Council Approves Walmart Delay

A new location for a major retailer will now open later than first anticipated. In August, Walmart proposed closing its current store on Route 59 and building a 170,000 square-foot supercenter at the corner of 75th Street and Beebe Drive.

City council agreed to offer a tax incentive, requiring Walmart to take ownership of the property by the first of this year and open the new store by January 1st, 2014.

But the company had to delay that timeline because it was still seeking confirmation from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers that the property doesn’t sit on any wetlands and finalizing acquisition details with the property owner.

At their last meeting, councilmen voted seven to one in favor of letting Walmart take ownership on April 30th this year and opening the new store on April 30th next year, though Joe McElroy changed his mind about supporting the project altogether.

“It seems like this is one of those rare occasions were we actually get a second crack at the vote and I’m going to take advantage of it,” he said.

McElroy was the lone “nay” vote as others continued to support the new supercenter.

“This was a good idea then, it’s a good idea now,” said Councilman Grant Wehrli. “If we don’t do this Walmart goes literally across the street to Aurora taking all sales tax dollars with it, leaving us with a $1 million hole in our general fund.”

Under its agreement with the city, walmart will receive, a one percent share of the state’s sales tax that the city would normally receive and put in their general fund, up to $1.75 million or ten years, whichever comes first.
A different retail giant is closing its doors. The Kmart on Ogden Avenue will be leaving down as soon as late March. It’s one of as many as 120 Kmart and Sears stores closing due to a lack of performance.

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