The last time we looked in on Mason City, Iowa, the town whose Planning Commmission voted against Wal-Mart three times (see March 30, 2001 newsflash), a private developer was waiting for the courts to give him a green light to allow him to build a controversial Wal-Mart supercenter in a town that already has a Wal-Mart. This is the city that required a supermajority vote of the City Council to approve the Wal-Mart project. When the Mayor couldn’t get a supermajority vote, he pushed a motion to change the town’s zoning law to allow a simple majority vote to prevail, and got his followers on the City Council to OK the plan. But then downtown businessman Tim Latham filed a lawsuit against the city saying that it had acted illegally, and the Indianhead Wal-Mart lost its feathers. Now it turns out that the project has another casualty. A deverloper from Illinois, who was reportedly dealing with the Indianhead developer to put in a 21 store strip mall cozy to the Wal-Mart, has now backed out because of the time delay with the project. “It was taking too much time and there was too much uncertainty,” confessed Charles McNider, the Wal-Mart developer. He told the Globe Gazette newspaper that his firm was now looking for someone else to fill the adjoining property where the strip mall would have gone. Reportedly the deal that fell through was for a 140,000 s.f. Home Depot.
To learn more about the Indianheadache in Mason City, contact Attorney Colin Murphy at [email protected]