By Polly Keary, Editor
More than two years of legal delays have come to end, as time has run out for further appeals against Walmart’s site plan. So Sabey Corp., the developer who will build the Supercenter, has announced intentions to proceed with the real estate deal.
Walmart announced intentions to build in Monroe at the end of 2010, but in April of 2011, a group called Friends of North Kelsey filed a lawsuit to contest a site plan from the developer that the city council had approved.
Although the group was backed with Teamsters money, the Teamsters being staunchly opposed to Walmart’s no-union policy, the suit didn’t attempt to keep Walmart out, but rather to make it comply more closely with city design standards for the North Kelsey area into which it will go.
The group lost a court case and a subsequent appeal in Snohomish County, but went on to the Washington Court of Appeals. That case was heard in April, and it resulted in a limited victory; the court sent the site plan back to city council with instructions to do more to address seating and lighting.
The council approved a revision of the site plan in July, and then the city and the developer had to wait to see if any more appeals would be forthcoming before proceeding with a land deal.
“On July 23 the appeal period expired, so Sabey said, ‘yes, we have everything we need and are moving toward closing,’” said Monroe Economic Development Manager Jeff Sax last week.
The developer will pay about $7.5 million for the city-owned land, but the city will wind up with closer to $6.5 million after commissions, and also because the $125,000 Sabey paid the city to extend the purchase and sale agreement through the legal process will be applied to the purchase price.
Walmart will also pay about $1 million for Growth Management Act fees and another $1.2 million in environmental costs.
The city will get about $2.17 million to pay for eight transportation projects to offset the expected impact the store will have on traffic.
The city has already completed seven of those projects, including traffic lights on Tjerne Place, and the money will reimburse the city, Sax said. The city still plans to build a roundabout at the intersection of North Kelsey and Chain Lake Road.
Of the $6.5 million that the city expects to get, 100 percent will go to pay off the bonds that the city used to buy the land from the county in 2005, said Sax.