Politics from the Palouse to Puget Sound

Thursday, November 17, 2005

The New Lowe's Low-Down

In today's Moscow-Pullman Daily News, Michelle Dupler addressed the "rumor" of a Lowe's opening up in the Moscow-Pullman Corridor. She contacted both the developer (The Hawkins Companies in Boise) and Lowe's, who both declined to comment on plans for either a Pullman or Moscow store. The Whitman County planning office has not received any paperwork or plans as of yet. And signs announcing the proposed shopping center mysteriously disappeared about a week after the commissioner's approved the zoning for the corridor.

Well, there's a lot more legs to this story than T.V. Reed's Target rumor.

With big box stores, discretion is paramount. This may come as a shock, I know, but big box stores are not always welcomed with glee in the towns in which choose to build. It doesn't surprise me at all that Hawkins and Lowe's would be mum with the press, especially with PARD blathering on their website about the Corridor. They will get all their ducks in a row, maybe for months, before they submit an application with the county, much as Wal-Mart did in Pullman and Moscow.

Pullman business maven April Coggins reports:
"Whitworth College is making a push to expand to Whitworth University. The proposed Lowes site/land on the Corridor was willed to Whitworth College. It is a property that Whitworth wants to sell to raise money for their expansion to a university."
And the mysterious disappearing signs?:
"The signs were on state right-of-way. WSDOT asked that they be removed since the signs were competing with WSDOT signs. I'm sure Hawkins Companies will repost the signs at some point in the future on their property."


Scotty said...

Interesting... might we have some readers in the press? Umm, I mean aside from our own Town Crier!

April E. Coggins said...

The signs were competing with WSDOT signs and that is frowned upon. We can't have people reading For Sale signs while not buckling up or strapping on their helmet.

Maven? No. Lowes is also a worst kept secret. However, it could take as long as 15 years and maybe never for this property to be developed. The new highway has to be built and utilities have to be found before this can proceed.

Sarcastic Housewife #1 said...

It seems if the state is putting in a new highway it would also be wise to put in the sewer and water lines. However we all know that won't happen...it's just too logical!

Tom Forbes said...

SHW#1, the state doesn't do water and sewer, that's the problem. The closest source of water and sewer service, in Washington, is Pullman. Whitman County proposed sharing tax revenue from the corridor with Pullman in exchange for water and sewer service. The price tag was a bit steep though: $14 million. Pullman doesn't have that kind of money, so the county went ahead and approved the corridor zoning without water and sewer, figuring the details could be worked out later.

April has previously mentioned a deal that could have been struck that would have been cheaper, but I guess the city passed on it.

The rumor is that Moscow might pick up water and sewer for this development, for a nice fee of course.