Walmart's Midtown Miami Design Plans Rejected by Review Board

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Midtown Miami Walmart smaller.jpg
From the moment Walmart announced plans to build a 16,000-square-foot store in the heart of midtown, activists have clashed with the retail giant over whether the store could fit into the booming neighborhood's aesthetic. Last night, the city's Urban Development Review Board chimed in with a resounding rejection of Walmart's plans.

Unfortunately for anti-Walmart types, it might not matter. The board can only advise Miami's planning director, who gets to make the final call on his own.

See also:
-- Midtown Miami Walmart Redesign Would Include Non-Walmart Store Fronts
-- Walmart Eyes Massive New Midtown Miami Store


Board members didn't mince words about Walmart's plans for the midtown development, lashing out over features they say violate the neighborhood's strict zoning plan.

Specifically, they criticized the plan for failing to include screens for a rooftop parking garage and liners to conceal parking on lower floors, the Miami Herald reports.

"I feel like a violin and I'm being played," complained architect Willy Bermello, a board member who also told the Herald he thought Walmart was trying to "get away with" breaking the rules.

After the board rejected Walmart's plans, the retail giant declined to revise its design and return for another hearing, with an attorney saying the project was "taking way too long."

Instead, the company will put its project's fate in the hands of Miami planning director Francisco Garcia, who has the final say on whether to OK the store. (Walmart would only have to go for a commission vote if it asked for exceptions to midtown's zoning rules, the Herald reports.)

Walmart emailed Riptide this statement on the meeting from spokesman Steven Restivo:

"Today's Urban Design and Review Board was a procedural step in the City's approval process, and we value the feedback provided by the board and members of the public. We will continue working with the City and community to deliver a store that reflects the look and feel of Midtown Miami while providing new job opportunities and shopping options to our Miami customers."

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21 comments
Frank Castle
Frank Castle

i think its a great idea to put a walmart there, it would add jobs around the area and add life to the area since midtown is changing for the better, remember it was a ghetto before

ronsadaka
ronsadaka

Hey Walmart - How about 79th & Biscayne? You can make a much better impact up there. Contribute something to a community that needs you!

VoteNo
VoteNo

Walmart needs to find a bigger site or build a smaller store.

bjc5039
bjc5039

Miami can be excessive and flashy at times. I'm proud of our community for denying the corporate super giant.  We are creating jobs through small business, entrepreneurial leaders and artistic ventures. - CPG, The Visual Group by Brittany J. Confer

milezero
milezero

The walmarting of America is a sad commentary on the distruction of community.

Amanda Drewniak
Amanda Drewniak

Walmart is disgusting. Walmart as a company is evil ridden. Walmart cannot even pay their employees a proper salary, the use illegal tactics (such as unpaid hours once an employee goes over their designated hours, deductions from paychecks for random reasons) unethical work tactics, (keeping employees at a fixed wage and not giving them raises, keeping employees hours low to prevent benefits and to keep employees on welfare and medicaid).http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/10/10/1141724/-Walmart-fuels-inequality-epidemic-taking-advantage-of-our-safety-net

Vanessa Safie
Vanessa Safie

I'm really surprised. Why on earth does anyone need a wal mart? Why would you want to do that to your community/neighborhood?

Carlos Franco
Carlos Franco

i wonder how anyone did any shopping without walmart??? because everyone is making it seem like they cant survive without one next to their house

Angela Fernandez
Angela Fernandez

there's a brand new Publix on Biscayne and 17th with plenty of free parking. We do not need a Walmart! Why not shop at Target? And yeah it is my hood, I have been there for nearly 10 years.

Nicole Ashly
Nicole Ashly

I'd really love to have a Walmart less than 45 minutes away from me. That would be ideal.

Adnarim Ed Yelsek
Adnarim Ed Yelsek

Walmart is one of the richest companies in the world and they can't even follow some simple zoning rules. This is really annoying me. Walmart in that area would be ideal for me, as I won't have to drive all the way to North Miami Beach for the nearest Walmart. But this is getting ridiculous. One of the other issues was the receiving entrances for the trucks. Did they address that as well?

Vanessa Safie
Vanessa Safie

But we can let him know how we feel, a lot and frequently and in an annoying manner, right? ;)

damnstraight
damnstraight

@Em Azin Ahhhh, there's already a Target there.   Recheck your definition of 'need'.   

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