USD 501 Sells Property Near Highland Park To Walmart

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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW)-- USD 501 district officials announced Thursday they are selling 17 acres of land next to Highland Park High School to Walmart.

The land was donated to the district and they've been trying to sell it for 20 years, board members said. USD 501 sold the property for $748,000. It is appraised at $196,000.

Board members said Thursday they're pleased the deal will contribute to development in the area.
Walmart plans to build a Supercenter on the newly acquired property. If built, it would become the fourth Walmart location in Topeka.

A city spokesperson said Friday that Walmart construction would require a zoning change to the purchased property. Walmart had not applied for the zoning change as of Friday, but the company's engineer had met with city staff for a pre-application meeting.

The pre-application meeting is the first step toward a potential zoning change. Walmart will also need to submit an application which should include a traffic impact study, site design and building elevations, according to the city.

The city's citizen participation process requires Walmart, the developer, to hold a neighborhood information meeting for affected residents and neighborhood groups. After that, a public hearing will be scheduled before the Planning Commission, that will make a recommendation before the governing body.

The entire process typically takes three months.

The news sparked mixed reaction from WIBW Facebook friends.

"We do not need another Walmart in Topeka!!! I'd rather see another Hyvee!!!" - John

"Bad idea. Will hurt businesses around the location. Not the safest place in town. Maybe they should consider going further east/ southeast. Honestly I don't feel Topeka needs another Walmart." - Deb

"On the one hand, I'm happy to see more development in East Topeka for reasons you are aware. On the other, I'm extremely pro-small business. Walmart is not the right way to develop East Topeka." - John

"As much as everyone hates Wal-Mart, they sure do shop there. It is a good source of employment, and provides a good tax base for the city." - Corey

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