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Ellisville Hearing on Walmart Development Cancelled – For Now

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A capacity crowd packs the Ellisville City Council hearing on October 2, 2013. (KMOX/Michael Calhoun)

A capacity crowd packs the Ellisville City Council hearing on October 2, 2013. (KMOX/Michael Calhoun)

calhoun2 Michael Calhoun
A native St. Louisan, Michael Calhoun grew up listening to the Voice...
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ELLISVILLE, Mo. (KMOX) - The crowd overflowed into the hallway and sidewalk outside, expecting a decision Wednesday night on whether Walmart can build in Ellisville.

But the hearing didn’t happen.

Representatives for developer Sansone Group didn’t show up and Walmart’s corporate office reportedly said the company decided to make an attorney swap.

Ellisville property owners, who had expected to cash-out to Sansone by now, said they are fed up with the delays. Several of them showed up for the hearing.

Neighboring business owners said that they think the presence of a Walmart would drive traffic and help revitalize the city’s frontage along busy Manchester Rd. Many residents said they were concerned that, without the revenue, the city would have to cut services.

At one point, apartment building owner Pamela Massey mumbled the word “Jacka**,” prompting an outburst from Mayor Adam Paul who said he could read her lips.

The word was caught on tape by a KMOX reporter.

Paul says the property owners shouldn’t be mad at him or the city.

“That’s like me being mad at Star Wars for investing $100,000 in a company that makes lightsabers. When it doesn’t come to fruition, you can’t be mad at Star Wars, you got to be mad at yourself,” he proclaimed.

Meanwhile, Paul says he has been chased around by people trying to serve him “bogus” subpoenas. He says a manager had to step in one time when his wife was accosted at a Jiffy Lube and this weekend someone was in his backyard with a flashlight.

“I don’t know who was behind my house but I believe it is a form of intimidation. It is a bully tactic,” the mayor told KMOX.

The Ellisville City Council has not yet scheduled a time to reconsider canceling Walmart’s permits. The retailer, early in September, announced it was dropping out of the project, only to issue a tentative reaffirmation last week.

Mayor Paul and some council members claim that Sansone Group has not lived up to the terms required in the redevelopment agreement and conditional use permit, which include acquiring all of the property for the store before beginning construction.

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