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2004-09-18
Denver, CO. Wal-Mart Opponents Issue Statement On Victory.

Thrilled residents of Denver, Colorado who helped push a Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market out of their Elitch Gardens community, say they are now excited about the prospect of finding a more appropriate form of development for that parcel. They issued the following statement this week: "Stop Elitch Wal-Mart (SEWM), a grassroots coalition of Northwest Denverites, did just that. It stopped Wal-Mart from pursuing the purchase of land in the historic Elitch Gardens Amusement Park site on which it wanted to build a store. SEWM learned Tuesday night from Highlands Garden Village developer Chuck Perry that Wal-Mart officials decided to let the retailer's contract to buy the former parcel of Elitch's land expire on September 30, without submitting a plan to the City of Denver. Perry cited economic forces behind the decision. Immediately after the developer's negotiations with Wal-Mart were exposed in March of this year, a broad base of community members spoke out in opposition to the plan. "For years, we were told that the Highlands Garden Village development would be a pedestrian-friendly village of live work units for artists and entrepreneurs and small retailers," said SEWM member Jim Scott. "We have repeatedly made the point that Wal-Mart -- the world's largest retailer -- cannot in any way be construed to be small retail," he said. "And big stores on big parking lots are not pedestrian friendly." Opponents to Wal-Mart/Perry's proposal for a 40,000 square-foot, 24-hour store included environmentalists, yuppies, labor, Democrats, Republicans, parents of small children, feminists and many others, Scott said. "Community members opposed the proposal because we believe it would have been harmful to our quality of life, property values, environment, access to good jobs and the safety of our families." "We are now shifting our energy toward, hopefully, working with the developer to identify alternatives for the site that better fit our community," said West Highlands resident Rich Miller. "An Alternatives Committee of community members was established by District 1 Councilman Rick Garcia to identify and approach retailers and other prospective businesses that NW Denverites will welcome," Miller said. "Members of the Alternatives Committee are ready to work with Councilman Garcia and developer Chuck Perry to create a vibrant, pedestrian-friendly commercial corridor along West 38th Avenue. We want to build a link between the diverse array of choices developing along West 32nd Avenue and Tennyson Street. Now the exciting part begins."

What you can do: For more information about the residents' successful battle against Wal-Mart, go to http://stopelitchwalmart.home.comcast.net/ or e-mail StopElitchWalMart@yahoo.com. Earlier stories about this battle can be found by searching this database by "Elitch".










 
 
"Norman has become the guru of the anti-Wal-Mart movement" ~ 60 Minutes

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