For Cities, Big-Box Stores Are Becoming Even More of a Terrible Deal

Under what has become known as the “dark store” method, big-box retailers are declaring their busy stores to be functionally obsolescent and therefore nearly worthless for tax purposes —and they’re winning big judgments for back taxes. It’s the latest example of the way that, even as local governments continue to bend over backwards to attract big-box development, these stores are consistently a bad deal for communities.                … Read More

Two Big-Box Decisions Show How Smart Planning Policies Protect Good Jobs

Date: 1 Apr 2014 | posted in: Retail | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

Although few cities take full advantage of them, planning and zoning powers are among the most potent tools communities have for shaping their economies. Two recent decisions, in Massachusetts and Wisconsin, underscore why land use planning matters and how smart policies can strengthen the local economy and protect good jobs.               … Read More

Big-Box Dropped from Portland Redevelopment Project

Date: 24 Feb 2005 | posted in: Retail | 1 Facebooktwitterredditmail

Responding to intense public pressure, developers in a three-way competition to redevelop a site on the east side of Portland, Oregon, have dropped plans to include big-box retail in their projects. The Portland Development Commission has been considering proposals to redevelop five city blocks at the base of the Burnside Bridgehead east of the Willamette River.… Read More

California court voids approvals for two big-box projects

Date: 15 Dec 2004 | posted in: Retail | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

In a ruling that could have broad implications, a California appeals court this week nullified zoning approvals given to two big-box shopping centers by the city of Bakersfield. The court held that the environmental impact reports (EIRs) prepared for the projects were insufficient and did not adequately address the potential for urban decay and associated ecological effects that could be caused by extensive new retail development. The ruling orders the city to complete new impact studies and public hearings, and reconsider the projects. … Read More

Scottsdale Voters Overturn Big Box Subsidy

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

In March, voters in Scottsdale, Arizona, overwhelmingly rejected a plan to provide a massive public subsidy for a 42-acre big box development anchored by a Wal-Mart supercenter and a Lowe’s Home Improvement store. The plan, which was approved by the city council last year, allowed the developer to keep 49 percent of all the sales taxes generated by the shopping center over the next 40 years. Accounting for interest and inflation, the total value of the subsidy is estimated at $183 million.… Read More

Austin Coalition Forces Wal-Mart Retreat, City Agrees to Big Box Study

Date: 1 Nov 2003 | posted in: Retail | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

Faced with strong opposition from a broad array of organizations and residents, Wal-Mart has abandoned plans to build a 24-hour supercenter on an ecologically sensitive site in southwest Austin. The 43-acre wooded tract sits over the Edwards Aquifer, the largest underground reservoir in Texas. It feeds Barton Springs and supplies drinking water to thousands of people. Initially, opposition to Wal-Mart centered on its choice of location and the impact polluted parking lot runoff would have on the aquifer. … Read More

Coalition Fights Massive Big Box Subsidy in Arizona

Date: 1 Jul 2003 | posted in: Retail | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

In July, the Scottsdale, Arizona, City Council voted 4-3 to approve one of the largest subsidies ever given to a big box retail development. Those voting in the minority described the subsidy, which could amount to as much as $183 million over 40 years, as "obscene" and "insane." The 600,000-square-foot development includes a Wal-Mart, Sam’s Club, and Lowe’s Home Improvement store. The project is slated for a 42-acre site occupied by a derelict mall in south Scottsdale. … Read More