Has Walmart Pulled Out From The Development By Port Credit?

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For years, Lakeview residents have been locked in a heated debate over whether a forthcoming Walmart will benefit or detract from their growing neighbourhood. While it once seemed like the scaled-down Walmart was a foregone conclusion, the future of the superstore's planned Lakeview location is now in question.

According to a recent article in the Mississauga News, Trinity Development has refused to comment on reports that the retail powerhouse is no longer part of its grand commercial project on Lakeshore in the eastern Mississauga neighbourhood. The News reports that the developer confirmed the store was set to be constructed back in February, but refrained from affirming the news yesterday (May 10) when asked if the superstore was indeed still a part of the company's plans for the space. Senior project manager Brad Desrocher told The News that he was, "not at liberty to comment."

The News also reports that Walmart hasn't returned requests for comments since February.

As for whether or not city brass is in the know, it looks like Ward 1 councillor Jim Tovey isn't quite clear on Trinity's potential vision change either. The News reports that Tovey said Trinity told him they would be building an 84,000 sq. ft. store (a Walmart is typically 200,000 sq. ft.) several months back and that he hasn't been made aware of any change in plans. That said, Tovey still told the newspaper his concerns regarding a Walmart-free development.

"The one thing that would concern me is dead retail space," he told The News. "I'm always concerned when there are empty stores. It wouldn't be nice to see 84,000 square feet of space sitting there with boards on it."

While the news might concern some residents who were hoping to welcome the affordable retailer, others are likely breathing tentative sighs of relief. To say that the proposed superstore (albeit a smaller, more urban-friendly one) has been controversial is an understatement. Back in 2012, local residents staged a protest, asserting their opinion that the giant big box store was a poor fit for the area. For many residents, the ideal vision of a growing Lakeview was one full of smaller, unique and local retailers. That said, some residents came around once they were promised that the brand wouldn't suck all the air out of the space with a massive, dominating structure.

That said, some residents never got on board and feared that the superstore would hurt local businesses.

The Walmart was (or is, as news is still developing) set to be part of a grand mixed-use development full of shops, cafes and residential and commercial structures at Lakeshore and Enola Ave.

Stay tuned for developments.

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