Battle rages over proposed Wal-Mart in Cordova

Artist's rendering of the proposed Wal-Mart store.
Artist's rendering of the proposed Wal-Mart store.

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - The battle over a proposed Wal-Mart in Cordova raged on Wednesday in front of the Shelby County Commission, as those for and against the store pleaded their case in advance of an imminent vote.

The proposed location of the store is near a small, four-lane intersection at Macon Road and Houston Levy in Cordova.

Citizens on both sides of the store debate spoke passionately at a commission meeting Wednesday.

"They will bring millions of dollars - of tax dollars - plus the revenue and jobs to the area," resident Linda Phillips said.

Phillips, a land owner and resident of the area for nearly 30 years, voiced strong support for the store.

"They will widen my road a thousand feet," she said. "The county engineers have said they have no money and they can't widen the road,  and Wal -Mart has agreed to do that in all four lanes."
Wal-Mart insists the store will be smaller than a typical location, with a brick facade and earth tone coloring.

Phillips' opinion wasn't shared by other neighbors in attendance. In fact neighbors who disagreed questioned Phillips' support.

"If I owned 70 acres in that area I'd probably want to see a lot of development too, so that I could move out of the county and not care about its future," said Brian Stevens of the Cordova Leadership Council.

Stephens has fought against Wal-Mart for months, and is taking that fight to elected leaders.

"(It's) short term gain verses long term effect," he said. "If they vote for the people, they're voting for the future of the county. If they vote for Wal-Mart, they want a short term gain in my opinion."
It's an issue that Shelby County Commissioners will weigh carefully before making a decision.

"Traditionally, I normally vote the way the citizens feel about their community, because I always think about what I wanted in my community," commission chair Deidre Malone said.

The Land Use Control Board approved the plan with conditions, while the Office of Planning and Development rejected the plan.

Monday the Shelby County Commission is expected to vote on the plan.

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