by Tom Linehan [Email address: tlinehan #AT# - replace #AT# with @ ]

WAL-MART IS SCALING BACK IT’S STORE TO HALF THE ORIGINAL SIZE! Instead of a 200,000 plus sq ft SuperCenter, they will be building a 99,000 sq ft Wal-Mart.

That’s fine with Allandale. We’ve never opposed a Wal-Mart going into Northcross, we’ve opposed a SuperCenter going in there. It has been a long, hard and costly effort trying to keep a SuperCenter out. Allandale can’t handle the traffic and it’s a threat to existing businesses. The majority of our residents have made it clear to us they don’t want to be a SuperCenter neighborhood.

Yesterday our attorney, Bruce Bigelow called to say Lincoln and Wal-Mart were making a public announcement saying they were "reducing the NorthCross addition such that Wal-Mart would be 100,000 rather than 219,000 or 192,000 plus 5,500 garden center."  He further noted that Lincoln requested we not move forward with the appeal. Lincoln offered to withdraw any claim against ANA for attorneys fees. The new Wal-Mart would be less square footage, 99,000 sq feet, to trigger the Big Box Ordinance requiring a public hearing.

We have been involved in this fight for almost two years. We got an inkling of it back in June, 2006 when the Austin American-Statesman ran an article suggesting a Wal-Mart was being considered for Northcross. Below is a timeline made up of the headlines from the stories on this web site as the events unfolded. You can go back and read them here.

Many thanks to all of the people in the neighborhood who supported us and who put the time and effort and money into this cause. There has been SO MUCH work that has gone into this. Thanks to RG4N for all of their work as well. They raised it to the level of concern it required and organized surrounding neighborhoods to get involved. It is extremely disappointing/frustrating/disturbing that we both saw the need to pursue a lawsuit to stop the development.

A special thanks to ANA’s Northcross Committee whose members include Katie Hansen, Michael Bomba, myself and Allan McMurtry who headed it up. And thanks to our lawyers, Bruce Bigelow and Maura Phelan with Blazier, Christensen, Bigelow & Virr, PC for steering us through the process and for their willingness to pursue the appeal. It’s satisfying knowing that Allandale will not be known as the only Austin central city neighborhood with a SuperCenter.