To the editor:
I am addressing the negative ruling on the Southpoint development made by the planning commission.
I was excited about the development for two reasons: 1) additional retail stores would be entering Lawrence, equating to less trips into Kansas City or Topeka for me and 2) there is no taxpayer subsidization of the development. Being a retiree on a fixed income, economic development is paramount in bringing in additional revenue streams. An initial $1.4 million in sales tax, growing to $2 million by 2020 would help offset future increases in county and city taxes. School taxes will increase if the state cap is altered or removed.
Comments have been made regarding 1) said development would impact downtown and 2) new businesses should locate on the west side. As to Item 1, I love downtown Lawrence, but it doesn’t totally fill my needs. However, my expenditures at the proposed Southpoint stores will divert revenues from KC and Topeka, not downtown Lawrence.
Regarding item 2, my father, a commercial realtor, found that most businesses had done their research on strategic location and if not able to obtain it, did not locate elsewhere in the town. Several retailers have already agreed to locate at Southpoint. It’s doubtful they agreed to Southpoint without performing strategic location analysis.
Are we really going to reject this opportunity for economic growth, increase in tax revenues and additional jobs? I hope the city commissioners will vote “yes” to rezone the land for the Southpoint development.