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Rock Island city leaders look for new retail options after Walmart drops out of development plans

ROCK ISLAND, Illinois-- Rock Island city leaders are thinking of new options for the site that was originally set for a new Walmart store.

Walmart released a statement Tuesday, September 6,  stating the company  decided "not to pursue development of a new store in Rock Island, IL at this time."

Plans for the Walmart development has been in the making since 2012.  The city also made a $15 million investment to prepare the space for construction.

Now that Walmart is off the table, retail consultants are working with the Rock Island Economic Development Department to find the next best option for that space.

For 2nd Ward Alderman Virgil Mayberry, whatever comes next has to bring life back to 11th Street and make up for the 400 jobs that Walmart planned to bring to the community.

"This parking lot was full back in the 60's when I came here in 1965. So that`s what people want to see again. They want their kids and grand kids to have jobs that they can walk to," says Mayberry.

City officials are also looking over their contract with Walmart. The large retail company could owe the city at least $25,000 for backing out of the project.