Residents oppose plan for Wal-Mart in Wilkins
By Tory N. Parrish
Published: Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2012
Wal-Mart's plan to build a store in Wilkins' biggest commercial center is being met with opposition by some township residents.
Bentonville, Ark.-based Wal-Mart Stores Inc. wants to build a 124,715-square-foot supercenter, which would include a grocery store, in the Penn Center East development off William Penn Highway, according to an application it submitted to the state Department of Transportation regarding a traffic impact study.
Citing concerns about the potential increase in traffic and crime on and near William Penn Highway, and a decrease in residential property values, some Wilkins residents criticized Wal-Mart's plan during the public comment portion of a board of commissioners' meeting Monday night. Eleven of about 40 residents in attendance spoke against the retailer's plan.
“We have a wonderful community here. Don't mess it up, please,” Thelma Landay, 83, told the board. She and several other residents said they were compiling petitions against Wal-Mart.
Neither Penn Center East nor Wal-Mart representatives returned calls for comment.
The Wal-Mart store would replace a 178,986-square-foot Sears store that would be demolished in Penn Center East, according to the PennDOT document.
Wal-Mart, which has signed a lease with Penn Center East, would open in late 2014, Wilkins Manager Rebecca Bradley said.
The retailer has not submitted any plans to the township for approvals, but it likely will do so in November, she said.
A Robinson-based civil engineering firm, Trans Associates, is conducting a traffic study for Wal-Mart to determine whether road improvements, such as traffic signals at Hawthorne Drive and William Penn Highway, or Business Route 22, would be warranted, Bradley said.
The retailer estimates that there are 1,964 vehicle trips to and from Sears daily, and that a Wal-Mart Supercenter would generate 6,626 trips, an increase of 4,662 trips daily, according to an updated PennDOT document that Trans Associates provided to Wilkins on Oct. 2.
The Sears store will close in mid-January, said Kimberly Freely, spokeswoman for Hoffman Estates, Ill.-based Sears Holdings Corp.
On Monday, Sears corrected information it previously had released about the number of employees at the Wilkins store and the amount of time the store had been in Penn Center East. The store has 135 employees and has been in the center since 1966, Freely said.
Tory N. Parrish is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-380-5662 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Denver wife killed 12 minutes into 911 call, sparking inquiry
- Obama, House Republicans trade accusations in thwarting immigration reform
- Peduto says Penguins playoff series will be economic boon
- Q&A with NHL commissioner Gary Bettman
- Veteran North Huntingdon police officer fired
- Legal experts question prosecuting South Fayette boy for recording bullies
- Reward offered in six-year-old homicide in Clairton
- Former Pitt captain Cavanaugh blazes trail as entrepreneur
- Penguins notebook: Goc skates, tests ailing ankle
- Legislative sting’s scope broad, diverse
- Former heavyweight champ Tyson enjoying second act