Walmart closer to coming to Midtown
MIAMI (WSVN) -- Walmart is one step closer to opening a new store in Midtown Miami.
A Walmart in Midtown Miami? The news brings a smile to some people's faces. "That's my store, but we go to Hialeah or sometimes 441, but I've been going to Hialeah because 441 is too far. I live right down the street," said a woman who was excited about the news.
Grant Stern and the members of www.nowalmartinmidtown.com are fighting the low-cost superstore moving to Miami Avenue south of Midtown. "Now we have something to fight, so we can finish this battle. We're going to appeal, and we're going to win," said Stern.
On Monday, the planning director gave the plans for the proposed 156,000-square-foot store an OK, saying they comply with Miami's zoning codes.
It's one of the final steps in a years-long David versus Goliath fight between the Arkansas-based giant and many who work and live in the surrounding area. "This site was not designed for a store of this size of Walmart's proposal. Also, they are violating district standards by having more parking and more loading bays then allowed," said Stern.
The traffic, low prices, construction and retail jobs can be seen as a blessing and a curse.
Kandis Foster lives in Downtown Miami and works in Midtown. She's seen positive changes in the area in her four years here. "It will be a little bit against what they're trying to do. It will be convenient though, honestly," said Foster. "I shop at Walmart. I don't go often. I buy everything within one trip for like the month."
Design plans still have to be submitted for final approval, and Grant Stern and company plan to file an appeal in the next 15 days.
Shirley Jackson and Quenton Mayo won't be fighting it. They're hoping it finally gets a final green light. "It's all a benefit for me," said Jackson.
A representative from Walmart released a statement which read in part: "Our Midtown Miami store will provide residents with new job opportunities and shopping options while complimenting the existing retail corridor. We're excited to move forward."
If there is no appeal, Walmart can start applying for permits to get started on construction. The grassroots opposition group plans to fight it.
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