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HELENA — Developers have withdrawn plans to build a Sam's Club warehouse store across the street from corporate cousin Wal-Mart, and offered no explanation for the decision.

"We hope to have the opportunity in the near future to explore other opportunities in the Helena market," project manager Joel Tompkins wrote in a letter to Helena's city planning department.

Representing Wal-Mart, CLC Associates of Greenwood Village, Colo., had planned a 134,000-square-foot store and a 12-pump gas station.

The letter reached City Hall on Monday as Helena city commissioners prepared to take up a zoning change and preliminary annexation request for Sam's Club.

The Helena Zoning Commission denied the company's land-use request last month, action that City Attorney David Nielsen said was indefensible legally.

Costco Wholesale Corp., another company that uses a warehouse approach to merchandising, plans a store near the Helena airport.

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