WRITER: Chad Lawhorn

With three-quarters of the year gone, Lawrence sales tax numbers still lackluster

Story updated at 4:27 p.m. Monday, Oct. 8: Nationally, there are plenty of signs that the economy is improving. Unemployment is at its lowest level since the 1960s, the stock market continues to post new highs, and there’s a rumor at my house that we’ll get to turn the thermostat all the way up to 62 degrees this winter. None of that, though, has translated into a banner year for retail sales tax ...

One of the city's biggest developers says downtown Lawrence is in crisis

Eight years ago, there was a certain amount of angst surrounding the construction of the seven-story building that Doug Compton now surveys downtown from via a corner office perch. Compton, one of the largest developers and property owners in Lawrence, was leading the group to build the 901 New Hampshire building, the first of what would become a trio of new highrises — by Lawrence standards anyway — near ...

Downtown chain restaurant expanding into west Lawrence

If you are going to be in the business of delivering hot, toasted sandwiches, you had better get them there fast, or have a toaster with a really, really long extension cord. The downtown restaurant Pickleman’s Gourmet Cafe believes in getting them there fast, which is one of the reasons the restaurant has struck a deal to open a west Lawrence location. “Delivery is really big for us, and there are a few ...

Halloween stores open, including a new store from a longtime local retailer

I’ve been told that any time of year is a good time for me to wear a mask, but for the rest of you, Halloween is prime mask season. Predictably, a couple of Halloween stores have popped up in Lawrence, but this year one of them is a local operation run by a family that has dressed Lawrence residents in funny outfits for years. Kyle Billings, the former owner of Lawrence’s Fun & Games store, has opened ...

Downtown Lawrence grocery project loses Price Chopper tenant, but plans still moving forward

Plans to bring a grocery store to downtown Lawrence are still alive, but still complicated and uncertain. A proposal to put a 40,000-square-foot grocery store on the site of the former Borders bookstore at Seventh and New Hampshire now includes plans for a four-story mixed-use building, instead of the previous three-story plan. But the project is short on something else: a tenant for the grocery store. A ...

National fitness chain plans to open near 23rd and Iowa streets

And you thought picking up the entire collection of "Twilight" novels at Hastings constituted heavy lifting. Now, there is word of true heavy lifting at the vacant book and video store at 23rd and Iowa streets. The national chain Crunch Fitness has announced it is moving into the space. I recently had begun hearing some rumblings in the commercial real estate world that a fitness center was looking at the old ...