A state appeals court panel has issued a tentative opinion in favor of Wal-Mart Stores Inc.’s effort to build a superstore in Burbank.
A panel of jurists from the Second District Court of Appeal issued a tentative opinion on Thursday that the project at the Empire Center shopping center could proceed.
Wal-Mart filed an appeal in 2013 seeking to overturn an injunction given by a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge that rescinded the building permits for the site, halting the work on the 1301 N. Victory Place site.
The proposed store, which would employ about 300 people, would occupy the space of the former Great Indoors home furnishing store that closed several years ago. Wal-Mart contends Burbank residents are currently spending close to $7 million at other Walmarts in the area, with the nearest in Panorama City about 10 miles away.
After the store was approved, some residents and labor attorneys filed a suit claiming the city had not built promised street improvements around the Empire Center, including more turn lanes at key intersections. Based on that suit, a Los Angeles Superior Court judge issued an injunction, leading the Wal-Mart’s appeal.
Presiding Justice Tricia Bigelow, one of the three judges on the appeals panel, said the city must complete the street improvements, but Wal-Mart shouldn’t be held responsible for projects beyond its control.
A final opinion is due in about 90 days.