Politics from the Palouse to Puget Sound

Friday, June 27, 2008

"Developer: PARD decision lets city 'move forward'; End of legal fight against Wal-Mart expected to hasten other development projects in Pullman"

In answer to the question, "Tom, why did you, April and the others fight so hard to see Wal-Mart come to Pullman?", native son and Pullman's biggest and most successful developer Duane Brelsford, Jr., says it all:
I'm not a pro-Wal-Mart person and I'm not an anti-Wal-Mart person. What I am for is what Wal-Mart will bring, and it's other national tenants, and that's what Pullman needs.
Kudos to Hillary Hamm for bring out the truth about the real "Wal-Mart effect" in Pullman. It's not "urban blight" and loss of business as PARD falsely claimed. It's new jobs, new tax revenue, and new opportunities. Her article details many of the exciting new things we can expect to see soon on Bishop Boulevard. What an exciting time for this city.

Stay turned next week for a series of reports on what we can expect to happen after Wal-Mart comes to town.

From today's Moscow-Pullman Daily News:
Development projects that were on hold pending the outcome of a legal case against a proposed Wal-Mart Supercenter in Pullman now are on the fast track for completion.

Corporate Point Developers President Duane Brelsford said he's pushing to begin construction as early as this year on three projects around Bishop Boulevard, where the super center is expected to be built.

The Pullman Alliance for Responsible Development announced Wednesday it will not appeal a Washington Division III Court of Appeals ruling that clears the way for construction of the super center. The decision effectively ends the group's four-year legal fight against Wal-Mart.

A Wal-Mart representative said the company is designing the Pullman super center, with plans to open on Bishop Boulevard in late 2009 or early 2010.

Brelsford said he can start the projects that were dependent on the super-center being built.

"Most of our tenants were pending Wal-Mart's location," he said. "Now Pullman can move forward. And that's what I'm excited about."

Brelsford said it's about time projects can get started.

"I'm not a pro-Wal-Mart person and I'm not an anti-Wal-Mart person," he said. "What I am for is what Wal-Mart will bring, and it's other national tenants, and that's what Pullman needs."

Brelsford said pending projects include a 600-square-foot facility for a "national coffee chain" to be located adjacent to the Wal-Mart store and the development of 10 acres on South Grand Avenue for future retail, and possibly hospitality tenants.

Development of Pullman Building Supply also can get under way on a 15-acre plot near the Wal-Mart site. The new Pullman Building Supply store will replace its smaller store on North Grand Avenue. Pat Garrett, owner of both the Pullman and Moscow Building Supply stores, did not return calls for comment.

Brelsford said he's also aware of a California man who purchased land near the Bishop Boulevard Jiffy Lube for development pending Wal-Mart's construction.

City Supervisor John Sherman said Wal-Mart's construction is likely to spark further development. He added that the Pullman-Moscow area's population is expected to exceed the 50,000 mark in the 2010 Census and that Washington State University anticipates its highest freshmen enrollment ever in the fall. Those all are good signs for more development, as are the success of high-tech businesses like Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories and Pullman Regional Hospital, he said.

"I think Pullman is just very, very well-positioned to attract more people here. And when you do that, it opens opportunities in the retail sector, too," he said. "All in all, I think the fact that Wal-Mart is coming in is going to be a major plus as far as providing more shopping for citizens and expanding our tax base."

Sherman said the Wal-Mart Supercenter - which will provide groceries and retail items - may help draw shoppers into Pullman rather than Moscow.

"The Palouse Mall has had a decades-long effect on Pullman," he said, noting that the number of stores in Moscow draws business away from Pullman.

Sherman said he doesn't expect Pullman to become a shopping metropolis, "but we can start to become a community that is more balanced in its economy."

"I think the future for Pullman is very bright," he added. "If Wal-Mart chooses to come to your community, it's pretty much a check-off point for other businesses. That's a good sign."
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4 comments:

Red said...

So you're not pro-Wal-Mart?

Tom Forbes said...

Unabashedly.

First and foremost, like Duane, I am pro-Pullman.

However, Duane probably has never had any senior citizens leave him voice mail messages or drop off petitions stating they are desperate to do something, anything, to have Wal-Mart open in Pullman so that they can manage their monthly grocery and medication budgets.

Having seen up close what Wal-Mart means to the most vulnerable members of our society has made me a believer in the Wal-Mart Revolution.

I also believe that free enterprise and old fashioned competition are good things and that liberal fascist/elitist meddling with other people's property and rights is evil and un-American.

I stand to gain absolutely nothing from Wal-Mart locating here. I have received no payments. I own no business that will profit. I have no land to sell. Heck, I don't even own any Wal-Mart stock.

Doing the right thing is its own reward.

April E. Coggins said...

My only regret is that I didn't fight twice as hard. I started out believing that PARD members meant well, they just didn't understand what a Wal-Mart Supercenter would mean to Pullman.

Now I know that PARD was nothing but a front for the union/socialist movement. PARD was never misguided common folk. They chose their path cleverly and carefully.

In order to sell their fantasy, they resorted to telling fantastic lies. They chose to ignore the pleadings from their community. These people gave the thumb to Pullman. PARD has damaged Pullman and our town's reputation for years to come. Pullman needs to never forget who they are and what they have cost us.

Gregg said...

"Now I know that PARD was nothing but a front for the union/socialist movement. PARD was never misguided common folk."

Good comment April. Honestyl, the PARD people disgust me. What an absurd challenge to free enterprise. If people don't like Walmart, then DON'T SHOP THERE! Does anyone want to take the over/under on when a PARDner is spotted shopping at the new Walmart? I know how hypocritical the left-wingers are, so I imagine it won't be as long as many might think.