Wal-Mart's decision to back out of west Louisville could hurt sm - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Wal-Mart's decision to back out of west Louisville could hurt small businesses

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Wal-Mart's decision to back out of a deal on West Broadway could be costly to some neighbors.

The area is surrounded by dozens of smaller businesses, and instead of seeing Wal-Mart as competition, a lot of them were counting on the extra traffic to increase their own bottom line.

Tiffanie Lucas is one of them. A few weeks ago, she opened Ms. Tiff's 1 Stop on West Broadway. From snacks to dinner, she has it all.

"I cook hot food in here. It is really what sells the best," she said.

Business has been a little slow, but Lucas was counting on a big boost when Wal-Mart opened just across the street.

"A lot of people don't make their way down here, but if there's a Wal-Mart, you know, you come out of the woodwork for Wal-Mart," Lucas said. "So [it] probably would have brought a lot of people to stop and check us out."

On Friday, Wal-Mart pulled the plug on a plan to build a store at 18th and Broadway. City leaders blame it on a lawsuit.

"As far as this particular Wal-Mart is concerned, we had no idea that they would back away," Attorney Steve Porter said.

Porter filed the lawsuit on behalf of a group opposing the superstore but says his clients had an issue with the makeup of planning commission and design, not Wal-Mart.

"We just wanted a legal planning commission, and we wanted the land development code to be followed," Porter said.

In fact, Porter believes there were other factors that killed the super store, not the lawsuit.

"I think the onus is probably mostly on Wal-Mart," he said. "They probably changed their strategy. That's probably the major reason, actually."

Ironically, on Friday afternoon, the Kentucky Court of Appeals dismissed the lawsuit.

"I thought it would help grow this community right here a lot," Lucas said.

Right now, Lucas is working on a plan B. She believes it will be difficult to top the kind of traffic Wal-Mart would have brought.

"It would have brought a lot of foot traffic from people catching the bus, because there are four bus stops right here, from the car traffic, to the employees."

The land is owned by the developers, not the city. No one has said what the next move will be now that Wal-Mart is out.

Related Stories:

Metro council members hold meeting to discuss canceled west Louisville Wal-Mart plans

Wal-Mart backs out of planned west Louisville store

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