Residents in Marion County and Ocala, Florida who were opposed to a planned Wal-Mart distribution center on a horse farm, are celebrating this week’a news that the company has sent its project to the glue factory instead. The Mayor of Ocala told reporters August 12th. that Wal-Mart told him they were dropping the site.The company had asked Marion County officials for approval to “fast track” the proposal, but the county refused to comply. The Ocala Mayor then got in the saddle to try to get Wal-Mart to move their distribution center into Ocala, and offered to travel to Arkansas to discuss the project. “We would have offered a very rapid process time,” the Mayor said, “so they could get construction going on their property, and whatever else was necessary we would attempt to take care of it, up to a point.” According to the Star Banner newspaper, Wal-Mart’s withdrawal “may stem from the struggles it faced trying to locate a site to build the 900,000-square-foot distribution center.” Ocala officials vied with county officials for the project, and opponents to the project were delighted neither group cross the finish line.
For more history on the dead distribution center in Marion County, see the July 7, 2002 article from that community. Residents who contacted sprawl-busters about this project said the scale of this proposal would have severely impacted the local horse country character of Marion County.They are glad they didn’t place any bets on Wal-Mart.