Raleigh developer Granite Development has filed suit against Wal-Mart Stores, claiming the world’s largest retailer owes it more than $75,000 in damages for violating an agreement to develop property in Southeast Raleigh.
The lawsuit comes nearly two years after Wal-Mart scratched plans to build a new store on property located at Rock Quarry and Sunnybrook roads.
The suit alleges that under the joint development agreement between Granite and Wal-Mart, the Bentonville, Ark., chain was obligated to perform some work on the property that would allow the site to develop into a shopping center. That work has yet to be completed.
“Wal-Mart’s continued refusal to adhere to the terms of our agreement has left us with no choice but to file this complaint,” Grady Matthews, a principal with Granite, said in a statement. “Wal-Mart’s actions have resulted in significant damages to our company.”
Efforts to reach Wal-Mart for comment today were unsuccessful.
Granite purchased the 32-acre site in 2006 for $2.95 million. It contracted to sell a portion of the property to Wal-Mart, which planned to build a 220,000 square-foot superstore. Granite was to develop 38,000 square feet of shops next door.
The size of the project initially raised concerns among nearby residents that it would cause traffic and stormwater issues. It was approved by the Raleigh City Council in October 2006.
Construction of the shopping center was to include about $2 million in road and traffic work, the cost of which was to be shared by Granite and Wal-Mart.
But as the economy worsened and consumers stopped spending, Wal-Mart cut the number of new stores it planned to open from 270 to 140, including the one in Southeast Raleigh.
Wal-Mart officials said at the time that it determined the stores to cut based on land cost, construction cost and site improvements.
Since then the company has continued to expand in other parts of the Triangle. Just this year Wal-Mart has opened new stores in Morrisville, Garner and Apex and relocated another in Durham.