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Shrewsbury Votes To Move Forward With Walmart Development

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Update: The Shrewsbury board of aldermen has voted 4-2 to over ride the recommendation of the TIF Commission, to approve the Walmart development.

SHREWSBURY, MO. (KTVI) - A  TIF commission voted it down earlier this month; now FOX2 has learned the plan for a new, partially taxpayer funded, WalMart and other shops in Shrewsbury, is likely to be approved anyway.

Sources told FOX2 Monday, they votes were already lined up to pass the TIF.

The Shrewsbury Board of Aldermen is holding a special work session Tuesday night at 7:00 at Shrewsbury City Hall, to consider the matter, instead of doing so at the next regular board meeting.  

It is a proposed $46 million dollar transformation of Kenrick Plaza on Watson Road.  
Itwill cost taxpayers $15 million.

In spite of widespread, vocal opposition, it appears there is no stopping it.  

'WalMart is the largest retailer in the world.  I don`t see a reason why we should be using $15million of public money to support the largest retailer that could afford to do this on their own,' said Alderwoman Dee Wiecher, who opposes the project.  

A TIF commission heard developer Gary Grewe`s pitch, and voted down the TIF, January 9th.  

The TIF would put $15 million in sales taxes and property taxes generated by the project, toward the costs of building it.

Vacant buildings in the plaza, like the old movie theater and a Burger King, have fallen into disrepair.  
Current tenants complain about upkeep.

Wiecher said she was the only certain `no` vote on the board.  She preferred the TIF be approved with two readings at regular board meetings, as with virtually every other ordinance.   

'It won`t make any difference on the vote.  In all fairness it should be held at a regular board meeting.  It should be held when other people have an opportunity to be there...the spirit of the law is two readings.  The letter of the law, which is what they`re following, is read in one night.  That`s unfortunate,' Wiecher said.

'It sounds like it`s going to happen.  I`m really not looking forward to it,' said Luis Ayala, manager of the Sports Zone Pub and Grill, a longtime tenant at Kenrick.  

Still, business owners in the plaza said even though they worried about being pushed out, they were also excited about possibly staying if their leases are honored in the new buildings.

'I think that would double our business; brand new building, new scenery.  I think it would help us out a lot.  Hopefully we can get that in there,' Ayala said.  

'They need to make a place for you?' asked Fox 2`s Andy Banker.

'Oh yeah, definitely.  I think we`ve been here too long for them not to,' Ayala said.  

Part of this deal is a new 1% sales tax ; meaning you'll pay more than $4 in taxes on a $50 purchase to shop at the new stores.

We left messages for the mayor and developer, neither responded, Monday.

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