer lines / -- streets and water main repairs / -- houses which cannot pay for themselves / -- public schools / -- fire stations / -- law enforcement staffing/equipment / -- snow removal / -- bike trails and cross walks / -- Traffic signals / -- Traffic calming / -- Strip Mall infrastructure / -- Expensive Flood Control /

That is a short list = tax increases all along the way. In general increases the cost of community services acoss the board to all taxpayers.

If residential real estate growth paid for itself and was financially positive, we would not be subject to so many fee and tax increases . But with increased numbers of real estate you have increased demand on services, and historically the funding of revenues generated by residential real estate does not pay for the services, they require from a municipality.

After 25 years of growth one would be expecting tax refunds instead of tax increases.

jlzack 5 years ago

Why on earth would they want to put Menards next to Home Depot? Payless Cashways couldn't make it on the south end of town, & I bought alot of things there while building a home.... Home Depot is great!
We checked out Menards in Topeka recently & I won't go back.... I'm not a fan of having to mail in a rebate to get the "SALE" price. Also, they didn't even carry 2X8's 10' long...really?????. some lumberyard :(

LogicMan 5 years ago

"Payless Cashways couldn't make it on the south end of town,"

Actually, it was their highest profit store. But the whole company went under due to a prior bad leveraged buyout, taking down the Lawrence store despite attempts to save it (spin it off). If I'm remembering correctly, it was about 1.5 years later that the Home Depot opened, so we had a short period of no major such retailers in town.

LogicMan 5 years ago

"I'm not a fan of having to mail in a rebate to get the "SALE" price. "

That's one of their quirky things that makes them different, and makes you come back to the store to spend your rebates. Dedicated shoppers likely think of it more as a game instead of a chore. Today's Menards newspaper insert has several "free" items I would have already grabbed this morning if the store was open.

Bob Forer 5 years ago

The Lawrence Payless Cashways failed because the entire company failed. Their Lawrence store was doing quite well. The Lawrence store closing had nothing to do with lack of business in Lawrence. The entire chain simply went down the toilet, taking the good stores with the bad.

Richard Heckler 5 years ago

I won't shop Menard's because the owner billionaires support the Anti American Right Wing politics. Like Wal-Mart. Who wants to support more Supply Side economics? = wreckanomics for the middle class.

William Weissbeck 5 years ago

Unfortunately, there are very few "progressive" retailers. Costco comes to mind. Even the "white liberal class" favorites such as Whole Foods, are hardly wholesome. Wal-Mart attracts most of the flack, but retailers like Target are just as pathologically anti-union, and contribute large sums to Conservative candidates. Then you have the Papa Johns and Jimmy John owners who publicly despise our current President.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 5 years ago

Shumm has been a long standing trumpet section for the no-growth crowd in Lawrence. He has had objections to nearly all such projects in the past and continues to beat the drum for no-growth in this community. But the few who bother to vote continue to return this defective entity to office in our community. Think local elections do not matter??? Well,,,,think again!

FlintlockRifle 5 years ago

Bobby, get of the board and spend more time at the Smokehouse, wife and I ate there Fathers Day evening 7ish, maybe 10 people in the building, found out why, cold ribs and warm fries, you need to get a handle back on your business there bud. As for Menards welcome to town.

LogicMan 5 years ago

A new, clear signal: "Lawrence is Open for Business!"

Those who want to expand or move up, please do so!

Those who want to come to town, the welcome mat (with reasonable zoning restrictions, and no government handouts) has been placed for you!

LogicMan 5 years ago

"we will be stuck with an empty store for years that will look awful and run down."

Like the K-Mart building? It is better than it was.

Like the Gibsons/Food-4-Less building? It is better than it was.

Like the Montgomery Ward building? It is better than it was.

Like the Walmart/Sears building? It will be better than it was.

patkindle 5 years ago

like life, the weak will be eaten by the strong unless of course you share the wealth I feel certain that menards know more about profitable store placement that some of you arm chair experts and kurt mcclure. Everyone one demands low prices, but some of the same folk expect top wages to be paid, I am sorry , but that dog don’t hunt

Joe Berns 5 years ago

“When you do your shopping in Lawrence, you go down to South Iowa Street,” Edwards said.

Nope. I rarely go down Iowa street unless it's to buy shoes.

LogicMan 5 years ago

Walmart and K-Mart killed our K-Mart store.

purplesage 5 years ago

It is the McDonald's syndrome. The industry leader does the market research and determines a viable location. Then, the rest just follow. You know, Burger King, Taco Bell, Subway, etc.. Always grouped right together.

Look at the Topeka locations (maybe Manhattan, too) and you will see the same thing. In that case, Lowe's was first, as I recall, and then Home Depot just down the hill and now, Menard's up the hill. Sutherland's, a truly family-operated business, is across town. There is less hassle and less congestion.

Sure wish Lowe's had gotten the approval out west. Plus, they modified that little Wal-Mart into a narrow line of business. (Of course, the big Wal-Mart is out of what I go after about 40% of the time. )

It is pretty crazy to have a regional distribution center and no retail K-Mart in town.

juma 5 years ago

“I have to be concerned with the entire city,” Schumm said. This has to be a classic of political speak; i.e. biggest lie ever. Schumm sure had us in mind when he rammed Tommy F's RCP up our .... s This guy has no shame.

Jay Keffer 5 years ago

Lawrence finally got one right. Great store that actually puts things on sale. WAY more variety in inventory. HD and Menards can easily coexist, and the savvy shopper will reap the benefits of playing one off the other. Odds are that you will spend more money at Menards than HD in the end, and save significantly.

Word to the wise: if buying more than a few sticks of lumber, hit up your local lumber yard and ask them to meet and beat the big box prices. Normally they will and you will get better quality to boot.

As a side note. yesterday I was in HD, and the checkout lady 1) Never greeted me, 2) Replied 'Yup' when I said 'Thank you' after the purchase was complete, and 3) Never offered to call for help with loading a substantial quantity of materials into my truck. which is a service that is part of their 'customer service'. Money walks.....

LWbored 5 years ago

Very disappointed they will not be on the northwest side. I don't have time to mess around with another large store on South Iowa.

Steve Miller 5 years ago

All need to see this : All things in lawrence are KU driven, the student population = cheap wages for these businesses. If KU went away All would be in trouble. Growth is KU based, like it or not. Down town continues to shrink due to parking and accessability. I won't go down town because there is no parking. Fact. Now looking at the big picture, the swelling of new buiisnesses will do no good until the traffic system is rebuilt > Lawrence will flourish when the bypass is comepleted, if ever. Lawrence trasffic is horriffic. I try to avoid lawrence just because of the 23rd street / iowa street choke. It sucks. Until there is a complete bypass arond the entire town,, like topeka, kansas city ect. Growth will die and at best struggle. Lawrence leaders are trying to be a "Big boy town" and still hold hostage peolpe to down town business . Guess what down town will continue to shrink. Life is hard.. Get the bypass in and see things sprout... The leaders need to get better paying waged companies into town. Look at this, we don't need to ship our factories to mexio to get cheap wages, you are already bringing mexio here, berry plastics, amar, ect. sweat shop wages.. When these companys come in looking for tax abatements, oneof the stipulations should be a higher wage ( much higher than minimum). Then see what they do . You'd get more popular support and get real dollars into the community as opposed to a company coming in , reaping the tax break and then evaporiting like a fart in the wind when they expire after 5 or 10 years. It's all abnout money.

hipgrrrrl 5 years ago

I don't know about the HD vs Mernards quality issue, but I can say that the style factor at Mernard's is a lot higher. The tile, bathroom fixtures, etc. at HD are snooze-worthy - not remotely outside the standard suburban builder's box. While Mernards isn't exactly high style, there are plenty of options displayed on the floor that give me options that don't remind me of my grandmother's house...they also have great customer service. There are a couple of guys at HD that actually know where things are but most everyone else is c-l-u-e-l-e-s-s. The amount of exercise I receive every time I go to HD (scurrying from one side of the store to the other on the direction of the employees) is ridiculous. I don't go there to do cardio.

Dixie Jones 4 years, 12 months ago

Interesting you all are complaning and moaning about this . How many of you were at the meeting to voice these concerns ? Ahhhh just as I thought arm chair politicians. Dudedog12 is the only one who seems to grasp the whole idea. But seriously folks its like voting for the president if you dont vote you have no room to complain. Everyone have a outstanding day !

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