Developers have been working with plans for a potential siting of a Lowe’s in Carroll.
Developers have been working with plans for a potential siting of a Lowe’s in Carroll.
Wednesday, August 18, 2010

A top official with a North Carolina development-and construction company involved with siting over 200 Lowe’s stores nationwide said this morning the home- improvement Goliath won’t come to Carroll without more financial incentives from the city.

“That’s basically how it’s working now,” said Shane Vannoy, vice president of commercial management for Jefferson, N.C.-based Jemsite Development-Vannoy Construction.

Vannoy has been involved with testing the waters for a 66,000-square-foot Lowe’s proposed for east of the Walmart Supercenter complex in Carroll. Vannoy said he was told by a Lowe’s official this morning that the Carroll project, as it stands, would not make it to Lowe’s real-estate committee — the panel that decides on where the chain of 1,724 stores nationwide plans new locations.

“The market’s not strong enough for them to go in,” Vannoy said.

“I was told they need more incentives,” Vannoy said. “It’s not close.”

The city of Carroll reportedly had put forward a potential package of up to $1.2 million to $1.5 million in incentives for Lowe’s, contignent on council approval, to locate here. “That was indicated,” Vannoy said, when asked about a $1 million figure.

One source familiar with recent sitings of Lowe’s stores said that Bonner Springs, Kan., offered up to $4 million in incentives.

The discussions about Lowe’s locating in Carroll have been under way for several years now.

A Kansas City real-estate developer is working to site the well-known home-improvement store in Carroll.

Jeff Dozier, vice president of retail development for  Kansas City, Mo.-based Kessinger/Hunter & Company, is part of Carroll 30 Investors, a collection of people from Kansas City that owns the nearly 13 acres east of the Supercenter — an area known as Westfield Plaza.

The story about a potential Lowe’s in Carroll broke from back-channel talks and private negotiating into the public realm Tuesday night during a Carroll City Council goal-setting session at the Carrollton Centre when an elected official (city officials wouldn’t say who) placed Lowe’s on a list of ongoing issues to be discussed.

“They’re looking at Carroll,” said Mayor Jim Pedelty during the session Tuesday. “They are looking very hard at us.”

Pedelty, in an interview with the Daily Times Herald after Tuesday’s meeting, remained bullish on the prospects of a Lowe’s siting, although he acknowledged that Carroll is something of a “cusp” commercial hub for the chain to consider.

He said the city’s “tool box” of financial incentives could include tax abatements, traditional tax increment financing or potentially even a local-option sales tax TIF as well.

“We could give them five years of property tax (relief) and still come out ahead,” Pedelty said.

For its part, Lowe’s would not confirm details about any discussions surrounding a Carroll store

“Our number one goal is customer service, so Lowe’s is always evaluating potential sites to best serve our customers,” said Gerard Littlejohn, public relations coordinator for Lowe’s. “However, the real-estate process can be lengthy and sometimes complicated. It’s our policy not to comment on sites Lowe’s may be considering unless we have closed on all real-estate matters. We have not closed on a site in Carroll, Iowa.”

Vannoy said Carroll could be one of a few places in the nation to have the 66,000-square-foot Lowe’s.

The traditional 94,000-, 103,000- and 116,000-square-foot Lowe’s facilities employ between 120 and 175 people, Littlejohn said.