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Midtown Walmart Plans: Developers Want Road Changes To Protect Pedestrians

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Since Riptide broke the news in October that an Ohio-based developer wants to build a massive new Walmart in booming Midtown Miami, the firm has kept quiet about the plans. That doesn't mean they've backed down after residents angrily flooded our story and others with anti-Sam Walton comments. This week, the company's attorneys sent the city a request to make some changes to the nearby neighborhood to help the giant retailer fit in.

Specifically, Walmart wants permission to re-build a 350-foot segment of NE 1st Avenue so Walmart's delivery trucks can get in and out without changing the area's "pedestrian friendly" feel. Click through for the letter.

Calling the changes "minor modifications," local attorney Neisen Kasdin -- who represents Walmart's builders, Developers Diversified Realty (DDR) -- asks the city for permission to include roadwork in the retailers' pending request for a permit.

The modifications seem designed to snuff out complaints that are sure to bedevil Walmart's proposal -- namely, that the giant, car-friendly store doesn't match the walkable aesthetic of the rest of the Midtown development.

DDR proposes a number of changes to NE 1st Avenue between 30th and 29th Streets to address such concerns, including adding a crosswalk, heightening cubs and adding new landscaped areas near the street.

They also propose similar changes along 29th Street, on the north border of their proposed site.

"(The proposal) prioritizes pedestrian traffic to create a comfortable pedestrian environment," Kasdin writes.

It's not clear when Walmart will officially apply for a permit to start building on the site, but the letter makes it clear that DDR and city officials are working toward a plan.

Here's the letter, originally posted at Open Media Miami:

walmartletter

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