Amendment + Walmart would snarl Midtown traffic, say critics

By | June 18th, 2012 | 17 Comments
Walmart Loading Zone

A proposed amendment to permit above-ground service loading in Midtown may reignite the Midtown Walmart debate.

At a meeting on Wednesday, the City of Miami’s Planning, Zoning, and Appeals Board (PZAB) will consider a proposed amendment to the Midtown Miami master plan that would permit service access and service loading along North Miami Avenue south of 34th Street — exactly where Walmart is planning to build its first Miami store.

Update: PZAB deferred its consideration of the amendment until Wednesday, July 18, at 6 p.m., at City Hall in Coconut Grove (3500 Pan American Drive).

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Walmart de Mexico scandal rocks retail giant

By | April 24th, 2012 | 4 Comments

Will the Walmart de Mexico scandal affect Walmart's plans to open its first Miami location? -- photo by Josh Haner/The New York Times

With Walmart trying to garner local support for a proposed two-story store in Midtown, which would be its first Miami location, the retail giant is dealing with the fallout from a hard-hitting, 8,000-word New York Times story on alleged widespread corruption in Mexico.

Update: “In Los Angeles, a Wal-Mart building permit is getting a once-over. In New York, the City Council is investigating a possible land deal with the retailer’s developer in Brooklyn. A state senator in California is pushing for a formal audit of a proposed Wal-Mart in San Diego. And in Boston and its suburbs, residents are pressuring politicians to disclose whether they have received contributions from the company.” — from “Wal-Mart’s U.S. Expansion Plans Complicated by Bribery Scandal” (NYT, 4/31/12)

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Grill Walmart: The retail giant answers your questions

By | April 10th, 2012 | 14 Comments
"How May I Help You?" by Robby Campbell

Walmart answers 10 of your questions about its plan to open its first Miami location. -- illustration by Robby Campbell

On March 29, we gave you the opportunity to grill Walmart on its controversial plan to open its first location in the City of Miami, a two-story store in Midtown, and scores of you took the opportunity to be heard in the form of post comments, emails, tweets, and Facebook postings.

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Grill Walmart: The retail giant is fielding your questions

By | March 29th, 2012 | 18 Comments
"How May I Help You?" by Robby Campbell

Got questions about Walmart's plan to open its first Miami location? The retail giant is at your service. -- illustration by Robby Campbell

Walmart’s plan to open its first City of Miami location, a two-story store in Midtown, has sparked contentious debate between people who see it as a threat to an emerging neighborhood and others who see it as a boon to residents who will benefit from easy access to inexpensive goods and new jobs. With so much at stake, Beached Miami, which has been leading the local media with its coverage of the Midtown Walmart debate, asked the retail giant if it would field questions from our readers. To its credit, Walmart agreed to be grilled.

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Fox News zeroing in on Midtown Walmart story

By | March 6th, 2012 | 1 Comment

Fox News is requesting interviews with people involved in the Midtown Walmart debate.

The Midtown Walmart story might be getting the Fox News treatment.

A booker with the weekend edition of the show Fox & Friends has been reaching out to people involved in the issue, including anti-Walmart petitioner Grant Stern, to set up interviews.

Also likely to be on their list: Alicia Coker, who started a Facebook group on Monday called “Bring Walmart to Midtown” that, as of noon on Tuesday, March 6, has 21 members.

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Midtown developer asks city to reject Walmart zoning request

By | February 28th, 2012 | 3 Comments
Walmart Loading Zone

A Midtown developer is pushing back against what would be Miami's first Walmart.

Walmart’s plans to move to Midtown Miami may have just met their first organized and funded opposition. What seemed to be shaping up as a debate between community groups, residents, and business owners has reached another scale: Now, it’s developer versus developer.

The neighborhood’s newest big stake holder, Midtown Opportunities, has contracted the powerful law firm Holland and Knight in an effort to persuade the City of Miami to reject the zoning changes being requested by Walmart and Diversified Development Reality (DDR), the current owner of the land where Walmart’s Midtown store would be built.

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Opinion: The City of Miami should reject Walmart zoning request

By | February 14th, 2012 | 2 Comments

This opinion piece is part of an ongoing Open Media Miami series about the proposed Walmart in Midtown. Open Media Miami is a community news partner of Beached Miami for coverage of Wynwood, Midtown, and the Biscayne Corridor.

Walmart’s affect on communities may be a subject of debate, but its disregard for Midtown Miami’s Master Plan is not in question. Walmart wants to place a major loading zone at the intersection of Midtown’s main streets. Midtown Mall owner DDR Corp., which is selling the southwest corner of Midtown Miami to Walmart, has requested those changes and more from the City of Miami as a parting gift.

Walmart’s request that the city waive zoning restrictions, which was submitted to City of Miami Planning Director Francisco Garcia by DDR Corp.’s attorney, show a massive loading dock fronting Midtown Boulevard, as well as a raised concrete divider in the middle of the road to protect the trucks from N.E. 30th Street traffic. They also call for a five-lane intersection at N.E. 29th Street and Midtown Boulevard to accommodate big rigs and significantly increased auto traffic.

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South Florida Puerto Rican Chamber backs Midtown Miami Walmart

By | February 9th, 2012 | No Comments

While some small business owners in Midtown and Wynwood believe a Walmart would be bad for the neighborhood, one of the main authorities in the Puerto Rican business community — which settled in the area long before it became trendy — thinks exactly the opposite.

“I do shop at Walmart from time to time, and I think it’s going to be an economic booster for the community,” said Luis de Rosa, president of the Puerto Rican Chamber of Commerce of South Florida, which is located just east of the Shops at Midtown, on 36th Street. “It’s going to create a lot more jobs, hundreds of jobs.”

The Puerto Rican Chamber of Commerce works to promote job creation and economic development in the area through county-issued grants. De Rosa argues that Walmart and businesses in Midtown are targeted toward completely different customers. As a result, the big box store won’t be snatching away clients with its low prices.

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Plans for Midtown Walmart emerge with zoning request

By | February 2nd, 2012 | 5 Comments
Midtown Walmart Lot

The future home of a 160,000 square-foot mega Walmart in Midtown, between 29th Street and 30th Street. -- photo by Jared Goyette

The owner of a vacant lot set to become a 160,000 square-foot mega Walmart store in Midtown is asking the City of Miami to waive zoning regulations on recently submitted plans for construction of garage entrances and a truck loading area, arguing the additions would only be a “minor modification” of the city’s design standards.

The Akerman firm representing Cleveland-based Developers Diversified Realty, which owns the vacant land at 3055 N. Miami Avenue, asked the planning department to approve a design of a truck loading dock and garage entrance on the east side of the property facing Midtown Boulevard (NE 1st Avenue), between 29th Street and 30th Street.

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Op-ed: A Walmart in Midtown will hurt job growth, local businesses

By | January 30th, 2012 | 8 Comments
Walmart

A Miami blogger weighs in on the prospect of a Walmart opening in Midtown. -- photo from Wikimedia Commons

This opinion piece is part of an ongoing Open Media Miami series about the proposed Walmart in Midtown. Open Media Miami is a community news partner of Beached Miami for coverage of Wynwood, Midtown, and the Biscayne Corridor.

In the past couple of weeks, there has been a lot of conversation regarding the opening of a Walmart in Midtown, and I have been very vocal in my anti-Walmart stance. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. But you can’t build a biased and misinformed argument for your cause in a public forum. At a time when we are discussing the welfare of our community, there is a lot of danger in ignorance and misinformation.

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