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2005-08-29
Mission, Kansas. There Is Life After Wal-Mart Is Defeated.

Just about a year ago, Sprawl-Busters wrote that Wal-Mart was giving up the battle in Mission, Kansas. On August, 28, 2004, we wrote, "Wal-Mart is abandoning its interest in Mission, Kansas, because city officials have proposed development plans that the company cannot live with. So they will have to live without Mission. As reported earlier, the city has developed a new set of zoning rules that limit the size of stores." That was one year ago. We have received the following update on this story this week: "The Mission Center Mall, which last year was the center of controversy after Wal-Mart attempted to purchase it for development of a supercenter, has again made the news. The City's vision for the area appears to be coming a little closer to reality, after a New York developer now indicates that instead of a typical suburban big-box store, the site will become the location for a pedestrian-friendly combination of retail shops, residential space, and multiple amenities. "I think the area has strong demographics and there are retail components that are missing from that part of the market, what I would call the mid-sized boxes," Tom Valenti, a partner with Cameron Group said. "What we're trying to do is make it like a town center, a place where people will live and shop and dine and be entertained at, as well as a destination for the surrounding areas."

What you can do: It is clear that when communities begin to think outside of the box, they can accommodate local desires for retail shopping, while putting a premium on the quality of life and character of the community. In Mission, Kansas, Wal-Mart's mission was not compatible with the city's mission, but after the giant retailer pulled out, other more consistent options were put on the table. In his case, residents will still need to watch the developer's footprints very closely, to see what they really mean by "mid-sized boxes". Big box developers want local residents to believe that their option is the only option that is "trendy" today -- but today's trends are tomorrow's empty buildings, and when the big boxes move on, the city's character is already gone before them. For local contacts in Mission, Kansas, contact info@sprawl-busters.com.










 
 
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