Opinion: Lowe’s – Demographics, Costs etc.

Filed under: Around Town,News |

The recent decision by Lowe’s to not complete building a new location in Huntington Station had something to do with the economy not getting better as soon as had been hoped, that is a given. What is not a given is why a billion dollar corporation chooses to continue building in one location and not build in another. They have not pulled the plug on all their new building projects.

This is where the art of demographics research and cost analysis come in. When any major corporation wants to figure out where they are going to build a multi million dollar store and have it be profitable they do this kind of research. They try to figure out what the population that will travel to that site has as expendable income, they try to figure out what the per capita income is, they try to figure out what the need for their products are for the population they intend to serve. Their expenses like taxes and employees costs are then factored in to arrive at an acceptable anticipated profit. Companies will do this before they commit to an expensive project such as this one. Lowe’s spent $35 million to acquire the property and probably a few more million for the work done so far to prepare the site and for the engineering company.

What is clear is that at the time they bought this property (2007) the demographics and costs (employees, taxes, utilities etc) must have been acceptable to them. What is also clear is that the demographics and costs must not look good today. Why are they choosing to walk away from this large investment? What has happened to make the corporate heads at Lowe’s hesitant?

Is it the crime? Is it the depleted per capita incomes? Is it the lower standard of living brought about by illegal multi family housing? Is it the lack of code enforcement? Is it less expendable income? Is it because the Town told them that their taxes would be higher than they originally thought? We might never know because Lowe’s is not likely to let anyone know how they decide where to build a store.

What we do know is that our politicians were quick to claim victory for bringing this company to Huntington, some even spoke about it in campaign literature,  so now they must take some of the blame for them leaving Huntington. Don’t forget they are not leaving everywhere they intended to build.

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4 Responses to Opinion: Lowe’s – Demographics, Costs etc.

  1. Lowe’s has announced it is closing 20 stores in the northeast. No decision yet on the Commack location. How do you translate that to an attack on our current town supervisor and town board? Don’t bother responding; I think we know the answer to that question.

    November 7, 2011 9:52 am at 9:52 am

  2. There is no attack on anyone. There is no mention of any specific person or official. There is a stating of the facts.

    Lowe’s is not closing every store in the Northeast and the planned Commack store is not in Huntington.

    Something has changed and the politicians of every persuasion were quick to claim they had something to do with bringing Lowe’s to Huntington so why should they not get some of the blame for them leaving Huntington?

    We have been told that there were many discussions with Town Hall and others before the official announcement from Lowe’s. Time may tell what those discussions were about.

    The Huntingtonian
    November 7, 2011 10:18 am at 10:18 am

  3. You need not have mentioned politicians by name because the implications and moitivation of your article suggesting blame on the current town goernment are quite clear. The Huntingtonian’s agenda is obvious to all who read it.
    The town did a great job in helping to bring Lowe’s and many other projects (ie., the Paramount) to Huntington and it is an unfortunate reality that the recession has so impacted the national and local economy that Lowe’s decided to pull out. I guess if Mr. Cook, Ms. Black and Mr. Morrow were in office this wouldn’t have happended.
    BTW, in case you didn’t notice, or care, the Veteran’s Day ceremony at town hall yesterday was a wonderful moving tribute to our brave veterans. Thanks to the town board and supervisor, this is one of the finest Veteran’s Day ceremonies on Long Island and has been for many years.

    November 7, 2011 11:20 am at 11:20 am

  4. It is painfully obvious that “wundaboy” is a shill for Petrone and Co. Let me set you straight. 3 investors rebuilt the Paramount, not the Town. The only “Town help” they got was a waiver to put back the occupancy it had when it was a theater 30 years ago by promising to run a near empty shuttle from the train station. At the price of tickets and drinks, I am sure they will make out just fine without any more Town “help”, thank you.
    And a point of reference about Lowes finances. Aside from the former Commack Cinema site yet to be developed, they are just about to open a brand new store in Riverhead on the old Suffolk Life site Rt 58. I would have to say, after paying Rhona Silver $35 million for the Townhouse, and probably another $2 million to demolish it, that 18 acres on Jericho is the most expensive real estate on Long Island. Are they really walking away?

    matt harris
    November 9, 2011 9:55 am at 9:55 am

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