I'm going to make sure that the Whitman County Commissioners, the Whitman County Water Conservancy Board, and the Washington Department of Ecology know about these comments from Mark Solomon:.
I don't have time right now to dig out the original cite, but the research that has been done suggests strongly that rather than drawing new customers to old malls located by new big box developments they instead are their death knell. Newer, shinier, prettier, more "hip", etc: the attributes of consumer culture apply to architectural space as well as personal buying choices.In Thursday night's all-Idaho debate on Washington development, the King was quoted as saying that corridor development would "cause congestion, lead to sprawl and put pressure on the water supply in an area that is most likely a place where groundwater flows into the aquifer system" and that "growth should occur around existing urban areas and not be strung out along supply routes."
I was here when the Moscow Mall opened and you're absolutely correct.. it's been a dud since day one when it opened almost simultaneously with the Palouse Mall. As you say, location is everything and being closer to the Pullman consumer is a winner for the Palouse mall. It is why I support development, if it is going to occur, on the 40 acres already zoned for motor business behind the Palouse mall. Depending on the type of businesses contemplated there, water could be an issue, but it is one that we can address as a community. Moscow residents have reduced their water demand by about 15% in the past two years in response to the call for water conservation. The City is actively exploring alternative water sources. Assuming those actions continue we can as a community decide to spend some of the water capital we've saved on other uses.
Now he blesses growth behind the Palouse Mall, which is only a couple of hundred yards away from the proposed Hawkins site (and is technically further away from Pullman to boot)? What incredible bulls#!^!!!!!! It doesn't have anything to do with water at all.
And is Solomon an owner of the Palouse Mall? Who really cares if the mall lives or dies? That will be up to the market to decide, not Mark Solomon. Malls ARE going the way of the dinosaurs anyway. There will certainly be no tears from Whitman County or Pullman if the mall fades away, given the millions upon millions that have been deposited there by its residents after we so rashly and foolishly drove it to Idaho 30 years ago.
I am convinced by the King's statements on development behind the mall that an announcement from Queen Nancy that Home Depot is going to build there is imminent. And as I have stated before, I will use every method at my disposal to expose the hypocrisy of that decision, starting with King Solomon. He stated on Thursday night that Latah County "doesn't have to compete" with Whitman County and that "it doesn't need Wal-Marts and big-box stores to attract new businesses like Schweitzer Engineering Labs" adding that the "Palouse should encourage intellectual based businesses that could employ students and pay them a living wage while adding to their education."
In addition, I will do everything I can to push for Whitman County and/or a citizens group to legally block, or tie up indefinitely, construction of a Home Depot (or any other big box by the mall) in Moscow until Queen Nancy and King Solomon drop their protest of the Hawkins development.