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Examiner
  • Wal-Mart eyes 35th and Noland for market

  • Wal-Mart plans to expand its presence in Independence.



    The Independence City Council on Monday approved a liquor license application by Wal-Mart for a Neighborhood Market at 3413 S. Noland Road, the corner of Noland and 35th Street where the nearly empty Gaslight Square Shopping Center sits.

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  • Wal-Mart plans to expand its presence in Independence.
    The Independence City Council on Monday approved a liquor license application by Wal-Mart for a Neighborhood Market at 3413 S. Noland Road, the corner of Noland and 35th Street where the nearly empty Gaslight Square Shopping Center sits.
    Wal-Mart plans to lease the property long-term from its owner, demolish the shopping center and build a 40,000-square-foot store. The liquor license will not be issued until the building receives a Certificate of Occupancy.
    The area is directly south of Truman High School.
    Jeff Clayton of JMC Realty, which is brokering the transaction, said the owner of the free-standing building on the southeast corner of the area, which houses an Enterprise Rent-A-Car outlet, would not sell. Demolition of the surrounding shopping center probably wouldn’t start for about six months, he added.
    “There’s still all kind of things to go through,” Clayton said after Monday’s meeting.
    Wal-Mart representative Mark Bryant told Council the area’s access points from Noland and 35th will not change.
    Approval was not unanimous, as council members Curt Dougherty and Chris Whiting dissented, citing concerns about having a place selling tobacco and alcohol so close to Truman. Dougherty said a much smaller business wouldn’t be getting the same approval as Wal-Mart.
    “If a small business wanted to sell cigarettes, it would get shot down,” he said. “I think there’s a better location than this.”
    Other council members welcomed the potential boost to the area, which saw the Piggly Wiggly grocery store at Gaslight close in 1999. The council had approved a liquor license for there five years earlier.
    “I think this would be a great boon to Gaslight Square,” Council Member Myron Paris said.
    “Those of us that remember the hustle and bustle of Gaslight Square,” said Marcie Gragg, “it’s been a long time since that area has had that type of access to groceries.”
    Mayor Don Reimal added that he had spoken to school officials, who did not object to a Wal-Mart in close proximity to Truman.
    This move by Wal-Mart comes just a month after it opened a Neighborhood Market at Missouri 7 and Duncan Road in Blue Springs, its first on the Missouri side of the metro area.
    At that time, the company said it had no other metro area locations to announce.
    Also recently, the company withdrew plans for a Neighborhood Market in the downtown Raytown area as many local residents came out against it.
    Jeff Fox contributed to this report.
     
     
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