Wal-Mart in Northern Vanderburgh Co. No Longer Happening

Plans for a giant retail store in Northern Vanderburgh County are no longer in the works.

Wal-Mart had proposed a Supercenter store to be built on Highway 57 and Boonville-New Harmony Road.

But this week, the project is cancled.

Eyewitness News has been following this story for nearly three years.

Since July of 2014, this 31 acre site was designated as the spot for a Wal-Mart Supercenter complete with a gas station and more than 750
parking spots.

Today it's empty and it will remain empty for the foreseeable future.

So close.

"It was virtually ready for final permits based on everything I know about it," says Vanderburgh County Engineer, John Stoll.

Yet so far.

Stoll continues, "Wal-Mart wanted their bond released for the road improvements that were supposed to be built in conjunction with their site. They said the project had been canceled and as a result they wanted the bond released."

Stoll says the decision by Wal-Mart consultants to release the bond and cancel the project remains a mystery.

Call it a quiet finish to a fiery beginning.

Neighbors said:
"Think of your home and think of a Wal-Mart right square across from it. I mean...."
"Ultimately our lives are going to change as we know it. That's the bottom line."
"What we're going to listen to at 1, 2 , 3 o'clock in the morning. Not only is this annoying but the fact of the matter is it's going to annoy us for a long time."

In July of 2014, Wal-Mart had filed for its permits to build a Supercenter in what neighbors called a quiet residential area.

By the following August, those neighbors were rallying to protect their 'rural way of life.'

Their opposition had forced the Vanderburgh County Board of Zoning Appeals to delay their vote on the project.

But by September, members had voted in favor, 6-1.

Stoll says for the following two years, the project was moving forward.

By the spring of 2016, the project came to a halt and nothing has come of it since.

Stoll says, "We hadn't seen any activity on it in quite sometime so it's not a total surprise that it ended. I guess they could've started it back up just as quickly as they stopped it, so, it's just kind of unique because there was a long lag-time since our last communication with them."

Stoll says with the property being zoned "commercial" -- its possible another company could someday develop the property.

When that will happen is anybody's guess.

But at this time -- the 31 acre site will be a reminder of a project that never was.

Stoll says he can't think of a project of this magnitude that has been stopped at this point.


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