It Takes A Village, But Walmart Won't Bite

In Pass Christian, Mississippi, it seemed WalMart was on board for a village-style, mixed-use development that would include one of their stores. That is, until Walmart brass heard about the project.
December 10, 2009, 6am PST | The Intrepid Staff
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"[Pass Christian, MS, architect Robin] Riley said he and his partners had progressed so far as to have [Walmart's] board of directors agree in principle that having hundreds of potential customers living adjacent to the store would be a good idea. Implementation, however, hinged on using Gulf Opportunity Zone (GO Zone) tax incentives - a federally sponsored set of rebuilding subsidies - to make the housing financially feasible. "Walmart's accountants just couldn't get their head around the notion of government participation," said Riley. The likelihood of getting an innovative design was also hurt when Walmart CEO Lee Scott, who seemed impressed by the village idea, stepped down last year.

"Ann Daigle, a Mississippi-based planning consultant, said that although Pass Christian recently adopted the SmartCode, 'the mayor and city attorney let Walmart out of following the code.'"

Thanks to Renee Brutvan

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Published on Wednesday, December 9, 2009 in New Urban News website
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