During the month of July, Walmart formally took title to the site for a 94,000 square foot superstore on South Federal Highway, directly fronting the western border of Gulf Stream, and the quiet Trade Winds residential neighborhood. This project received fast track approval from the City of Boynton Beach as a pragmatic revitalization of a decrepit and crime-ridden 8-acre commercially zoned property. Demolition of existing buildings should commence shortly. It remains to be seen whether the City will address many Coalition and neighboring resident concerns, most of which were ignored during the site plan approval process. Interrelated critical issues include: safety and security (900 crimes were reported in 2009 in the western Boynton Beach Walmart site); landscaping and buffering; and 24/7 hours of operation. Nearby residents adamantly oppose all-night business traffic only several hundred feet from their homes. We will stay involved in this project until the first greeter says "Welcome to Walmart".
This store is part of a new Walmart "urban strategy" to line U.S.1 (Federal Highway) with large grocery/general merchandise outlets throughout Florida. A sister store was planned for Delray Beach, just 3.7 miles to the south and just west of several large residential communities. A very effective opposition was mounted by affected home owner associations in Delray. The group heavily influenced the Delray Beach Planning and Zoning commission to disapprove a rezoning request. The City Commissioners were ready to hear a petition on September 21 to rezone the proposed site for general commercial use. In a victory "for the people" Walmart stores notified the City of Delray Beach on September 20th that they are withdrawing their privately initiated re-zoning and site plan applications.