Wal-Mart Should Come to Chicago for 10 Reasons

On Monday, January 11, City Council will make a decision about Wal-Mart coming to Chicago.  The  world's largest retailer is trying to open a new store in Chatham.  Alderman Howard  Brookins, has championed the cause.  But powers larger than he are blocking.  Wal-Mart wants to open a total of five new stores on Chicago's  South Side in the 9th, 12th, 20th and 34th wards.  The stores would be a welcomed  assest in these communities.  The Super Wal-Marts would serve the food desert communities with wholesome food at affordable pricing.  

Wal-Mart Logo

Wal-Mart has meant the resistance head on with business sensibility.  The primary obstacle is the minimum wage supported by the Unions.  Wal-Mart wants all of Chicago businesses to uphold the "new" wage, rather than it being a Wal-Mart unique ruling.  This is only fair and equitable. 

Here are 10 reasons why Wal-Mart should come to Chicago's South Side.

1.  Job creation.
2. Wal--Mart  represents an economic  stimulus package to the local areas.
3.  Wal-Mart would generate much needed tax revenue for the city.
4. Wal-Mart in Chicago would be a boast for urban Chicago. 
5. Small businesses would  prosper with Wal-Mart in the area. In past instances, Wal-Mart business has represented growth and opportunity for surrounding merchants. 
6.  Wal-Mart is  a great corporate Chicago citizen.
7.   Wal-Mart  represents sound, economic  growth, and opportunity for local minority businesses front construction to professional services.  
8.  Wal-Mart promotes from within. 
9.  The consumer needs Wal-Mart for affordable pricing.
10.  Wal-Mart is a business magnet and would attract other large retailers.

Do you think Wal-Mart should come to Chicago?   

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  • As the administrator for Concerned Citizens of Chatham blog we have posted a number of articles that negate most of your reasons to support and there are community issues that need to be addressed. The issues are as follows:

    1. The mayor only stepped up to place pressure on the labor unions to make concessions at McCormick Place and save face with the "faith community" because he has publicly endorsed the "Legacy Project" by Fellowship MBC that will be adjacent to the Walmart. The phurch is planning to build a santuary for their 6000 plus members that will bring the total car count up to 5000 plus cars on the weekend with no infrastructure to support. This is one of the issues that Alderman Brookins doesn't wish to discuss.

    2. The Walmart project would not be located in Chatham proper but in West Chatham. The alderman for Chatham is Freddrena Lyle who does not support the project. One of the reasons she is not because Alderman Brookins has proposed taking "Stimulus Money" to build a bridge over the Dan Ryan expressway to divert traffic out of his community and send it to Chatham's residential areas.

    3. The West Chatham and Chatham communities are not economically depressed. The West Chatham community and more specifically the area surrounding the proposed Walmart has one of the largest African American owned businesses in Chicago, Midway Wholesale, it employs over 50 and its owner Everett Rand is the head of the Chicago Football Classic committee. There are two other businesses Westinghouse Cardwell and National Porges that manufacture and distribute parts to the railroad industry and employ approximately 250, Simeon High School that employs 500 and lastly Reggios Pizza's frozen pizza manufacturing facility that produces frozen pizzas that are sold in grocery stores. They employ approximately 100. Also, several of the most successful retailers are located just south of the proposed site of Walmart, Chatham 14 movie theaters, Home Depot, and Best Buy.

    As far as Chatham it is the home of the most and successful African American owned businesses in the City of Chicago. 75th street is being is now being called "Black Wallstreet" because of this. Brown Sugar Bakery, Soul Vegetarian East Restaurant and Lems Barbeque are just a few stores located on 75th Street as well as Wings Around the World, a business that relocated from Bronzeville . Also, there is no food desert in Chatham/West Chatham with 3 national grocery stores, two large produce stores, a number of small full service grocery stores and the last open air produce market in Chicago. .

    3. The comparison of the North area store and the 83rd street site is comparing apples and oranges. First, North Ave. is a state highway and was built as a four lane highway and the area where that store was built had been completely industrial and lends itself to large scale redevelopment, Whereas 83rd Street is a city street and the area is a mix between light industrial and residential.

    Alderman Brookins claims to have worked extremely hard to find an anchor, such as Costco who he claims stated that they were not interested in expanding in Chicago but is planning to build a store on the Westside as well as Whole Foods who denies ever having any conversations with him. He and all the outside parties that are seeking riches from a Walmart need to understand that you are going to have to work with local residents to get this project to work.

  • In reply to mortgageman:

    Thanks for writing. Isn't it better to have the Legacy project develop on the old Johnson Prodcuts site, rather than have it sit vacant? It is off the tax rolls and sits empty. I understand there is an infrastructure with other stores and businesses other than church that will be supportive of the Legacy project.

    Secondly, Alderman Lyle did not object to the Target Big Box Store located in her ward. I agree with you that the bridge would probably be a waste of public funds. Chatham is America's most middle class Black community and the Wal Mart store will enhance it. The small stores may have new life and business opportunity to develope within the Wal Mart walls. This has been done before and businesses have successfully grown as extensions,or new locations.

    My point thirdly in comparing the North commmunity stores and the 83rd street site is simply economic development. The voice was not loud on the North side and on the south side where the stimulus is needed, suddenly it is so wrong. I definitely agree with you whatever project comes into the community, must work with its citizens and stakeholders. That is the hallmark of Chatham, which makes it such a strong community.

    I appreciate your great comments.

  • Thank you for your response.

    To your first point, Isn't it better to have the land developed by the Legacy project than sitting vacant? Why should Brookins address this issue and confuse it with Wal Mart at this time. These are seperate projects.

    ON your second point, Alderman Lyle did not object to the Target, big box store, that is also in her ward. I agree with you that the bridge is not necessary and probably a waste of public funds.

    To your third point, Chatham is America's most middle class community, absolutely. The Wal Mart presence will enhance it, I think and allow further economic development and growth. Perhaps the Wal Mart would have the eateries you mentioned within The Wal-Mart walls.

    On your final point, it appears is working diligently for economic development in his ward. I agree with you absolutely that Wal Mart and any other retailer would have to work with local resident to develop their projects. This is the trademark of the citizens and community of Chatham.

    Thanks for your comments.

  • In reply to hhartman:

    Alderman Lyle did not have to object to Target because she did what Alderman are suppose to do and that is serve their constituents. The community asked for that Target and it was supported by the neighboring Alderman,who was at the time Todd Stroger. Also the infrastructure supported the store's traffic(i.e. 87th and Cottage Grove).

  • In reply to mortgageman:

    I think my point was missed. It seems there was a special charge put on WAL MART. Big box stores are not equal. Wal Mart met a different standard. I don't think they were trying not to work with the community. I repeat they represent jobs and economic development for our community as did Target.

    Thanks for writing.

  • In reply to mortgageman:

    On January 17th, over 1000 South Side residents and numerous aldermen got together to demand that all Big Box Developers pay their employees Living Wages--$11/hr. To me, that's over a thousand reasons why the community itself does not want a Big Box Developer that doesn't pay its employees living wages.

    For even more proof of the community's opinion on living wages over "any job," please read: http://communitymediaworkshop.org/newstips/?p=1163&cpage=1

    THE COMMUNITY WANTS LIVING WAGES! LIVING WAGES OR ELSE!!!

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