Archive for Wednesday, February 5, 2003

Retail center on target for highway

Dollar General, video rental included in plans

February 5, 2003

By late summer, Tonganoxie residents could have a few more shopping opportunities, including a Dollar General store and a video rental business.

A Baldwin man who owns a Lawrence construction firm plans to construct a 16,000-square-foot retail center at the northwest corner of U.S. Highway 24-40 and 218th Street. The site, which is diagonally across the intersection from Community National Bank, will include a Dollar General retail store, a coin-operated laundry and a Coach Potato video rental store, according to Ken Hayes of Cornerstone Construction, which will develop the property.

The planned retail center at U.S. Highway 24-40 and 218th Street will include:

¢ A 9,100-square-foot Dollar General store.

¢ A 1,500-square-foot coin-operated laundry.

¢ A 2,500-square-foot Couch Potato video rental store.

A fourth retail space, which has not been leased, also will contain 2,500 square feet.

The retail center also includes a fourth space, which hasn't been leased yet.

"We're looking at a couple of different options there," Hayes said.

Hayes, who has been mayor of Baldwin for two years, said he built a similar project in that city about two years ago.

"We had good success with it," he said. "We are trying to replicate that, and Tonganoxie seemed like a nice fit."

He said he hopes to construct other projects in other towns.

"We're looking at communities that are in the 3,000 to 5,000 range (in population) that are in a 30- to 40-mile arc from Lawrence," Hayes said.

Once Hayes has a formal site plan, it will be considered by the city's Site Plan Review Committee, which has the power to approve the plans, said city planner Diane Wicklund.

"It doesn't have to go through city council at that point," Wicklund said, noting that the property is zoned properly for retail development.

The committee meets on an as-needed basis, and no meeting has yet been scheduled on Hayes' proposed development.

Hayes said he hopes construction can begin later this month, and he's targeting July as a completion date for the center.

Additional retail space in Tonganoxie should have an impact on the city's property tax base and sales tax receipts, he said.

"I think the community will see some definite benefits from the tax dollars that are brought to the city," he said. "Based on what the sales are projected at ... you're looking at a $1.6 million to $1.7 million boost in sales in your community."

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