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Walmart Halts Plans for Holyoke Store

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HOLYOKE, Mass (WGGB) — Walmart is halting plans for a store in Holyoke, citing environmental issues.

Walmart spokesperson William Wertz tells ABC40 that testing of the 18 acre site of the proposed store on Whiting Farms Road showed “some areas of potential environmental concern.”

As a result, Wertz explains that the company would not have time to do additional testing before a deadline set to finalize the purchase of the land from Holyoke Gas and Electric.

Reacting to the news neighbor Richard Makowski yelled, “Hooray.”

Joe Dube was also thrilled,” Happy, very, very happy,” says Dube.

In its statement Walmart said,”We continue to have a strong interest in Holyoke and other communities in Western Massachusetts and will keep looking for new locations to make shopping more convenient for our customers. Unfortunately, there were some environmental uncertainties connected with the Whiting Farms Road site. We did not feel it would have been prudent to move forward with our plans without enough time to investigate fully and evaluate the areas of concern. We’re disappointed, and we want to express our appreciation to all those in the community who were supportive of our plans,” Wertz adds in a statement.

But on this day, neighbors had only thoughts about Walmart’s decision to abandon plans on Whiting Farms Road,” This is the best news I’ve ever heard,” says Frank Drobiak.

And Pedro Perez also cheered the decision, I think it’s a good idea that they’re not building the Walmart there because there’s going to be traffic and concerns of smaller stores,” says Perez.

Walmart announced back in June plans to build a 160,000 square foot “supercenter” on land owned by HG&E along Whiting Farms Road, between Autumn and Lynch Drives. The store, which would have included a garden center and grocery store, was slated to bring 300 jobs to the city, according to the company.

 


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