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Ellisville Walmart Development Facts and Myths: Part 2

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

Part 2: Will Walmart Increase Traffic?

One of the major sources of concern for Ellisville residents who oppose the Sansone Group’s Walmart relates to whether or not Walmart will increase traffic in the area.

The answer comes down to how you look at the definition of increased traffic, said Ada Hood, the city’s planner.

“First we need to establish what we mean by traffic,” Hood said. “Will Walmart generate more trips? Yes. The Walmart will generate more trips than currently exist, obviously.”

Hood said the amount of cars traveling on that stretch of road will be ultimately managed better, thanks to stop lights, medians and other improvements made around the property.

“As part of the overall site development plan, they are making significant traffic improvements,” Hood said. “Part of those is going to help manage traffic better than what currently exists. You will have less accidents, less congestion.”

Before submitting their final plans, Walmart hired CMT Traffic Management company to conduct a traffic study, which was reviewed both by the city’s traffic engineer and by the Missouri Department of Transportation, which is in charge of managing Manchester Road.

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Both the city’s traffic engineer and MoDOT gave their approval to the study and agreed the store would better accommodate traffic on that stretch of road.

“We don’t believe it is going to increase traffic jams or traffic accidents -- and that’s what residents are most concerned about,” Hood said. “We can’t exactly predict what is going to happen but we believe traffic will be managed better than now.”

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 3 of the series.

John August 07, 2012 at 10:55 AM
For years Operation Great Streets has been trying to find ways to get traffic moving on Manchester Road. MoDOT has said there are too many lights. Too many lights make more congestion. So now Ellisville does a complete flip flop. They want to put another traffic light between Clarkson Road and Old State. That will make three lights in about 1/3 mile. Now they say another light will “manage traffic better than what currently exists”. Sorry Ada. No one believes you. John
Rockwood 25 August 09, 2012 at 12:35 AM
Exactly, John. We're not buying that either.
Rockwood 25 August 09, 2012 at 12:36 AM
BTW, while Ellisville is so afraid of leaving this site empty, afraid it will Stay empty, does Ellisville have any plans for filling the huge vacant Wal-mart site when they leave in a few years? Let's see, they moved from Manchester & Barrett Station for the TIF at the Meadows (on Manchester). Then they left the Meadows for the new TIF at Manchester and 141. The TIF Walmart in the City on Manchester moved to a new site on Hanley with a TIF. Each time a hulking, empty shell that is definitely hard to fill is left. What exactly are Ellisville's plans for this typical and expected scenario?
Charles Pavlack August 09, 2012 at 03:57 AM
Ellisville has provisions written into the legislation that no city anywhere else has ever gotten Walmart to agree to. At such time as they vacate, if the building sits empty for 12 months, the city can choose for it to be torn down -- at Walmart's expense. This was addressed in the negotiations, and then-Mayor Pirrello said at the time that it was announced that the Council considered it a deal-breaker if Walmart would not have agreed to it.
John August 09, 2012 at 10:22 AM
One problem with that provision Charles. Ellisville doesn’t have a performance bond which is commonly used in the construction and development of real property. This would guarantee that the work, the building be torn down if it sits vacant for 12 months, not be lost in the case of an unfortunate event (such as insolvency of the contractor). Ellisville will have to go to court to enforce that provision, at Ellisville’s expense. Walmart will probably not go out of business. But Sansone could. Bigger developers have. I am sure Sansone has provisions to limit itself from liability. Maybe a Limited Liability Company, or LLC. So even if Sansone doesn’t go out of business the LLC for this development can. If Walmart is vacant for 12 months the LLC will go out of business. Good luck getting money out of a bankrupt LLC. Oh yea, quite the deal breaker.
mike k September 26, 2012 at 09:21 PM
Also a meteor can hit Ellisville and we'll all be wiped out. Worry much?
GrandmaBunny January 31, 2013 at 02:15 PM
the part I dont get is why are we(the taxpayers) actually PAYING a huge corporation to come to the city and leave a big mess in 15 years in this economy? Does Ellisville actually think it wont look like overland in 15 years when Walmart moves on?
mike k January 31, 2013 at 08:03 PM
What makes you think that an Ellisville Walmart will close 15 years after it opens? Walmart has closed less than 1% of it's stores that it has opened. The Walmart in Washington Missouri has been open 25 years and is stronger than ever.

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