HENRICO, Va. (WTVR)–Many residents of a Henrico County community off Forest Avenue held out hope that maybe Walmart might not come into their backyard, choosing instead to occupy a Kmart store slated for closure on Glenside Drive.
Speculation promptly ended Monday evening, however, when Walmart shot down the possibility to CBS 6.
“We did take a look at the Glenside Drive Kmart property,” noted company spokesman Bill Wertz in an email, “but concluded it didn’t offer us what we were looking for to best serve customers in the area.”
Wert added, “we’re moving forward on the Reynolds Crossing site, which we hope will be approved later this month.”
If the Reynolds Crossing proposal is approved- a ten-to-twelve acre transaction that would situate Walmart smack in the middle of a thicket of new development off Glenside Drive- it would be in direct opposition to many homeowners living nearby.
“Walmart or not, having any big box store that close by brings a lot of concerns, “ said Jack Pustilnik, who cited traffic and disruption of a neighborhood feel as his chief complaints.
“Walmart is a toxic organization,” Pustilnik continued. “They draw a lot of criticism for a lot of things. We have a new law in place now, called the ‘Walmart Law,’ because of things Walmart has done!”
Other residents of the housing development offered similar input, like Annie Abernethy.
After moving to the neighborhood a decade ago, Abernethy told CBS 6 the nearby development has already exceeded what she was promised at the time.
“I don’t mind quality development” said Abernethy, “but if we were to have a Walmart back there, the traffic and the increase in people coming and going would be very detrimental to our neighborhood, for sure.”
The Henrico County Planning Commission will decide the fate of the Walmart project on July 25th, when the group will vote to either approve, deny or defer the corporation’s application.
County spokesperson R. Joseph Emerson told us the decision would be deferred only if commission members decide there’s more information that needs to be explored.
Stay tuned to CBS 6 news for more updates.