On the plus side, the world did not come to an end. On the minus side, it’s still a lousy location for a Wal-Mart and a giant missed opportunity for better, more urban-oriented development.
For nearly 2½ years, Heights-area residents fought against one of the largest corporations in the world, employing yard signs, meeting with City Council members, even filing a lawsuit. It was an intense emotional effort to stop Walmart from opening a store just outside the Heights, its first inside Loop 610.
In the end, Walmart won. Its 153,000-square-foot Supercenter opened Friday at Yale and Koehler streets.
Those living nearby have mixed feelings about the store, ranging from anger to apathy, with some just waiting to see if any of the naysayers’ concerns come to fruition.
But for some opponents, the fight is far from lost. They say their cause always extended beyond just stopping the development of the Walmart.
“It was if you’re going to develop the neighborhood, do it right,” said Rob Task, president of Responsible Urban Development for Houston, a nonprofit born from the controversy over the Supercenter.
This earlier Chron story and The Leader have more on what’s on the inside of this store, and on the Studemont Kroger a mile or so due east that opened the same day. I can’t say I noticed a difference in traffic on Studemont on Friday, but it’s been awful around there for some time now, so it’s hard to say how much worse it could get. We’ll never know what could have been here, we can just hope that what we got isn’t as bad as we’ve feared it will be.