Westbrook,ME. Defeated Once, Wal-Mart Returns To Try Again
On April 5, 2007, Sprawl-Busters reported that Wal-Mart's proposal to build a superstore in Westbrook, Maine was over. Wal-Mart decided not to renew its option on a 27 acres of land off the Westbrook Arterial. The word came, not from Wal-Mart, but from the real estate agency handling the deal. "It's available to anybody at this point," the real estate agent told the Press-Herald.
In 2004, the Westbrook City Council voted to change the zoning of the mill from industrial to gateway commercial. The change cleared the way for a proposed 203,000 s.f. Wal-Mart Supercenter. But a group called Westbrook Our Home, opposed the project, and helped convince the town's planning board to place restrictions on the site. Wal-Mart did not like the limit capping the size of retail projects in the gateway district at 160,000 s.f.
But 9 years after defeat, Wal-Mart is back—proposing a new location across from another shopping center. A public hearing on the project is expected in June or July.
Westbrook has no market need for another superstore, because there are three locations within 15 miles of the proposed megastore. The overall development, including the superstore is 500,000 s.f., or about the size of 10 football fields.
The Westbrook Planning Board can reject the Wal-Mart proposal based on land use laws governing site plans.
What you can do: For more background on this latest Wal-Mart attempt, go to:
To see earlier Sprawl-Buster stories, go to the the Newsflash page, and search by "Westbrook".