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Southfield City Council Strikes Down New Walmart Store

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(Credit: NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)

(Credit: NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)

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SOUTHFIELD (WWJ) - A new Walmart store will not be going up in Southfield.

After a six-hour meeting, the City Council voted 5-1 early Tuesday morning against a plan that would have allowed Walmart to build a superstore at the corner of 12 Mile and Southfield roads. The property was once the home of St. Bede Church and School, but has been vacant for five years.

Harmon Guenther, president of the Cranbrook Village Homeowners’ Association, said the new store has been opposed from the beginning.

“They were putting a 130,000 square-foot box on that site with the back-end of it and the loading docks and everything abutting 12 Mile Road. The parking lot would have been facing north from the building, so it’s not something nice to look at if you’re on 12 Mile and Southfield,” he said.

A nine-acre piece of the property, which is currently owned by the Archdiocese of Detroit, would have had to be rezoned for Walmart to build a store at the popular intersection. Five council members voted against the idea to rezone the property, one member voted in favor of it, and there was one member who abstained.

Guenther said there’s no word yet whether Walmart will offer a revised plan for the site.

Dozens of Southfield residents attended the meeting, most of them who are against the new store. Much of the concern centered on traffic at the intersection, but Walmart officials countered by saying they would add turn lanes and install new traffic signal systems at the intersection.

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