Let’s Make a Deal – With Sears

By Lloyd the Idiot

Various media outlets are reporting that Sears is considering relocation of its headquarters from Chicago to, well, anywhere that’s not Illinois.  The DC area, including Virginia, is among several nominees.

Virginia, and Loudoun for its part, should be willing to cut just about whatever deal it takes to bring in this kind of major, long-term commercial activity to the area.  A deal would bring as many as 6,200 jobs to northern Virginia, reduce the vacancy rate of commercial office space and give a shot to the construction industry given that Sears now occupies 2.4 million square feet in Chicago.  Plus, God works there. 

Like Volkswagen and Hilton where Fairfax won out,  a Sears relocation to Loudoun would be a huge win for both the state and the county.  Of course,  there’s the immediate economic benefit and diversification of  the tax base,  but  perhaps more importantly a Sears relocation would be yet another endorsement of the business-friendly nature of Virginia and Loudoun that, in turn, spurs even greater interest in the area by other companies both big and small.

Come on, Gov. McDonnell and Loudoun Economic Development Commission!  Get to work and bring Sears to Loudoun – and make sure they bring the Sears Tower, too.


Comments

  • Barbara Munsey says:

    Well, good luck in the crosshairs, Lloyd.

    Don’t you know that no matter how great it SEEMS, the downside of those jobs is houses, school seats and traffic?

    Cue Eric in 3…2…1

    (I agree with you–it would be great to get them here. Maybe the Chicago mail order house heiress in hunt country could put in a good word when she isn’t hosting Green Party or Code Pink events, or Ruckus Society direct action training? rotlmao)

  • Leej says:

    Hilton and Volkswagen. Please it is a joke that they moved here. They move a few top people and all of a sudden bam it is like a major event. The only thing that moves here anymore are basically the lobbyist. And who lobbies better for their companies is the top people.

    Sears will never move here in a million years, way way tooooo expensive. The top tree cities and state is one Texas and the top economic cities are Houston Austin and Dallas. Northern Virginia have priced themselves out of the market.

    http://www.usatoday….dp-growth_n.htm

  • RWN says:

    Lloyd – Sears Tower is now called Willis Tower http://www.willistower.com/propertyprofile.html

  • John Millhiser says:

    Anything over three or four stories tall won’t happen in Loudoun. I think the tower is about 100 stories too tall. I don’t think anywhere in N. VA will accept that kind of building.

  • Leej says:

    John dc and northern va and parts of Maryland have unjustified height limits.

    It is too funny how government people don’t have a clue how they regulate people. ;-)

    Ok perhaps I can sort of understand DC height limits.

  • James Young says:

    How long will it be before President Barry’s NLRB attacks them if they move to a Right to Work state?

  • DC Beltway Bandit says:

    @ Lee – The height restrictions on office buildings; does it have anything to do with the close proximity to Dulles and/or flight paths?

  • What you talkin’ about, Willis?

    As for height restrictions, we can just lay it on its side.

    And, yes, Hilton and VW WERE major events. Big names, not thousands of people, but each gave a much needed stamp of approval.

  • Eric the 1/2 Troll says:

    I think it would be great, Barb. Maybe it would sop up some of that overbuilt space we have in the County, eh?

  • G.Stone says:

    They will move to Texas.

  • Leej says:

    Stone I know you are kidding ;-) but I heard they are seriously looking at Texas. Why would they come here. Overpriced workforce overpriced housing there is no reason for them to want to move here. I bet they will end up in Texas. ;-)

  • G.Stone says:

    Why am I kidding ? Texas has an economy performing better than the other 48 states. Their unemployment is less. They have no state income tax. I could continue but you get the idea.
    The irony here is some corporations like Sears, advocated for decades for just the government / economic policies that they now now flee. Corporations are leaving states like NY, Ill, NJ , Calf, etc because they can no longer deal with accumlative costs of years of regulation and taxation.They discover that crony capitolism at some point bites you in the ass. Years of cozy relationships with the social engineers just means your ox gets gored later, but later eventually comes and you have to pay up. The current administration in Washington is the poster child of this behavior and operational model. Many of those on Wall Street who just years ago were greasing the skids for Obamanomics are now singing a different song. Those of us who told them so, should remind them again. As a matter of fact, we should rub their nose in it, maybe then they just might learn.

  • Eric the 1/2 Troll says:

    Of course they also rank at #43 in terms of SAT scores. Illinois by contrast ranks #7.

  • Eric the 1/2 Troll says:

    This is an intersting read (disclaimer I have not fact checked all these stats). Sure paints a bleak picture of Texas:

    http://shapleigh.org/system/reporting_document/file/255/Texas_on_the_Brink_2009_website_final.pdf

  • Leej says:

    eric you are funny ;-) what happens people today put too much emphasis on education. dc area has the most over educated workforce in the world. and what good does it do.

    I know the military is going to cram all these people in a few buildings. like the one off 395 and the base just south of the beltway and into a few buildings in Alexandria. and it gets better this over educated workforce here forgot about how to get people to work. sooooo now the Mark building on 395 sits almost empty because nowwww the over educated work force is trying to figure out how these people are going to get back and forth to work. helloooo nobody thought about the traffic. nope I take that back who ever the over educated screwed up and their studies all of a sudden are wrong. how many tax dollars went into that. and what did the mark building cost and what does it cost sitting empty. while whoever is figuring what to do. ;-)

    eric I don’t want to sound like a jerk but Texas is the can do state with or without education. sorry Texas is not on the brink of any bad news. somebody just made that bs up. take a trip to woodlands texas just north of houston it is beyond imagination. :-)

  • Lady M says:

    I think we have more than enough quality housing inventory to not need to build more houses right now.

    Also, with what is already on the books, we don’t need to approve more housing complexes for long, long, time.

    We need to catch up and lower that housing/commerical tax ratio. Sears making us their headquarters would be a nice chip.

  • Eric the 1/2 Troll says:

    Educating your kids is overrated, huh, Lee. Is that the new motto of Texas?

  • Leej says:

    lady m can you please build these sears people homes and make sure they don’t cost more then a couple hundred grand. Also can you get a bunch of buses or levitate them to work so they don’t make traffic even worse. yes yes I am being a bit funny here ;-) sears will go to texas. loudoun has become the biggest mess in the country. it is going to take more then the possible new rail. and personally the rail is the biggest waste of money in the country right now. and everyone thinks Gloucester extension is the second coming oh please

  • G.Stone says:

    ”Of course they also rank at #43 in terms of SAT scores. Illinois by contrast ranks #7.”

    This stat is doing little to stem the flow of corporations from leaving California for Texas. Sat scores takes a back seat to economic survival.

    Indiana too is reaping the benefit of those fleeing Ill. Their political leadership has set up offices in Chicago to entice Corporations into their state.

    The state of NY’s population is declining to such an extent, they will loose two congressional seats. This will continue,their tax base is shrinking by the year.

  • Eric the 1/2 Troll says:

    Greg, I put that stat up there in response to you lauding their lack of state income tax. Usually that lack of state funding daylights in the resulting education results. That’s really all I was addressing. My thought is if people want to move to TX, go for it, like Florida, it is probably a great place to retire – I just wouldn’t raise my kids there – like Florida as well.

  • Leej says:

    eric nothing wrong with education as long as it is not used as a crutch.

    here you go eric just three of the most influential people that have actually changed peoples lives.

    Micheal Dell Bill Gates Steven Jobs these three have changed the entire world for the good more then 99% of college grads. non of these brilliant people went or finished college. and I can add to this list big time.

    don’t get me wrong I am NOT against education but don’t use it as a crutch and don’t think you have it made with a degree.

    I will take a guess here most people here work with people just like themselves similar education. etc and on and on.

    I was just thinking about this. One minute I am showing someone you can barely speak English how to build something and then a hour later I am talking to a mover and shaker or rich and famous about how their home will look. How many people in one day inter react with such diversity. and not just economic diversity, racial or how ever you say it cultural diversity. few ever get to experience that day after day. :-)

  • Wolverine says:

    Leej — Shame on you for letting Eric slip in that low blow against Texas. Fewer than 6% of students in Illinois took the SAT in 2010. In Texas, one half of the entire 2010 class took the SAT, and 54% of that total were minority students. Texas, in fact, leads the country in bringing minorities into the SAT testing so they can have a better chance at college. In such a transition, the Texas scores are naturally going to be lower.

  • Leej says:

    wolf thanks for coming to my rescue :-) I owe you a beer or two or a soft drink if you don’t drink. I was kicked off the brambleton blog today for saying the truth. what a bunch of wimps over there just like the broadlands blog which i got kicked off several years ago ha ha ha . it is time to move back to what my wife Dalyn and I call home call home. austin texas. Loudoun has changed for the worse since the eighties and it is not just growth. what a shame but it seems the last person or family to move here every time wants the door closed behind them ;-) Has the last family or person to move ever realized they are by their attitude are more the problem and NOT the solution.

    oh well the more things change the more they are the same. ;-)

  • G.Stone says:

    Austin Texas ! I might join you. Good food, and great music !

  • Leej says:

    Stone you are there!!! I can tell you are one of us. ;-) yep I had so much fun last weekend with my pals that go back to grade school. One of my buddies turned 50 and had a texas style birthday party. like I said I am going back to austin and I have possibly one last project in me designing and building and owning with my pals a large apartment project. building on the roofs reasonably sized penthouses to live in on the apartment roofs hopefully with views of one of the lakes or the city lights or even both. with roof gardens.

    I never thought I was getting older, but there is a time in life. and when of your close friends turns fifty and you realize you are even older like me it is like a wake up call. ;-) I don’t know it is like you have to do something exceptionally good to help others. Give back to this beautiful planet.

    Anyway I am just going home austin texas. and you get a bit older and you think where is home. it is different for all of us. to me and Dalyn it is friends and family and that is texas. others home is loudoun or even jersey. ;-) ok it is the middle of the morning and I just accidently woke up Dalyn and I can hear Dalyn say just shut up Lee. yes dear I will shut up ;-) ha ha ha

  • Good thing Sears is moving to Texas. Looks like they may not even be around by 2013.
    http://www.foxbusiness.com/industries/2011/06/22/10-brands-that-will-disappear-in-2012/

  • Leej says:

    here is what I am talking about.

    http://www.aia.org/press/releases/AIAB090040

    I will put it this way as a designer I am the first guy or person they call. The phone is not ringing and not just me most of my architect buddies are getting no phone calls. Put it another way the construction you see today was planned and designed years ago. There is very little being designed today as the article states.

    Lloyd I am just guessing Sears would move to Texas for obvious reasons as I said before. Lets just look at the DC area as a whole logically. Why would any company want to move here. oh I know so there employees can sit in hours of traffic commuting and People around the DC area are talking out of both sides of their mouths when talking about economic development here. We do not have the transportation infrastructure. or much hope anything will be built in our kids lifetime. So it is illogical for any company to move here for the same reasons people complain about this area. Heard on the news last night even the lawyers are moving out of here. Far less lawyers here then just a few years ago. When the lawyers are leaving you know it is time to leave :-)

  • Let's Be Free says:

    JC Penney has been quite successful and very happy with the corporate environment in the years since it moved its headquarters to Plano, Texas. Expect Sears to follow suit; relocation somewhere within reasonable proximity to DFW is in the cards.

  • Pragmatist says:

    Sears / K-Mart Holdings headquarters is 32.9 miles from the Willis Tower (formerly the Sears Tower). They currently occupy a huge facility on Beverly Road in Hoffman Estates, IL. Sears hasn’t been in the tower since 1995.

    As Lloyd mentioned, Sears may not exist for much longer as poorly as they’re doing financially. I certainly hope none of my tax dollars are used as a carrot to bring a dying company to Virginia.

  • Leej says:

    Let’s be free I was thinking the same thing. I lived in Dallas in the plano. at that time ross perot built the business park that JC Penny moved into. and so did EDS. and people thought it was on the edge of civilization at that time. now look at it how much things grew out there. and a outer loop was built out there and the extension of the dallas toll road.

    Everybody says they want the businesses to move to loudoun but not the people like kids that have overflowed our school system. Like said before with economic growth comes people and more kids and more traffic. one follows the other one way or another.

    and rail out here is going to create a traffic nighmare. how do you get to the moorefield station. on the overpriced toll road???? shellhorn????? or the someday in our grandkids time the yet to be built moorefield blvd ????? and what roads do you take to even get to those roads. loudoun county parkway ??? ashburn village drive????? cutting thru the broadlands ????? end transit stations are most always a nightmare to get to. is there even going to be enough parking?????? certainly was not enough parking for a zillion years at the end Vienna station. in faifax. nobody is thinking this thru. further in texas they build service roads alongside every toll road and freeway. You can even drive on the service roads from Houston to Dallas about 250 miles along I 45. who would want to I don’t know but you can. ;-) DC has one loop, houston is building the third loop. are houston or dallas perfect nope but they can
    attract a company like sears far easier then here or new York or california.

    Don’t get me wrong the DC area has a lot to offer and I enjoyed my time here, but I have been here this last time about 5 to 10 years too long.

    on a last note loudoun station is building right now. but what are they building more housing units with a few shops thrown in. nothing that is going to help the economics of loudoun just more kids for the school system more retail space to sit empty.

    And every one has made a big deal about Raytheon moving here. Very nice but has that move really done just replaced what AOL had going in the boom years. really not new jobs just replacing the AOL jobs we lost. a big bright spot for Loudoun is Orbital.

    I will leave on a funny note. Dalyn picks me up from my guy trip to houston at Dulles. and she says Lee i missed you so much and then I open my mouth and she says now I wished you were back in texas. Dalyn I thought I was being funny.

    And she says Lee it is not funny when the first sentence out of your mouth is a negative thing about me. nooo Dalyn I was really funny. Then she says you are walking home and she says better yet just go back and walk to Texas. ;-)

    and I say does mean I am sleeping in the other bedroom again. ;-) then i heat just shut up Lee you are not funny.

  • Fear & Loathing says:

    LeeJ;

    Get back on your meds.

  • Leej says:

    fear what are you talking about I take my meds everyday ;-)

    hey fear stayed tuned another adventure this fall to see some friends in south Africa never been there. I should come back with some great stories :-)

    Ok you can tell I am bored since being back from texas.

  • Leej says:

    Dallas Texas has produced more jobs then any other city in the last year or so.

    Dallas Ft Worth are second only to Silicon Valley in designing and manufacturing video games. And could surpass in the next few years.

    Why am I bringing all this up ????? over and over. A lesson for economic development for DC and Loudoun.

    People and our BOS have been all over the map in having more economic development here yet it is not happening. Yep Loudoun seems to be the data center of the world yet that industry produces few jobs and very very ugly buildings. basically creating visual pollution which has very deter-mental effect on ones psychological brain and well being.

    And just think what some terrorist could do blowing up a bunch of data centers here all at one time.

    but my point is Texas has the # one economy during the worst recession this country has ever seen. the point why and what can Loudoun learn from this.

    But thinking sears will ever move here with some of the highest priced work force and housing is a pipe dream.

  • LloydTheIdiot says:

    Lee, VW moved here from Detroit. Sure is cheaper there.

  • Leej says:

    Lloyd Lloyd VW moved here for the government contracts and stay close to lobby so they can keep supplying vehicles and all kinds of defense services. The only companies that are moving here are looking for the tax dollar gold mine soon to be extinguished. far different from Sears. and they only moved a fraction of their people here. and companies moving here that don’t need a connection to our government are non existent.

    Lloyd you are a R don’t you want smaller government????? You can’t have it both ways. economic growth in DC means bigger government. ;-)

  • LloydTheIdiot says:

    Hardly, Lee. A “deal” would mean LESS government by reducing tax burdens for a particular business, that, in turn, encourages even greater business investment and a broader tax base.

  • Leej says:

    Lloyd has does a “”"deal”" with the government reduce government.

    I am confused by your thinking.

  • LloydTheIdiot says:

    The government only has so many cards to play with, and, generally, they are in the form of tax breaks of one sort or the other. Hence, a deal, or tax break, is less government.

  • Leej says:

    Lloyd you are somewhat correct. Butt I repeat we have in Loudoun one of the worst traffic problems in the country with no solutions in the foreseeable future. We have the most overpaid work force in the country. And it is not a asset for our politicians bragging Loudoun has some of the highest per capital incomes in the country. We have state income tax. We have some of the highest costs of living in the USA. We have no class A buildings of any consequence for a large company to move into. And the red tape to build here makes it twice or longer to get a building up then many parts of the USA.

    Oh I take that back we have the taj called the Mark building on 395 to consolidate some of our military that they can’t move into because some idiot or a group of them screwed up the traffic study.

    Yep Lloyd I can see a company like Sears just dying to move here so they can move from a high priced area to even a higher priced area so the can pay higher salaries and have their employees sit in massive traffic jams and have their kids go to over crowded schools. The perfect storm for economic
    development in Loudoun or DC area.

    Solve those problems or hardly any company will move here of any consequence.

    yes data centers will continue to thrive here because of the network. Which is the best in the world. But do they have to build these extremely ugly buildings on every prominent visual piece of land. They should of been concentrated on 606 at the dulles airport. Just look at our most major
    prominent road road rt 28 it hurts my eyes to to drive it. and that is Loudouns front door. Yet the way most of it looks it would be like putting the compressors of your home at your homes front door. Drive thru reston it looks nice and well planned especially for it’s age then drive into loudoun and the visual pollution is horrible. look at the main toll both on the greenway and look at the legal billboards parked there. yes I say legal billboards because they paint their trucks with advertisement and park them so the whole greenway can see them. yep they are no more then legal billboards. ;-)

  • LloydTheIdiot says:

    All I can say, Lee, is that recent history has proven wrong all your points about the unattractivenss of NoVA as a business address.

  • Leej says:

    Lloyd here is a reality check

    http://www.bizjournals.com/washington/print-edition/2011/06/24/lockheed-martin-slams-move-to-nix.html

    We are going to see slashing of government spending.

    The average american taxpayer that makes half of the average government worker is fed up where their tax dollars are going.

    we live in a economic climate the world has never seen in most of our lifetimes.

    The federal fat cats are getting a reality check.

    And look at what has happened to the stock market.

    Obama has already spent our childrens grand kids future in trillions in stimulus which has not done one bit of good for americas economy. And that money is gone. Never to be seen again in our lifetime.

    Good times are built on cheap and easy money. Those days are gone.

    foreclosures have killed new sales and existing sales. Many good people are out of buying a home forever. And there are not enough qualified buyers left to keep the housing industry going. The party is over. ;-)

  • squiddy says:

    Eric, SAT scores are a terrible way to measure educational quality, because in many states, ACT is dominant, and the majority of SAT test-takers are those top-tier students looking to attend out-of-state / Ivy schools – for an instructive breakdown, compare the infamous Wisconsin vs. Virginia test results people were throwing around, where only about 4% of Wisconsin students took the test, while 67% in Virginia take them.

    Beyond this, standardized testing to compare systems is problematic, because they fail to take into account differences in populations – in Texas, 53.2 percent of PSAT test-takers are Hispanic or Black, and 38.6 percent white, while in Illinois the percentages are 21.7 percent and 66.9 percent, respectively. Blacks and Hispanics, as a group, typically score lower than “Whites” on such standardized tests, so you’d expect Texas to score far lower than Illinois.

    Funny, but despite this, the cut-off scores for the National Merit Scholarship is 214 for Illinois, while Texas’ is 215.

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