TROY, OH - MAY 11: An employee restocks a shelf in the grocery section of a Wal-Mart Supercenter May 11, 2005 in Troy, Ohio. Wal-Mart, America's largest retailer and the largest company in the world based on revenue, has evolved into a giant economic force for the U.S. economy. With growth, the company continues to weather criticism of low wages, anti-union policies as well as accusations that it has homogenized America's retail economy and driven traditional stores and shops out of business. (Photo by Chris Hondros/Getty Images)
Who wants big-box stores in Chicago?
Sure, there's the lure of finding tennis balls, a steak and a flash drive all in the same place. But there's the tacky factor. We're supposed to live in a sophisticated city. Big-box stores are an eyesore for the suburbs.
We may prefer Chicago-based businesses to flourish downtown, but business everywhere is crumbling. The building Target wants has been empty for four years. What's better - something, anything in that space, or a vacant building giving off a ghost town vibe?
Sure, McDonald's is lowbrow, but we have them all over the city. And they wouldn't stay open unless people ate there. No one is saying you have to shop at a big-box store. If you hate them, don't spend your money there. For a city to thrive, it needs money flowing through it.
Maybe we'd rather have our shoppers burning cash at tiny corner boutiques. There's nothing saying that still can't happen. But new businesses mean new jobs and more revenue.
That's a deal worth taking, even if we may not like what's on the other end of the handshake.