Ellisville Walmart Development Facts and Myths: Part 1

Patch sat down with Ellisville city officials to confirm or dispel some of the myths surrounding the controversial development. Part one of a series.

Part 1: How We Got Here

Rumors have surfaced that Ellisville city officials directly asked the Sansone Group to build a Walmart in the city’s vacant lot nearby Clarkson and Manchester Roads, said Ada Hood, Ellisville’s planning director.

This, she said, is not true.

In 2008, as the United States entered its most recent recession, sales tax revenues in Ellisville were flat and in a downward trend, said Finance Director Don Cary.

That’s when the city officials realized they needed to do something to increase revenue, Cary explained. 

The city then hired an economic development consultant to do a study of Ellisville’s commercial corridor, which includes Clayton, Clarkson and Manchester Roads.

The consultants submitted a Strategic Economic Development Plan, identifying underutilized areas that had potential for revenue-generating businesses.

“As part of that, they said the interception of Clarkson and Manchester was underutilized and recommended that the city seek proposals to try and see what kind of interest we could draw from developers to that area,” Hood said.

In the summer of 2010, the city staff sent out an RFP, or request for proposals, outlining the requisites and needs of the city for a commercial project in that area.

“It was open to everybody. Published in the paper. Advertised. But the only proposal we received was from Sansone Group, and it was proposing the Walmart,” Hood said.

Hood said, however, that just because the Sansone Group’s Walmart was the only proposal on the table, it did not mean it was automatically approved.

“Just because Sansone was the only developer who submitted something, it doesn’t necessarily mean we were stuck with them because they were the only ones,” Hood said. “We reviewed the submittal against our own criteria. There were standards and requirements they had to submit to.”

The proposal, Hood said, met all the city’s criteria.

“So that’s how we got here,” she said.

Writer's note: Since the Walmart development project was presented to the City of Ellisville Council earlier in April, rumors surrounding its design, size, and effects on the community have surfaced in the comments section of this site, in social media and during public hearings.

In an attempt to clarify what is known, what is a myth and what is unknown about the Walmart development, Ballwin-Ellisville Patch met with Ada Hood, planning director; Bill Schwer, public works director; and Don Cary, finance director, to discuss the project.

Stay tuned for Part 2 of the series.

David August 03, 2012 at 04:05 AM
And are we to believe that the City will donate every tax dollar of revenue it brings in? LOL This is a cash cow for Ellisville. I wouldnt be surprised if it puts in excess of a million dollars a year in the Citys pocket. Say what you want but everyone shops there.
Ballwinner August 03, 2012 at 01:38 PM
David, what do you think cities do with tax revenue? Put it in the City's pocket, you suggest? You don't think road and park maintenance costs anything? What about police services? There was some sales tax revenue that was being generated on the site before, with the car dealerships that are gone and not selling anything to produce revenue. The city lost that source of revenue. Why shouldn't they seek to replace it?
Phil Gonzalez August 22, 2012 at 04:12 PM
WE do NOT need ANOTHER WALMART. You have K Mart. What we need is to ABOLISH SALES TAXES. Have income taxes BECAUSE the gov't will be forced to get good paying jobs in order to increase the cities' revenues. There are businesses that pay good salaries but are forced to close or move because of Tax Increment Financing for companies that generate sales taxes. This happened Webster Groves/Richmond Heights. When are the people going to learn: the gov't will bring in the jobs if it ONLY gets taxes from income taxes.
Nathan Brown October 06, 2012 at 06:29 PM
Walmart is not the direction the residents of the City of Ellisville want to be headed in. Many residents including myself participate in Organic gardening, and would all love to see the local farmers market grow and offer more produce. We have many deer and wildlife that already dangerously compete with that Manchester and Clarkson traffic. I am also concerned about what this will do to our property value. It will go down. Its a statistical fact. The city council members are not listening to the residents. Its sad and overall offensive. The only thing Walmart's appearance in Ellisville will create is more unwanted traffic, cheap products in excess, and low income jobs that few actually living in and around Ellisville will be taking. Why? Because no one who lives here could afford to if they were paid a Walmart salary. I will be creating a petition on Change.org
mike k October 06, 2012 at 11:50 PM
yes what we really need to do is to leave those abandoned car dealership eyesores vacant for the next 10 years. That's really a smart move there Sherlock. Contrary to your statement, studies have shown property values actually increase when Walmart stores are built. Next time try doing a little research. By the way, good luck on your petition. That will kill a few more trees.


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