Midtown Walmart Wins Zoning Appeal, Headed to City Council for Final Vote

Categories: News

Walmart's plans to build a superstore in the heart of midtown Miami are now just one vote away from becoming a reality. The retail giant won an appeal with the city's zoning board last night, overcoming hours of pleas from residents who say the store would turn one of Miami's up-and-coming urban neighborhoods into a corporate hellscape.

Opponents vowed to continue fighting plans for the 203,000-square-foot store before the city commission.

See also: City Approves Walmart's Plans for Midtown, Opponents Pledge to Appeal

At city hall last night, critics marshaled to outline their worries that the Walmart would snarl traffic, change the character of midtown Miami, and hurt local retailers. For five hours, they traded barbs with Walmart's conga line of attorneys.

In the end, the Planning and Zoning Appeals Board voted 6-4 to grant Walmart the approval to go ahead with the superstore. That reverses a 9-0 vote by the same board -- which had been reversed by planning director Francisco Garcia, who OK'd the retailer's plans.

Grant Stern, a mortgage broker who has led opponents of Walmart's midtown push, vowed to fight the plan at the city commission.

"This is not the end of the fight," he told the Miami Herald after last night's hearing. "We'll take what we have, refine it, and send it on its way."

In addition to their concerns about Walmart's effect on the neighborhood, Stern and his allies argue the store's plans require public hearings for variances because of the number of loading bays, the distance of upper stories from street level, and plans to reduce lanes on a nearby road.

Lorenzo Lopez, a Walmart spokesman, says Walmart is confident it will win final backing from the city.

"We are pleased with the Planning and Zoning Board's recommendation and look forward to serving our customers in Wynwood, Overtown, Allapattah, and Downtown Miami by 2015," Lopez says in a statement sent to Riptide. "Our new store at Midtown will provide hundreds of new jobs and affordable grocery options to area residents who are now traveling up to 22 miles roundtrip to reach our nearest store."

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25 comments
Ray.
Ray.

No more Wal Marts! All they do is run smaller businesses out of business while they get bigger and richer. The rich get richer and the poor get poorer.

Darling Ursa
Darling Ursa

Elitist art snobs & greasy hipsters don't want a Walmart on their turf because they believe that that Walmart is a roach motel for poor people...

ResidentsScrewed
ResidentsScrewed

Walmart opponents claim the City illegally approved a massive Walmart on a small vacant lot.  Walmart brought 30+ lawyers and lobbyists to the evening Hearing.  Walmart's "shock and awe" strategy worked.  Weak board members caved in.



ResidentsScrewed
ResidentsScrewed

Walmart opponents claim the City illegally approved a massive Walmart on a small vacant lot.  Walmart brought 30+ lawyers and lobbyists to the evening Hearing.  Walmart's "shock and awe" strategy worked.  Weak board members caved in.

mae86
mae86

midtown and their hipsters, midtown was a piece of shit back in the day who gives a fuck

Joe Fritz
Joe Fritz

You cannot stop the beast with the mark of the "W"...

Anastasia Biltmore
Anastasia Biltmore

Well, there goes midtown as a bastion of individuality in a city rife with homogenization.

teknodum
teknodum

The fix is in.  Midtown, The Grove (Scotty's)

Banana Republic ?       Throw the bums out!

Joao De Nacimiento
Joao De Nacimiento

Phill, that doesn't matter. Even if walmart gets robbed, they will still make a profit.

Floydian Slipped
Floydian Slipped

The 163rd street location is totally ghetto and it's STILL there!

Ben Wonfitness C
Ben Wonfitness C

hiealeh gardens walmart is one of the worst in high theft!!!!

Phil Ramirez
Phil Ramirez

WalMart won't last long, given the area residents' penchant for shoplifting (they'll run it to the ground! This ain't Hialeah Gardens or Doral, nor Coral Way... You know how many ghetto areas converge in that radius?! North Overtown, Wynwood, East Allapattah, South Liberty City, that skid-row area of Biscayne Blvd motels, etc.) Just give it some time.

Damian Doss
Damian Doss

corporations consuming small businesses, no wonder so many ppl appose it

Nick Moss
Nick Moss

Always easy to spot the Wal-Mart media trollers.

Jan Dedeurwaerder
Jan Dedeurwaerder

next goal: pass a law to make the minimum wage $15/hr in Miami. Wally Mart will run like hell.

Gabe Yunes
Gabe Yunes

Replace the word activist with hipsters snobs

Sean Huertas
Sean Huertas

BOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! NOOOOOO BOOOOOOO! NO WALMART NO WALMART GO TO KISSIMMEE, FL BOOO!!!!!!

Ray.
Ray.

@mae86 Who cares if it was ghetto, crap or whatever back in the day? That means it can't turn things around and be good and positive now? These are Miamians or South Floridians? no wonder so much crap happens over here because of ignorant fools.

miamitrev2
miamitrev2 topcommenter

@Jan Dedeurwaerder  

Good  luck with that.

miamitrev2
miamitrev2 topcommenter

@Diana Shapiro 

Once again you are a dumb bitch who doesn't know that the term/word is "eyesore"

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