Walmart planned for endangered South Fla. land

University of Miami sells about 88 acres of rock land to Palm Beach County developer

Headline Goes Here

MIAMI - Environmentalists are scratching their heads over a recent deal between the University of Miami and a Palm Beach County developer that will bring a Walmart store, restaurants and apartments to a section of rare forest.

Last month the university sold about 88 acres of rock land, which is habitat to plants animals and insects found nowhere else. The developer agreed to set aside a 40-acre preserve.

The development includes a Walmart store, an LA Fitness Center, along with Chick-fil-A and Chili's restaurants and 900 apartments.

In a statement, the university said it is committed to preserving the forests.

Federal officials said they're closely watching the project, given the pending protection of the Bartram's hairstreak butterfly, which need a host plant, the pineland cotton.

Copyright 2014 by The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.