Residents and city officials react to Walmart’s plans for another neighborhood market in Joplin.
Joplin could get another Walmart neighborhood market.
The company is requesting a rezoning of property on Joplin’s southwest side at 24th and Maiden Lane.
Pointing to a map city planner Matt Wright says, “The proposed entrance is gonna be here across from the swimming pool.”
It’s a grassy lot now but if Walmart succeeds in getting property across from Cunningham park rezoned it will be a new neighborhood market and very similar to one that opened recently at 7th and St. Louis streets.
Wright says, “Walmart is also proposing a gas station on the front of the property which requires at least a c2 or c3 zoning and all these properties are zoned c0 which is for office use and c1 which is neighborhood commercial.”
Residents in the nearby Housing Authority’s Bartlett Hills subdivision say most folks who live here don’t have transportation and the new Walmart would offer convenience.
Marsha McChan says,”I think this would be great. Just to walk across the street and get something.”
Shane Allen says, “It would be a lot easier to get groceries and stuff shopping and we really need something like that over here.”
Shane and his Mom don’t have a car so getting groceries takes effort.
Susie Allen says, “Friends of mine come and get me every month, but i like having Walmart close.”
Others here who drive aren’t as convinced another Walmart is needed.
Joann Williams says there’s “More than enough (Walmarts). They’re monopolizing. Its just awful.”
Tina Hardimon says, “i’m kind of worried about the traffic, all the trucks. But i’m sure they’ll figure that out. But that’s my real only concern. Oh yeah, and the lights because we do get lights at night from cunningham park, so it would just be more lights. But I think the convenience will outweigh that.”
And a city planner says it could help lure business to other properties still empty after the tornado.
Wright says, “it’s always possible we tend to see when Walmart locates there usually a couple other businesses that like to locate close to Walmart. So its possible some of those other areas will fill in as well.” I
Walmart’s Director of Communications says although there are other Walmart stores in town, this one serves a different population. And says it’s all about convenience with a smaller parking lot and quicker access to fresh food and pharmacy items.
The planning and zoning public hearing is being held August 11th at 4:00pm at city hall. If approved it will be sent to the city council where the zoning change would be confirmed or denied. That public hearing will be September 2nd.