A proposed Walmart distribution center in the heart of California’s San Joaquin Valley has officially been declared dead.
According to the Merced Sun-Star, the company announced this Wednesday that its plan—initiated in 2005—to build a 1.2-million-square-foot distribution center on a 230-acre site in southeast Merced has been cancelled.
Merced Mayor Mike Murphy reportedly called the end to the project a “business decision,” and the Sun-Star cited a lengthy court battle between the retailer and the Merced Alliance for Responsible Growth. Despite efforts by the retailer and city government officials, the Merced Alliance for Responsible Growth tied the proposed project up in a three-year court battle, a case that ultimately was declined by the California Supreme Court in 2013. The land sat for another four years until Walmart decided to abandon its plans.
The proposed distribution center was expected to employ 1,200 people.
While Walmart may have changed its tack, the company has been steadily expanding as of late. As recently as last year, the company announced plans to double the number of its online sales warehouses, completed a 450,000-square-foot distribution center in North Carolina, announced plans to build a 600,000-square-foot facility in Florida, and acquired major online retailers to boost its web presence.
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