Cordova residents stand up to supercenter - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Jason Miles

Cordova residents stand up to supercenter

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - Wal-Mart's plan for a new Supercenter in Cordova was crushed Monday night by the Shelby County Commission.

In the end, only three commissioners sided with the retail giant.

Arguments against Wal-Mart were just too overwhelming. Including last minute accusations of dirty tricks.

"I think Wal-Mart had a great plan, just at the wrong place," commissioner Joyce Avery said.

During this marathon meeting , Wal-Mart's attorney argued the retailer bent over backwards to win over critics in Cordova. That included designing a prettier building and agreeing to improve the intersection of Houston Levee and Macon Roads.

One husband and wife were the only two people speaking in support of the new store.

"You can't guarantee me that something's not going to come out there that I really don't want," Wal-Mart supporter Robert Squires said.

But a stack of petitions Wal-Mart presented were quickly discredited by those claiming they were signed under false pretenses, including one commissioner's wife.

"So, while I can't call into question every signature -- I do know that many of these signatures were not obtained in an appropriate way," commissioner Mike Carpenter said.

In the end, arguments against urban sprawl and what this store would do were credited with keeping the store out.

Wal-Mart's attorney said Monday night's decision means the county will miss out on up two $2 million in annual sales and property taxes.

Opponents consider it a testament to community spirit.


Click here to e-mail Jason Miles.

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