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Vacant Sears building sold; plans at City Hall suggest Dick's Sporting Goods on the way


It is sure beginning to look like Dick's Sporting Goods is headed for the vacant Sears building on South Iowa Street.

In recent days, the building at 2727 Iowa St. has sold and a building permit has been filed at City Hall that contains clues that suggest Dick's Sporting Goods will be the main tenant for the building. The building permit application doesn't specifically state that Dick's is the tenant, but the architect for the property labeled the remodeling project "Dick's Tenant White Box." White box, for those of you not up on the lingo, is the phrase used to describe a basic remodeling job that creates a clean space for a tenant to begin installing their own shelves, fixtures and furniture.

The plans filed at City Hall also show that the 86,000-square-foot building would be divided into three spaces for retailers, with the large anchor space checking in at about 50,400 square feet. That indicates that there will be room for at least two other significant retailers to locate in the building. There was nothing in the filings at City Hall to indicate who those retailers may be.

As for the sale of the property, TMD Iowa LLC has purchased the property from California-based Sinay Lawrence Kansas LLC, according to records from the Douglas County Register of Deeds.

TMD Iowa, according to records from the Kansas Secretary of State's office, includes Michael Boyd, a noted commercial real estate developer with Wichita-based Walter Morris Companies. That also lends credence to the idea that Dick's is headed for the space.

Talk in local commercial real estate circles is that Walter Morris Companies has had the building under contract for several months, but has been waiting on a final commitment from Dick's before they closed on the building.

"My understanding is they have had it under contract since spring," one source told me. "I'm sure this is a sign that they've finally got the Dick's deal signed."

The source I talked with said the addition of Boyd and the Walter Morris Companies to Lawrence market is a good sign because they are experienced retail developers.

"They were really active in Wichita for a long time," the source said. "They are pretty big players. They have some deep pockets and I think they have long wanted to be in the Lawrence market."

As we reported in April, executives associated with Walter Morris Companies were involved in the purchase of the former Tanger Factory Outlet Mall site, now called the I-70 Business Center, in North Lawrence.

I've got a call into Michael Boyd to try to find out some details about this latest purchase. I'll let you know what I hear, and of course, I'll also keep my ears open for the speculation on other retailers that may be interested in the remaining two spaces in the building.


Keith Richards 4 years, 6 months ago

Great news about Dicks! Now let's hope Old Navy comes back to the Lawrence market.

Alex Keiffer 4 years, 6 months ago

Yeah, definitely. Old Navy should be very, very ashamed of themselves for leaving a college town like Lawrence. It makes no sense.

Steve Jacob 4 years, 6 months ago

Sure someone will post how this will hurt local business and needs to be stopped.

Paul Wilson 4 years, 6 months ago

What local businesses? Francis doesn't carry enough sporting goods to compete with anyone. What other businesses are they competing with? Walmart? Target?

matthew2600 4 years, 6 months ago

I'll open a local sports gear shop if someone can give me $650k

Dan Rose 4 years, 6 months ago

No, that donation money needs to go to Iwig Dairy to bail them out of their foreclosure/bankruptcy situation... lol


EarthaKitt 4 years, 6 months ago

I was at Francis this week for some ticky tacky equipment needs. Nothing big, but I fully expected to pay with my credit card. When it was rung up I was able to dig for cash because the total was something like $3.80. Those folks had not only fixed SOMEONE ELSE'S boo boo, they had done so with great care to make everything just right for my stinker of a son. That was some amazing service!!!

I will no doubt and up at Dick's for something or other. But I will go there the same way I do Wal-Mart -- only when I've exhausted all other reasonable local sources. See? Can't we all just get along?

patkindle 4 years, 6 months ago

man I am so glad we have a new tennis shoe store, that is awesome

Noweigh 4 years, 6 months ago

FYInfo.....shame on you...you took my line.....hahahaaa!!!!!!!!!!

Kelly Anderson 4 years, 6 months ago

WooHoo!! Now I don't have to go to Topeka or Kansas City for my daughter's sports needs. Thank goodness!!! Guys aren't the only ones that play sports.....just FYI

Richard Heckler 4 years, 6 months ago

The cost of everything goes up after corporate welfare is added......

Will there be a "secret sales tax" ?

How much will it cost taxpayers? The real estate industry must love taxpayers and their forced donations to encourage a sale.

What or how many tax dollar give away is the question. Capitalism and the Free Market have been erased by corporate welfare.

What is corporate welfare? Basically it is a tool which provides new business with a leg up over existing retail operators for years and years.

Sarah Guy 4 years, 6 months ago

This is great news if you enjoy working for a company that tells you how worthless you are and threatens your job on a daily basis and considers your family life to be a nuisance to their business.

Bob Forer 4 years, 6 months ago

And Francis. And all other local businesses when you can. I am sure there are certain items that Dicks will have that Sunflower or Francis does not. But i urge all to try to buy from the local businesses first.

I just bought an appliance from Ray Stonesbacks--the last locally owned appliance store in the area. I price shopped with Home Dep[ot for comparison purposes only. Wouldn't dream of giving them my dollars. Prices were pretty close, but I know with Stonebacks, I will get great service, and my money stays in in town. Also, they employee several locals at decent wages, not the 9 something an hour that Home Despot pays.

Sure, there are some items that can only be purchased at the big box stores. But plesae, check first, and give our small business folks here in town a chance as well.

Paul Wilson 4 years, 6 months ago

What local businesses? Francis doesn't carry enough sporting goods to compete with anyone. What other businesses are they competing with? Walmart? Target? When it comes to outdoor gear and sporting goods...Lawrence is a joke.

Chris Jeter 4 years, 6 months ago

Maybe if the Sunflower Tax wasn't something like 20% over MSRP

Scott Morgan 4 years, 6 months ago


Liberty275 4 years, 6 months ago

LOL, I know how to choose my own shoes. All the employee needs to know is where to find the size 11 version of the shoe I want and how to work the cash register.

Scott Morgan 4 years, 6 months ago

Well, there is an employee of Dick's Topeka whom is an expert on fishing including rod and reel repair.

I consider myself fairly knowledgeable in this field having collected fishing tackle for decades. When I get stumped on a pc. of equipment, this fellow has always had the answer and often does repairs for free.

My better half loves the clothing lines at Dicks. The choices in hunting and fishing supplies is outstanding as well.

Sherry Warren 4 years, 6 months ago

I Always get good service at Gary G's, but the other sports places in town... notsomuch. They are too busy chatting or watching ESPN to speak to customers.

gatekeeper 4 years, 6 months ago

Back in my high school days, I worked for Dale's in KC. Smaller, local company and they really trained us so we knew everything about all items carried. I could fit kids for their football equipment, even though I hate golf I knew everything about the clubs, we had training every few months from shoe reps on all the latest shoes and their features, I could do custom uniform orders, etc.... When Dale's was going under, I went to work for Herman's Sporting Goods at the old Mission Mall (really dating myself) as one of the assistant managers. There was very little training on the goods offered and they carried just about everything (like Dick's does). I was amazed that all the big box store cared about was having staff on hand to ring someone up or grab a bag of shoes. I was one of the few that really knew anything about a lot of the goods.

I don't personally know about the staff at Dick's or at the smaller stores in town, but would bet the staff at the smaller stores probably know their products a lot better (partly because they don't carry as much stuff as the larger stores do). Unless Dick's has people that are trained to mainly work in certain sections, I doubt they are as knowledgeable as staff at smaller stores.

UPNYA 4 years, 6 months ago

There is nothing wrong with big box stores. They need more of them in Lawrence, instead of having to drive into Johnson county. I'd rather spend my money here. I always try to shop local, but variety is what u get in big box stores.

Liberty275 4 years, 6 months ago

Welcome to Lawrence, Dick's Sporting Goods. Thank you for investing in our city.

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