Walmart backs out of planned west Louisville store
Walmart has backed out of plans to build a store in west Louisville.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Walmart has backed out of plans to build a supercenter at 18th Street and Broadway in west Louisville.
Walmart spokeswoman Anne Hatfield said the company has decided not to pursue developing the store "after much deliberation and consideration of various business factors and extensive delays to the project."
Announced in March 2014, the store had been touted as a boost for economic development in west Louisville, though its suburban-style layout also sparked a lawsuit.
Steve Porter, the attorney who filed the suit against Walmart, says one of the main points of the lawsuit was the proposed design and how the parking lot was positioned.
"There was never any push from the city administration to help reach a a compromise," he said.
Porter said that his side had agreed on a deal earlier this year with the land developer, Teresa Bridgewater of New Bridge Development. He added that the lawsuit would be pulled as long as New Bridge Development built other businesses around the Walmart.
Walmart's announced pull-out Friday comes despite subsidies the city had committed for the development -- deals it normally would not offer for a big-box store. Metro government contributed $1.8 million to the property's developer to assemble land and offered Walmart a $500,000 "grant" for building the store.
Earlier this month, Walmart said it would open only about half as many supercenters next year as it did last fiscal year, allowing more investments in e-commerce, technology and customer service, according to the Wall Street Journal.
"Our project at 18th and Broadway was a casualty of their changing business strategy," Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer said in a press conference Friday.
"It is a testament to some people's insistence that progress must only be made on their terms, even if it is a small group of citizens."
Watch the raw video of Mayor Fischer's press conference in the video player above.
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