Posted on January 14, 2014 at 7:44 PM
Tuesday, Jan 14 at 8:00 PM
Ashley Rodrigue / Eyewitness News
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org | Twitter: @ashleyrwwl
SLIDELL- A “No Walmart” sign along Robert Blvd. speaks volumes about how residents feel regarding plans for green space between North Blvd. and Dijon Dr.
"We know at some time that's probably going to be used for something, but a Walmart? We don't need a Walmart," said Ronnie Schexnaydre.
The field is one of two locations Walmart has expressed interest in building on, to have two of its grocery stores less than four miles apart within the city. The other is an old parking lot on Pontchartrain Dr. where a shopping center once stood.
“To my knowledge, they are not 100 percent done deals yet, but they are moving forward with the very real possibility of what they call a neighborhood store on Pontchartrain Drive and possibly one on Robert Road," said Mayor Freddy Drennan.
Residents near the Robert Blvd. location plan to fight the corporation through its attempt to get an exception to the city's parking space requirement, in order to build there.
Caroline Poupart said, "We have Rouses, we have Lishman's, we have Winn-Dixie, we have Mizer's, we have Save-A-Center, it's endless. It's not that we do not have access to grocery stores. The reasoning behind it just baffles a lot of us."
The mayor is torn over this issue because on one hand, he wants to protect local businesses, but on the other, he wants to see the city grow.
"Everybody wants to see us bring the best services, the best everything, you can bring to the city, but as I said, it is a double-edged sword, it cuts both ways," said Drennan.
The neighborhood hopes to meet with Walmart before the next zoning meeting, where the Robert Blvd. land is scheduled to be discussed. That’s set for early next month. Walmart did not respond to a request for comment on this story.