Moon Walmart Construction Back on Track

Moon Board of Supervisors approve a settlement with Walmart Stores Inc.

Construction on a new Moon Township Walmart in the former West Hills Shopping Center came one step closer to fruition last night.

The approved a settlement agreement with Walmart Stores Inc. last night in a 3-1 vote; Supervisor Marv Eicher cast the lone "no" vote on the settlement. Supervisor Tim McLaughlin didn’t attend the meeting.

The board approved preliminary construction plans for the national retain chain in July. The 150,000-square-foot facility is to be built at the intersection of University Boulevard and Brodhead Road.

Walmart and the township had been embroiled in a months-long lawsuit about rooftop and road specifications for the building. Walmart sued the township last year to amend several conditions of the township's land-development plan for the project.

In December, a judge ruled in favor of Walmart's revisions to the project. The township .

Township Solicitor Blaine Lucas said the agreement came after several months of court-ordered mediation. He said Walmart agreed to construct sidewalks near the facility and work to improve roadway conditions on Carnot Road. In addition, Walmart will pay $55,000 to the township.

The corporation must obtain a highway occupancy permit from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation before construction can begin. The community organization Moon First, which opposes the Walmart plan, has appealed Walmart's application for that permit.

Moon First's Jerry Pearl last night said his organization plans to continue with its appeal of the PennDOT permit. He said he’s disappointed that the township decided to settle with Walmart.

"The township had an opportunity to file an appeal, and they decided to back down," he said. "I think that's very unfortunate."

Township officials were not able to disclose a timeline for the project.

Check back with Patch for more information.

Bob Winters June 02, 2011 at 02:02 PM
I think Jerry Pearl and his friends on the school board were the ones that help delay and cancel the High School Project. Talk about wasting money Mr. Pearl. I think it was in the millions. They just do not want any progress in the Township. Who are their officers?
clearfield June 02, 2011 at 03:54 PM
I believe this Walmart will do much harm to existing businesses. Brodhead Road across from Walgreens is going to be nightmare. No one was objecting to a Walmart, as some of the commenters have implied. A Walmart built off of Business 60 would have been better for the community. A smaller Walmart on the center-of-town site would have made much more sense. You will see the shops and offices across from the Brodhead entrance turned into a bottleneck interfering with those who want to get into Nolfi's offices, Auto Illusions, and the Verland CLA building. Those people living in the apartment and condo complexes will have significant trouble getting in and out of their roads. Those members of the Sharon Church will be harmed by the massive back up on Carnot Road. $55K handed over the township is peanuts! Carnot Road is a narrow, lightweight road. Those shops that back up onto Carnot will also be harmed. If you think businesses are leaving town now without a Walmart, just wait until Walmart sucks up all the expendable income people have as they spend it all in just one Walmart. In regards to the school district project--have you all seen the construction bill lately? $200M is a large amount of money. The only people to be blamed for that are the school board members and not any non-elected residents with an opinion believing in something different. "Progress in the Township" must be about smart growth, and not dumb, development.
Veronica June 02, 2011 at 04:20 PM
It's a bummer that WalMart is coming in, I wish that something good would have gone in that space. Maybe a theater, or even a bowling alley/roller rink... something that Moon could use. I'll still be frequenting Kmart, and still be driving to Robinson's Target.
RealMoonResident June 02, 2011 at 04:44 PM
The argument I keep hearing about this is about property rights. This appears to be some ideological point that since Wal-Mart owns the property (they do) and they bought it fair and square (they did), that they can do as they wish. However, it would be interesting being a next door neighbor with most of these people. If I had bright lights that I left on 24 hours a day, with visitors crowding the street 24 hours a day, I would probably hear about it from the same people. I don't understand how these people think they are above the effects of this store: How will you get around the tons of traffic on Brodhead, or the cars taking shortcuts across Shafer ?
RealMoonResident June 02, 2011 at 04:48 PM
You have to get past the Wal-Mart traffic first.
Dave June 02, 2011 at 05:23 PM
Thanks, Moon Resident. At least YOU understand the issue. The REAL issue here is the traffic. I'd be willing to bet that the people that are FOR Wal MArt live no where near the intersection of University Boulevard and Brodhead Road (like the Moon Supervisors). The traffic won't affect them. Take a look at that intersection on a normal day at rush hour and it's a mess. Now, add a few thousand extra cars a day and I think you can guess what will happen. I live less than two miles from the propsed store and the traffic at times even on a slow weekend can bacjk up at that intersection. Many times, I was the 15th or 20th car in line waiting at the light on a slow Saturday with nothing going on. With Wal Mart there, I'll be a lot farther back in traffic.
Louisa June 02, 2011 at 10:37 PM
I'm for Walmart and drive through that intersection at least 6 times a week. Thank goodness they are coming to fill in that wasteland we've been looking at for years. Oh and Veronica at one time we did have a bowling alley and theatre at that site. Do you know what happened to them? THEY WENT OUT OF BUSINESS - MANY YEARS AGO! Let Walmart build and be happy with the jobs and taxes they'll provide Moon Towonship.
Veronica June 03, 2011 at 12:05 AM
I do remember those being there. The fact that they went out of business back then, that long ago, doesn't mean that they would now. It's something that would be great for Moon. Not looking forward to seeing a WalMart in Moon, sorry. It's unfortunate to have it coming in to our town.
BMM June 03, 2011 at 01:20 AM
For those who complain about traffic, I understand and share the concerns. But theories and fear of traffic should not stop Moon from moving forward. Perhaps all those concerned about traffic should spend their energy contacting the supervisors to improve the overall road infrastructure in Moon. Local residents should also be pressuring our supervisors to lobby county and state officials to improve the county and state roads in our area. Instead MoonFirst lobbies our supervisors to insist on wasting hundreds of thousands of our tax dollars fighting frivolous lawsuits against a corporation looking to make an investment in our community. MoonFirst is just anti Walmart plain and simple. These lawsuits and appeals are only designed to delay progress with the hopes that Walmart would give up. They spin, but that is their true motive. This property sat for YEARS and no one stepped up to do anything with it. Walmart will make the signficant investment in the roads that no one else would.
lynn June 03, 2011 at 01:25 AM
I'm all for Walmart building here - they will provide significant tax revenue, and fix up an eyesore located in the middle of the township. Also, I'm not sure where these people are getting their facts from on the new high school. They throw out figures of $200,000,000 and $150,000,000. These are wildly inflated figures and so far from the truth that they are laughable. The whole building project doesn't cost nearly that much. For the record, the new high school cost $76,000,000. Please get your facts straight before spreading untruths. I know it's election season, but let's try to be adults and not spread misleading figures.
Greg Johnston June 03, 2011 at 03:45 AM
If Moon Township were to conduct a fair, democratic vote (ha ha, can you imagine!) --- if every Moon resident was invited to step into a voting booth and press "YES" or "NO" on this issue --- what do you think the final result would be? Most likely, no Walmart. That's because, on the whole, the people of Moon do NOT want this to happen. When the constant, grinding, bumper-to-bumper traffic congestion, noise, and rising crime level becomes a factor, I'm just going to pick up and leave, since I live in an apartment anyway. I feel sorry for all the homeowners who will have to sell their houses and uproot to escape the congestion and chaos. Moon is a peaceful little community right now. But a new reality is just around the corner. They'll tell you it's in the name of "progress." But it's all the result of greedy and arrogant leaders who never cared about the people or the community of Moon. Shame on the Moon "supervisors" for destroying this quiet, friendly little town. We will all miss it dearly.
seen2mch June 03, 2011 at 04:38 AM
Moon Township....what will we become in the near future? Are ya happy with where we are headed and do you think good decisions are being made regarding the schools and our community? If bitching and moaning,lying and rudeness,boorish behavior and personal agendas were gold...we`d be wealthier than Dubai! If we don`t start getting the right people in the right places doing things for all the right reasons,the Moon Twp. that we were attracted to and impressed by will cease to exist.(and I`m not talking about the school board wannabees who won`t even tell you what party they represent.....I`m betting Tea) I`m talking about people who REALLY have the best interests of Moon residents and their childrens education at heart. If I wanted to live in Monroeville or live in Montour School District ,I would have moved there! If it is not too late already we need to get our collective heads out of our a####s and step up . Don`t like something???...work to change it...get involved. Lets wake up!!!!!
Dorothy Madden June 03, 2011 at 03:50 PM
Dorothy Madden June 03, 2011 at 03:51 PM
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clearfield June 04, 2011 at 06:35 PM
For all of you who believe Walmart is the answer to Moon Township's economic problems, read the following. An excerpt from www.washingtonsblog.com Yastrow: “We Are on the Verge of a Great, Great Depression” "The news that frequent CNBC guest Peter Yastrow of Yastrow Origer (and formerly with DT Trading) told CNBC that "We’re on the verge of a great, great depression. The [Federal Reserve] knows it" is going viral today. But this is not news to anyone who has been paying attention. .... the government never fixed the underlying economic problems, so we'll have another crash. As I noted in January, the housing slump is worse than during the Great Depression. As CNN Money points out today: Wal-Mart's core shoppers are running out of money much faster than a year ago due to rising gasoline prices, and the retail giant is worried, CEO Mike Duke said Wednesday. "We're seeing core consumers under a lot of pressure," Duke said at an event in New York. "There's no doubt that rising fuel prices are having an impact." Wal-Mart shoppers, many of whom live paycheck to paycheck, typically shop in bulk at the beginning of the month when their paychecks come in. Lately, they're "running out of money" at a faster clip, he said. "Purchases are really dropping off by the end of the month even more than last year," Duke said. "This end-of-month [purchases] cycle is growing to be a concern." A take-what-you-can-get attitude will damage Moon Township.
BMM June 04, 2011 at 10:45 PM
Who said anything about Walmart being the answer to economic problems? Clearfield you are clearly misguided by your hatred of Walmart. This has nothing to do with Walmart and everything to do with a blighted area that sat for TEN years. There were no takers to purchase and develop that land. Many companies were chased out by an old tired man sittling on the board of supervisors. Clearfield, you demonstrated your small minded thinking by trying to put some sort of connection with Walmart to the economic woes of the country. But hey, let's let the blighted land sit instead of building a Walmart. The blighted hole won't harm the Township and doing nothing is the answer! Smart thinking! I guess according to your theory, at least the traffic will be bad only on the 3rd of every month.
NJ June 05, 2011 at 01:57 PM
Is it possible to comment here with out the nah nah of personal attacks? Disagreement does not mean hatred it just is healthy conversing about facts, wishes, and goals. Personally, I will be interested to read the comments when the smaller businesses in the area feel the pinch from losing their loyal customers to the giant terminator.
clearfield June 05, 2011 at 04:09 PM
The Moon Township Board of Supervisors paid thousands of dollars and used much time to develop a comprehensive plan with the vision of a town center for the center of our community. It was a vision that many in the community wanted to see for the "overlay district". With a high quality university also in the center of town, to follow through with the town center concept with the blighted West Hills Plaza, the community would have been a more prosperous place. But instead, our board of supervisors, who had the health, safety and welfare clause in their favor to reject the a big box store plan, caved to the demands of Walmart to build a supersized single store aimed at cutting local merchant prices, which would result in small store closures, since they already operate on narrow margins. If this thinking is small minded, then I am proud to be small minded!!!! I personally see it as forward thinking and a desire to maintain the integrity of small merchant businesses for a community. Walmart has already seen the data: their customer base is experiencing a smaller budget, therefore they must cut back spending even further as a result of the economy. This means even lower prices going below the limited margins of smaller businesses. A mixed use development with a smaller Walmart would have been a better decision for the community.
clearfield June 05, 2011 at 04:21 PM
My concluding comment is that the board of supervisors went against years of planning for a town center; but because they failed to direct management to tighten up the ordinances for West Hills Plaza while blighted and in foreclosure, they looked the other way allowing the "elephant to enter the wood shed". Walmart threatened and intimidated not only the supervisors and the solicitor, but ultimately, you and I into complying with their ways. If this community feels that is how a good neighbor acts, then that is unfortunate. In my neighborhood, we are all respectful of the space created by those around us. We may not like each other personally, yet there is a sense of respect for each other's space, peace and quiet, etc. That is not how Walmart came into our community. Walmart is the world's largest retailer. Domestically they import over 70% of their product line from China, which boosts their GDP, undercutting the GDP of the United States and domestic workers and communities. As a result of China's Walmart windfall, China buys US Treasuries: Bonds and Bills owning our debt and further controlling our economy. Walmart demands domestic producers earn only 1-2% profit on their sales to Walmart. If you respect that, and feel that is NOT contributing to the problems in our economy, then so be it.
BMM June 05, 2011 at 04:45 PM
The overlay district that passed was way back in 2000. The idea was panned by many in the 11 years that it had to take shape. So this argument that it (could have should have) been a town center holds little weight. No one with captial stepped up and embraced this pipe dream. So please stop using that as an arguement. By the same token, our tired board of supervisors turned away other businesses that had interest in the area. I know you hate Walmart Clearfield, but I don't think the one extra store in Moon (by solving blight) is changing all the ills that Walmart causes in your own opinion. I wish I had the extra money that you apparently have to pay stores more for everyday products. What merchants in Moon are going to be harmed exactly? The Smoke Stack? The nail sailons? The overcharging Giant Eagle? What are the merchants in this area that are to be harmed? I see Walmarts everywhere in the local area with thriving businesses right next to them. So this arguement that Walmart will shut everyone else down has little weight as well. Just because you say something doesn't make it so.
clearfield June 05, 2011 at 05:01 PM
I am sorry that BMM is not reading my posts very clearly. I have never said that Walmart should NOT build a store, but a smaller store within a mixed use development would have been much better for the community. Please show your data regarding the panning by many of the overlay district. The survey data submitted by the planning commission, at the time, showed the opposite. One reason why no one with capital stepped up to the West Hills Plaza purchase could have been because the township did not create a desirable sketch plan to a variety of developers who could have collaborated together to create a mixed use development for the site. Which merchants are to be harmed? We will have to wait and see. It may not just be merchants but service providers. When I travel around the country and see Walmarts, I see other Wall Street corporate stores adjoining them. Small business operators cannot compete, therefore are not located in the same strip mall footprint. What you do see are the center of these towns all boarded up. Their downtowns become blighted. The outlying strip mall footprints with Walmart, and other big boxes, take over. I am not pulling up these facts from nowhere. Read the data. It is there for everyone to learn from.
Chris June 06, 2011 at 10:46 AM
People are so short sighted. They act like a Wal Mart is a panacea and an answer to all of Moon's prayers. If you do ANY research, you can see that, when a Wal Mart moves into a community, crime follows. I'm not saying that there will be a crime wave, but a 24 hour operation will attract all sort of people. And for those of you who think Wal Mart will bring in a tax windfall, think again. In most communities, once they establish a foot hold, they press for tax relief, citing the economic impact of sales a jobs (good jobs?). In the majority of cases, they DO receive tax relief.
BMM June 06, 2011 at 11:38 AM
The failure of the overlay district needs no data other than the fact that after over 11 years it has not come to fruition. Period! Downtown Coraopolis is boarded up, are you going to blame a Walmart in Robinson for that? I again wish I had the extra money laying around to be continually overcharged by "local merchants" like you apprently do. I note that you could not name one merchant that is going to be "harmed". I cannot wait for Walmart to come in and force Giant Eagle to lower their prices and clean up their store to keep up with competition. KMart will have to actually stock inventory and cool their building to keep customers. Chris, Walmart is not a panacea. Walmart will clean up an ugly area, that no one in years has offered to. I generally don't shop at Walmart because I don't like their store. So if you don't want to go there, DON''T. I just want that area cleaned up and they were the only ones to offer to do so after 11+ years. MoonFirst didn't do anything except fight Walmart. This is because that is all they are funded by Walmart competitors to do. They don't care about the community or you. Perhaps if other companies come into Moon and see a vibrant area, they will be more willing to invest in our area. Really, if you were scoping the area and saw that hole right now and had to deal with a hostile Board of Supervisors (well just one old man), would you want to invest here?
BMM June 06, 2011 at 12:03 PM
Oh Clear, you cited all the money that was spent on the overlay district earlier. You really think that the overlay was a failure because the supervisors didn't provide sketches? Wow, in over 11 years no one thought of of providing sketches? That excuse is a reach at best. Also, note that the vote to settle with Walmart was 3-1. It would have been 4 to 1 had all the supervisors been there. Tell me, why was that? Could it be because the vast majority of citizens contacted the Board and voiced their displeasure with the way they were acting? Could Mr. Gribben's opposition over the past 2 years caused him to get the fewest votes during the primary? Hmmmm. Please tell your Moon First to go somewhere else. I see they have set up shop in Upper Saint Clair and formed Upper Saint Clair First. How funny.
RealMoonResident June 06, 2011 at 12:35 PM
"... fear of traffic should not stop Moon from moving forward." ??? So what you're saying is that we should put aside common sense and worry about the problem later when there is nothing we can do about it. As far as improving road infrastructure, how would that be done, by widening Brodhead ? Can that be done and keep on Wal-Mart's schedule ? Probably not. And, who would pay for it ? You're avoiding the obvious answer that the project is inappropriate for the location. If they wanted to build farther up University, closer to 376, nobody would probably care.
RealMoonResident June 09, 2011 at 04:34 PM
Somebody has to do something on behalf of the citizens of Moon township. I don't see the Board doing anything. Looks like they bent over backwards to let Walmart in, no matter what it does to the traffic.
Grumpy granny June 21, 2011 at 03:19 AM
Clearly the WalMart issue strikes a nerve. Having watched the Board of Supervisors (So much easier to hear them on MCTV than the School Board. Hmmm, wonder why they don't have audio problems like the School Board does.) I applaud Marv Eicher for having the integrity and insight to clearly articulate the problems presented by the WalMart plan. What an arrogant bunch of overpaid talking heads came before the Board! Marv was right to hold the line and speak truth to power. How irritating for the other Board members to be unable to effectively counter his arguments. How sad that we now have to tolerate the blight that is WalMart. Those who want to shop there could have gone the 10 minutes to the monstrosity that is Robinson TownCenter and The Pointe and now Settlers Ridge. We don't need to build more stores, just to build more stores. Eventually the communities can't support them and empty buildings result. We reap what we sow or allow to be sown.
robert nestler December 29, 2011 at 09:07 PM
I feel WalMart can only increase development and bring more business to all of the businesses already here in Moon. It will even help the already located supermarkets in just helping with the overflow. If people enjoyed that eyesore in West Hills that Walmart bought and will develop, there is something wrong with them. Extra traffic to me always meant, business is booming. Bob


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