|No to Lowe's|
Holyoke has roughly $469 million in assessed value for commercial property. That's more than four times the assessed value of all our industrial property. There is no way we are going to build a prosperous future for our children by saturating our city with more people who sell things. We need to use what land we have left wisely to have a plan for industrial, bio-tech or green/environmental jobs. This Lowe's proposal is about 10 years too late. The big box retail craze has peaked. Wal-Mart has cut its new superstore plans in half. Home Depot just shut down its Brattleboro store.
Come on, Holyoke. Look to the future. A $5 million retail building only adds one percent to our commercial assessed value. In 2008, we had a tax levy of $42.69 million. Industrial land made up only eight percent of that levy. No wonder! If we take large chunks of industrial land and down-zone it to commercial, we will continue to wonder why our economy never gains traction.
We've paid our dues to the big national retailers. We got lots of them, and still our financial situation is difficult. I urge the City Council to keep industrial land for industrial jobs and send Lowe's back to North Carolina where they've lost more manufacturing than even we have.
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