Plymouth city officials have not heard from Wal-Mart for more than eight months as residents wait anxiously for the retail giant to submit an application to build at the site of the vacant Four Seasons Mall.
In November 2010, Wal-Mart purchased the 21-acre property at the corner of Hwy. 169 and Rockford Road for $10.6 million, originally intending to demolish the half-vacant strip mall and build a 240,000-square-foot Supercenter in its place.
After facing resistance from the neighborhood and a yearlong development moratorium from the City Council, the Arkansas-based retailer has decided to take its time in submitting an application to the city.
“It’s something that’s hanging over everyone’s head,” said Council Member Ginny Black, who represents the area of Plymouth that includes Four Seasons. “People drive by [Four Seasons] all the time thinking, ‘I wonder what they’re going to do?’ … Sometimes it’s just better to know than to have all that uncertainty out there.” Black added that she was “disappointed” that Wal-Mart has gone so long without communicating with city staff and that her constituents are “overwhelmingly opposed” to the construction of a massive Wal-Mart at the Four Seasons site, although many would be amenable to a smaller store.
“Wal-Mart is continuously looking for new ways to serve its customers across the state of Minnesota. Though we have not submitted a proposal to the city of Plymouth, we are still working on plans to develop the former site of Four Seasons Mall,”
Wal-Mart spokeswoman Rachel Wall wrote in an e-mail sent through the Minneapolis-based public relations firm Karwoski and Courage. Wal-Mart declined to answer any follow-up questions, and Peter Coyle, a Minneapolis-based attorney who has been working for Wal-Mart on the Four Seasons site, did not respond to interview requests.Comment: Here's my take as a Plymouth resident: Plymouth blew it by resisting development of the site.