Archive for Thursday, July 24, 2003

Outlet Mall considered in Basehor city limits

July 24, 2003

Basehor city officials are carefully optimistic when considering the possibility of adding a factory outlet mall to the city's list of businesses.

Earlier this month, Factory Outlet Consultants L.L.C., a Virginia-based consulting firm, contacted Basehor city officials about conducting a feasibility study. The company would charge a fee for performing the study, city officials said.

Once the study was completed, the firm would take the results to a development company, who would then choose whether to develop the property.

During a work session Monday, July 14, the City Council discussed the proposal and decided to entertain future talks with the firm. However, City Council members vowed not to fund any study Factory Outlet Consultants may perform.

"Keep doing your analysis, we're willing to listen to what you have to say," Basehor mayor Joseph Scherer said, explaining the City Council's position on the matter.

The concern for city officials is whether outlet malls have lost their luster as worthwhile endeavors. City officials cited the inconsistency of outlet malls in Lawrence and Olathe as examples of the declining status of outlet malls.

Factory Outlet Consultants L.L.C. sent out a questionnaire to area municipalities searching for certain criteria for developing an outlet mall.

A response found Basehor as an area matching the characteristics the company seeks, including access to an interstate highway and a location in close proximity to major tourists attractions.

Leavenworth Area Development director Bill Schulte said a feasibility study could be conducted for less than Factory Outlets Consultants L.L.C. would charge.

"I would discourage paying that much money for an assessment of the community," Schulte said.

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