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2005-12-02
Helotes, TX. Wal-Mart Drops OutóBut May Return

To celebrate, or not to celebrate? That is the question in Helotes, Texas. Seven months after an anti-Wal-Mart slate of citizens swept into office in Helotes, Wal-Mart has announced that it has scrubbed its plans to locate here -- for now. The San Antonio Express-News reported this week that the retailer has abandoned plans to build a superstore on the Scenic Loop Road, which triggered a controversy one year ago when it first became public. The newspaper account was confirmed by the property owner, who said Wal-Mart has packed its bags. "Wal-Mart is going away," the property owner said -- speaking five of the most wonderful-sounding words in Helotes today. One Wal-Mart supporter, City Councilman Jim Caruso, said the company's real estate manager notified him yesterday that the jig was up. But the door was left open a crack for Wal-Mart to come back at another location nearby. As Caruso said, "Wal-Mart for the time being opted not to develop on that particular site at Bandera and Scenic Loop Road there." Caruso said Wal-Mart's people told him "they had a change of plans and... hoped to do something in the future." Mayor Jon Allan, who was elected on an anti-Wal-Mart platform, said Wal-Mart would not confirm to him that they were leaving. "We've had rumors in the past that Wal-Mart was pulling out and going somewhere else," the Mayor told the Express-News, "and it turned out not to be true, so I'd hesitate to pop the champagne cork until we hear something final."

What you can do: Mayor Allan is right to hold off on a party. It ain't over until the Fat Company sings, and clearly Wal-Mart has plans for another attempt in Helotes. Consider the case this week in Gresham, Oregon, where Wal-Mart submitted a new plan within weeks of losing an appeal on a larger store. Helotes is far from done with Wal-Mart. For earlier stories, search by "Helotes."










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

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