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2000-04-22
St. Louis, MO. K Mart "Leap Frogging" Rejected

Here's an update to our April 15th. newsflash story about Kmart's efforts to overcome community opposition in south St. Louis, Missouri. On April 18th, the St. Louis Board of Public Service voted to reject a Kmart proposed on the 10 acre former site of the Famous-Barr store. The Southtown Coalition, which has been aggressively fighting Kmart, has in-hand another developer who wants to develop the site in a manner more acceptable to residents than a big box. The day before the Board voted down Kmart, the city's town zoning official had warned that the developer's plan amounted to allowing "leapfrogging" the existing Kmart location in a nearby plaza to the new site. Zoning Administrator John Koch said opening a Kmart 'in traditional urban business areas" would result in the deterioration of the neighborhood, closing of smaller stores and subsequent job losses that can lead to social instability, crime and the 'ghettoization' of the area, according to the St.Louis Post-Dispatch. The planned Big Kmart was 101,240 s.f. The alternative plan being promoted by residents would include several mid-sized stores and a restaurant. The Zoning Administrator noted the large turnout at one of his public hearings on the Kmart, where neighbors "expressed their passion and commitment as to what is the best for the general welfare of the neighborhood." The developer's lawyer has suggestred that Kmart or the landowner may appeal the Board's ruling to the city's Board of Adjustment.

What you can do: It's Kmart and the developer who need a little "adjustment" here. Area residents have explained that planning should be community-based and involve local stakeholders, not just out of state corporations. For more details on how to contact the Southtown Coalition, see the April 15th. newsflash below.










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

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