For what it’s worth, I don’t have an opinion about the new Wal-Mart at I-45 and Wayside, whether it’s a Super Center or not. Other than a few comments at Swamplot and on the Stop Heights Wal-Mart Facebook page, I haven’t seen any evidence of an uproar from the nearby Idylwood neighborhood. If there is one, I’m sure I’ll be sympathetic; if not, then there’s nothing at issue.
While there are concerns about traffic on Wayside, that location seems more suitable on its face – direct access from a major freeway, and no residences immediately adjacent to the side, as far as I know. There’s also not much in the way of grocery stores or other major retail nearby, at least according to the maps in the preliminary impact review that was put together by RUDH last August. That map says there’s a grocery store right there at Wayside and I-45, but I can’t tell what it is. There is a Kroger and a Fiesta farther east on Wayside, but nothing else within about five miles. This is the part of town for which you’d expect to see a 380 agreement deployed; I have no idea if that may be in the cards here.
Speaking of such things, there was one very interesting tidbit that I picked up at the recent RUDH meeting that discussed the Ainbinder-sponsored traffic impact analysis (TIA). We know that in addition to the Ainbinder site, which is primarily on the west side of Yale and which will include other retail besides the Wal-Mart, there’s another retail development on the east side of Yale, right across the street. The Ainbinder TIA doesn’t take into account any additional traffic that may some day be generated by this other development. It’s not required to do so. This is sensible enough in that many proposed projects never come to fruition – Sonoma, anyone? – or eventually get done as something else, and so any traffic projections you might make that included other unfinished developments would be just wild guesses. But on the reasonable assumption that something is going to be built there, it means that Ainbinder’s TIA numbers are lower, perhaps much lower, than what we’ll really see. The other guy will have to account for Ainbinder’s site when he does his TIA, but that won’t affect Ainbinder. Just so you know. For more about the Ainbinder TIA, see the RUDH presentation from that meeting.