With the denial of a rezone that would have brought a Wal-Mart Supercenter to Moscow and the institution of the Large Retail Establishment Ordinance — aka the big-box ordinance — in February, some people say there is a perception Moscow isn’t welcome to new business, or is too selective on what it allows.- "Chilly climate for commerce?", Moscow-Pullman Daily News, December 19, 2006
Some are concerned that Moscow will lose its status as “retail base of the Palouse” to Whitman County, while others say they are just trying to protect the Moscow they know and love.
From last Saturday's Moscow-Pullman Daily News:
Home Depot puts brakes on Moscow store
The Home Depot won't be locating in Moscow anytime soon.
The national home-improvement and garden retail outlet had been working toward an agreement to build a store behind the Palouse Mall in Moscow, but corporate officials have decided to take a step back, said Gerard Billington, real estate officer for the University of Idaho.
"We had been working with Home Depot vigorously and we thought we had an agreement, but they declined," Billington said. "They didn't think the deal worked out for them.
"They were crunching numbers, looking at site numbers, site prep costs, land costs, development costs and potential revenue from sales in smaller markets."
The University of Idaho owns the 600-acre piece of land where Home Depot was looking to build, and any deal between the UI and Home Depot would have been a ground lease.
Billington said as far as he knows, the fact that Lowe's - a national home improvement store planning to locate in a proposed retail development in Whitman County - could be coming to the area had nothing to do with Home Depot's hesitation.
"I'm sure Lowe's would impact a future Home Depot and Home Depot would impact a future Lowe's, but I don't know that it was a decision point," he said.
UI officials have had a couple conversations with Home Depot since last fall in an attempt to work out an agreement, but no commitment has been made.
"They wanted to take another look at the agreement," Billington said.
He said he hasn't heard anything from Home Depot since the UI's last conversation with company officials in December.
"Home Depot continues to review and monitor the market and trade area for a site that will work for us and serve the community well," Home Depot spokeswoman Kathryn Gallagher said. "To date, an economical solution has not been found. However, we are constantly turning over new ideas, leads and solutions."