My husband owns a small retail business in downtown Olathe. A few years ago, Olathe and Johnson County began a “beautification” project for downtown. In addition to making adjustments necessary to be a viable county seat, increasing downtown retail was part of the plan.
My husband was told that “in the future” his building would be demolished to make room for a parking lot. He was not given information as to where he might relocate and what help he could expect.
The building is owned by his parents. The rent is a large source of their retirement and is less than we would pay elsewhere, making our business profitable. The offers from the city to his parents for this building have been insulting and nowhere near what the replacement cost would be.
Depending on money available, we have tentative plans to build in Olathe but are practically being “priced out” with all the new zoning requirements.
This business has always paid its share of taxes. We hire people full time and pay an actual living wage, yet we are barely acknowledged, let alone treated fairly and made to feel welcome in a city our business has been part of for more than 40 years.