Neighbors of proposed ‘Neighborhood Walmart’ attack retail giant’s plans

Posted November 6, 2013 12:17 am | Filed under Featured, Local News

Walmart’s plan to build a 40,000-square foot grocery store at the corner of Celanese and Ebinport Roads in Rock Hill was met with heated criticism Tuesday night.

Nearby residents of the proposed retail giant’s store opposed efforts to develop 14 acres of land into what would, for now, be the third Walmart store in Rock Hill city limits.

While some opposed the store, citing increases in crime, noise and light pollution, others like Michelle Silva of Rock Hill opposed the Walmart on principle alone.

“It’s still Walmart. I don’t care what we call it — we want to say it’s a grocery store… But it’s still a Walmart,” Silva said in her three-minute address before the city’s planning commission.

Both Silva and her husband Jorge were among more than a dozen who voiced the rezoning and annexation of property at Celanese and Ebimport. Plans also call for re-aligning the intersection and if necessary, adding a traffic signal.

Rock Hill resident Drew Ireland also spoke Tuesday, applauding Walmart’s interest in investing in Rock Hill, but said it would ruin the investment he has made in his own private property.

“I’m going to lose by bet — I’m going to lose my investment… my money… my home. The things we count on to put those kids through college,” Ireland said.

Ireland moved his family from Indiana to Rock Hill two years ago.

179 petitions were delivered in opposition of Walmart’s plan Tuesday. The city’s Planning Commission will revisit the issue at its December meeting. City council will have the final determination on Walmart’s request at a later date.