Holyoke Mayor Opposes Proposed Walmart

The Mayor of Holyoke, Massachusetts, is speaking out against Walmart’s proposal to build a 150-thousand-square-foot, so-called “Supercenter” in the city. Alex Morse, who is running for re-election, likely will not get to make the final decision on the project. 

The 18-acre site for the proposed Walmart . It sits just north of Exit 15 off Interstate 91. A developer representing the retailer has reached an agreement to buy the land. Mayor Alex Morse says he is against the plan, but the final decision would rest with the Planning Commission, which would evaluate all aspects of the project and their impact on the city. William Wertz is a spokesperson for Walmart. He says the proposal is exactly what, in the past, Morse said would be an ideal use for the property.

“It’s important to remember, and these are his words, that ‘It’s a vacant piece of land that’s zoned commercial, it’s an opportunity for Holyoke to get jobs and tax revenue.’ And I would add that the city considered traffic and residential impact three years ago when it rezoned the property ‘commercial.’ “

For his part, Morse says the property should be developed with a large business in mind, but given research he’s done on other places with a  Walmart Supercenter, the store isn’t a good fit for Holyoke.

“For example, a Walmart Supercenter is not only cheap products, but also a tire shop and a  garden center and a grocery store, which then threatens other businesses in the city that have been established in the community for many years.”

Walmart has not submitted formal plans or blueprints to city officials.