After being sued over and over again, Walmart is that much closer to opening its three-story, 203,000-square-foot superstore in Midtown Miami. On August 24th, Walmart won its latest appeal in Miami-Dade Circuit Court against neighborhood activists. The group of opposing residents argue the store will change the neighborhood's character, cut off Midtown from surrounding neighborhoods, and hurt local business (what does
The Design District think of this?). In the latest conflict, when Walmart resubmitted their plans after the city incorrectly approved their proposal for five truck loading berths, which exceeded the allowed limit of three, they were swiftly approved. Residents appealed the decision, hoping to have a second public hearing and delay Walmart's ability to apply for a building permit for the next 12 months. The city deemed the second hearing unnecessary, however, and here we are.
After this back-and-forth battle, it still seems like it will be never-ending: both parties are determined as ever. The activists won't back down, saying they will continue and "with more legal help this time." On the other side, Walmart's director of communications, William C. Wertz, released a statement to The Miami Herald that shows Walmart is completely unfazed, and optimistic even: "We are pleased that the Court has upheld the City of Miami's unanimous approval of our plans to bring a Walmart to Midtown. This decision brings Walmart one step closer to providing hundreds of new jobs and affordable grocery options to residents in nearby Wynwood, Overtown, Allapattah and Downtown Miami. We look forward to the day when we can open the new store that so many in the community have been anticipating." It has been said that Walmart is eager to begin construction and can't take much more of this legal battle. So, is it worth it, Walmart? We'll just have to wait and see.—Alexandra J Miller
· Walmart wins challange over Midtown Miami store [Miami Herald]
· Residents vow to continue fighting Midtown Walmart [New Times]
· Residents opposing Midtown Miami Walmart lose appeal [New Times]
· Midtown Miami Walmart coverage [Curbed Miami]
· No Walmart in Midtown [Change.org]