LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE

Most neighbors seem to be perfectly fine with Trader Joes moving-in but many are mad as hell about another major retailer, Walmart, coming to the neighborhood.

A plan to develop the old University of Colorado hospital campus has a lot of folks riled-up, because of one particular tenant.

"No Walmart in this neighborhood!" Shouted neighbor Denis Moynihan during a public meeting Thursday evening.

Most everyone supports bringing the abandoned 21-acre block back to life with a mix of restaurants, residences, and retail.

But when developer Jeff Fuqua announced Walmart would be the anchor store, neighbors voiced their outrage in droves.

"This project has sailed through all the approval processes with the neighbors, city, community, everything," Fuqua said. "Until the word Walmart was mentioned I think."

Fuqua, and Walmart representatives, insist this is not your standard suburban Walmart, but a smaller, classier, urban version.

You'll find more organic produce, and gluten-free foods.

You won't find guns, full-strength alcohol, or a tire and lube.

"Everyone thinks this is their grandfather's Walmart," Fuqua said. "It's just not that store. It's really not the dominant feature of our project either. It's just getting the most attention."

Fuqua insists the addition of Walmart won't change the dynamics of the $180-million project.

Neighbors, including Wendy Reoch, are not convinced.

"We just envisioned a different place," Reoch said. "Movie theatres, something walkable, locally owned businesses...We got a big box."

There is palpable outrage over this "big box" and the big bucks, around $25 million in taxpayer subsidies, to help pay for project infrastructure.

The biggest concern may be added congestion.

"We're concerned about the traffic," Reoch said. "Colorado Boulevard is a nightmare right now."

Fuqua says traffic is not an issue and will be a third of the volume when the hospital was operating.

He also say a major retailer is necessary as an anchor-store to financially support the project, and Walmart is the only one interested.

The nightmare for neighbors isn't over as plans for the project, Walmart and all, move full steam ahead.

"The neighborhoods voice is drowned out," Dan Schoen said.

LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE