Wal-Mart Developer Drops Lawsuit Against City Of Manhattan

By Jon A. Brake

The lawsuit is off.

At least for a time.

The developers of the Wal-Mart store on the west side of Manhattan has voluntary dismissed the suit against the City of Manhattan. The Gottlieb Corporation, Manhattan Project and James L. and June Johns have filed a Motion for Voluntary Dismissal in Riley County District Court.

The suit was filed in 1999 after the City Commission turned down a request to build a new Wal-Mart store on the Jones property at Seth Child Road and Fort Riley Blvd.

Papers filed in Court show that Judge David Stutzman and attorney have been having telephone conference calls for several months. Each time the records show the attorneys were telling the judge that progress was being made to sell the property to an alternate retail developers.

The Motion for Voluntary Dismissal was filed Friday November 30. In that filing the attorney's told the judge: "Over the last several months, Plaintiffs and Defendant have been actively engaged in settlement negotiations, but the inherent nature of land use development and the events of September 11, 2001, have made it impossible for Plaintiffs to secure a firm development proposal and/or to conclude settlement negotiations within the time frame established by the Court.

The developers can refile the case at anytime for the next six months.