Politics from the Palouse to Puget Sound

Saturday, December 02, 2006

"PARD must abandon Wal-Mart strategy"

Dynamite letter from Don Pelton in today's Moscow-Pullman Daily News:
The anticipation of the entry of Wal-Mart into the Bishop Boulevard retail corridor has set off an avalanche of announcements of new retail developments each trying to gain a location near the Wal-Mart store. Rather than discouraging retailing, Wal-Mart is leading a renaissance in Pullman retailing. The early 20th century model of retailing put forward by Pullman Alliance for Responsible Development as the ideal economy needs to be abandoned.

Look at recent announcements: Vandervelt Developments plans construction around the new Crimson and Gray bookstore that will occupy most if not all the available space between the Holiday Inn Express, the hospital, and Ridge Pointe; Pullman Building Supply will build just west of Wal-Mart a structure more than half the size of Wal-Mart itself — perhaps 140,000 sq. ft; and Duane Brelsford Jr. plans to expand retailing along South Grand Avenue by about 100,000 square feet.

In a talk to the Palouse Knowledge Corridor Economic Summit on Oct. 23, President V. Lane Rawlins of Washington State University strongly endorsed the entrance of Wal-Mart into Pullman. A vital retail core with Wal-Mart as the anchor will greatly enhance the continuing development on campus of a world-class science research center, the destination-class golf course and the redesigned football stadium.

These new developments will greatly exceed the space occupied by Wal-Mart. Thus PARD will need to expand its lawsuit against Wal-Mart to include at least Crimson Village, Brelsford developments, and Pullman Building Supply.

PARD has been denied each of its appeals. It seems to me that a realistic assessment of PARD’s new appeal to the 3rd District Court of Appeals carries a probability of success of near zero. PARD has no case.

Donald Pelton

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