City Desk

City Says Safeway Non-Compete Covenant Doesn’t Apply To Walmart

Looks like folks who are in favor of more grocery choices and competition in Skyland are going to get it. District lawyers say the plot of land Walmart is planning to use for the Ward 7 store is not restricted by Safeway's covenant with the city to prevent competition:

City officials, including Deputy Mayor Victor L. Hoskins, initially said [the covenant] was an issue they were working through, but now say they are interpreting the covenant as not applying to a lot where a Wal-Mart store would be built.

The Office of the Deputy Mayor of Planning and Economic Development received an opinion Wednesday from attorneys in the Office of the Attorney General, said Jose C. Sousa, a spokesman for Hoskins.

Rappaport Cos, the lead developer of the Skyland site, previously submitted a design for the land that was city-approved and places a “big box” store on the lot. The covenant would apply to two other lots, Sousa said. “This covenant may apply to other possible retail users in the future,” he wrote in an e-mail.

Of course, that's only one side's version of the covenant. According to the Post, Safeway is staying mum for the moment.

Photo by Darrow Montgomery

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