Archive for Wednesday, July 25, 2001

Home Depot reportedly put on hold

July 25, 2001

In recent months, Home Depot has been considering the possibility of constructing a home improvement store in the Leavenworth/Lansing area.

But this week, rumors surfaced that the home improvement retailer has decided not to build a store in the area.

Tom Gray, spokesman for the Atlanta-based company, said Tuesday that he was unaware of a company decision.

Pat Peterson, an owner of Lansing Lumber who said he had been following Home Depot's interest in the area said it wouldn't surprise him if the retailer decided against building in the area.

"From the very start I've always said I couldn't believe it could ever happen only because I didn't think the area was big enough to support them and everyone else," Peterson said.

Peterson said he had heard estimates of the figures Home Depot would need to break even with a new store.

"I don't see how they could do it at this time," Peterson said. "I don't think the population base is here at this time."

The nearest Home Depot is about 25 miles southeast of Lansing, in Shawnee. Peterson said this could explain a decision not to start a new Home Depot in Lansing or Leavenworth.

"In some of the trade magazines, we've read that a lot of their store sales are down and what's happening is that their new stores are pulling sales from their existing stores," he added.

Charlie Ussery, owner of Himpel Lumber, Tonganoxie, said that for Lansing Lumber's benefit, he would be glad to see Home Depot move elsewhere.

But his question is where.

"I don't think they would come to Tonganoxie," Ussery said. "We're too small right now, but there are some other main corridors that they could look on that would affect us a little more directly than if they were in Lansing. We'll just have to wait and see."

In the meantime, the Usserys are considering the possibility of constructing a larger lumber yard and hardware store on the north side U.S. Highway 24-40, near the east edge of Tonganoxie. However, he said Monday that nothing has been decided.

"Our plans are still up in the air," he said.

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