Miami Walmart Plan Has Residents Up In Arms

Plans unveiled for new superstore in Midtown

Plans unveiled Tuesday to put a new, 160,000-square-foot Walmart in Miami's Midtown area are raising some eyebrows with local residents.

The Midtown neighborhood has been coming into its own lately, with upscale folks flocking to the area for its chic vibe.

But with news Tuesday that the discount superstore was moving forward with plans to open their first store in the City of Miami, some were less than excited.

"I just heard about it and I'm shocked, I really hope they don't let that happen," said Gabriella Morello.

"Are they really building a Walmart?" asked Alana Rodriguez. "How do we prevent that?"

A Walmart spokesperson told NBC Miami that their stores have come a long way, with hipper designs and smaller sizes. And the Walmart envisioned for Midtown would be similar in style to other buildings in the area.

Not to mention the 300 jobs it would provide.

But some residents said the store's size is a turnoff. The plans call for a store roughly 25 percent the size of Midtown's Mall and Village on a 5-acre plot of land. A similar Walmart plan was turned down in 2005.

"I'd rather prefer something small," said Midtown resident Carlos Moni. "Just a huge parking lot, that's Walmart."

The current plan would still have to be approved by the city. The store likely wouldn't open until 2013 or 2014.

Morello said whatever the size, the store itself wouldn't be a very welcome addition.

"I feel like if you put a Walmart, it detracts from the vibe of this area," she said.

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