Denver Drops Plan to Evict Asian Businesses for Wal-Mart

Date: 1 Feb 2004 | posted in: Retail | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

Following an outcry from local and national activists, the city of Denver has abandoned plans to condemn a shopping center, evict more than a dozen Asian-owned business, and transfer the property to a Wal-Mart developer.

The city is now working with the Asian Chamber of Commerce to help the business owners, who currently lease their spaces, buy a nearby site and develop it as a retail plaza. The city still wants to bring in Wal-Mart, but the Front Range Economic Strategy Center and other local activists are continuing to organize against the project on the grounds that will harm the neighborhood and the local economy.

The controversy promoted a group of Colorado legislators to draft a bill that would bar cities from using their powers of condemnation to transfer property from one private business to another. Hearings will be held in February.

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Stacy Mitchell is co-director of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, and directs its Independent Business Initiative, which partners with a wide range of allies to implement policies that counter concentrated power and strengthen local economies.