City Commissioners Reject Appeal To Block Midtown Miami Walmart

Miami city commissioners voted unanimously Thursday night to reject an appeal that sought to prevent a Walmart from being built in Midtown.

The vote was 3-0, as City Commissioners Frank Carollo, Wifredo Gort and Marc Sarnoff sided with Walmart over a neighborhood group that opposes the superstore.

Commissioners listened to some four hours of debate, in the latest battle in a broader fight that's played out for more than two years.

The city of Miami previously approved a permit for the superstore to be built on 31st Street.

“We feel it’s too large for the site, yes,” Midtown resident Peter Ehrlich said. “They’re proposing a Walmart that’s over 200,000 square feet. They need to honor the history that’s been built up in Midtown and respect the other stores, and this application does not do that.”

Miami lawyer Richard Lydecker argued the case for Walmart.

“That’s a uniquely designed store,” he said. “Nobody else in Midtown has done the amount of hearings that my client has done. We’ve been specifically designed. Everybody in this universe says we comply.”

City Commissioners Michelle Spence-Jones and Francis Suarez were absent from Thursday's meeting.

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