At Thursday's meeting of the Davenport Community & Economic Development Committee, developer THF Realty of St. Louis provided the city council with documents that should allow the construction of a Super Wal-Mart at Elmore Avenue and 53rd Street to proceed.

THF attorney Tom Pastrnak gave aldermen copies of a memorandum of understanding outlining when it will complete certain infrastructure improvements, and a development agreement setting out how the Self-Supporting Municipal Improvement Districts (SSMIDs) up for a final vote on Wednesday will operate.

Several aldermen, most prominently Wayne Hean and George Nickolas, had demanded the infrastructure schedule before a vote, wanting to avoid disputes with developers similar to those that have plagued that intersection in the past. Under the memorandum of understanding, THF will begin construction on most road improvements by October 1 and complete them by June 1, 2002.

The memorandum would also give the developer 90 days after acquiring right-of-way to begin construction on a right-turn lane on Elmore to 53rd. Pastrnak said that THF would have an agreement to buy the right-of-way before Wednesday's vote, or at least a letter from the property owner stating an intent to sell the right-of-way. But the prospect of city condemnation looms if negotiations break down.

The memorandum of understanding also states that construction on a bike and recreation path would have to commence within 150 days of 75 percent of the Wal-Mart development being completed.

At Monday's Committee of the Whole meeting, Pastrnak handed out a draft of another agreement with the city, one waiving any right the developer might have to apply for property-tax exemptions.

At least one item still remains somewhat unsettled, though. Wal-Mart has still not signed the "dark store" agreement with the city, and Pastrnak expressed uncertainty whether that would happen before Wednesday's city-council meeting.

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