Walmart Coming to Wrigley's Neighborhood

The retailer said it wants its new store to reflect the character of Wrigleyville

By Ivanna Hampton
|  Wednesday, Jun 29, 2011  |  Updated 2:18 PM CDT
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Lakeview Residents Tell Walmart To Go Away

Lakeview residents have overwhelmingly voiced opposition to Walmart moving in, and took their message to the streets with a protest outside a former Petsmart store that Walmart wants to use.

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An animated Mayor Richard Daley says politics was behind the long-standing opposition to having Walmart stores in Chicago. Says Daley: "This was the right thing to do six years ago. It's the right thing to do today."
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Walmart is planning to unpack its low prices in Wrigley Field's neighborhood. 

The world's largest retailer signed a lease to build a Walmart Express, a convenience-sized store, at 3636 N. Broadway, a Walmart spokesperson told Crain's Chicago Business.

This is the second attempt Walmart is making to move into Lakeview. The retailer faced opposition from Lakeview residents over plans to set-up a Walmart Market, a mid-sized grocery store, at 2840 N. Broadway. 

The area's alderman heard about the plans not from Walmart but through the grapevine made up of residents."I've been very clear from the very beginning that I'm an alderman that works with chambers and community organizations," said Alderman James Cappleman (46th). "We need to hear from any interested businesses very quickly so we can make decisions about what's best for the community."

Walmart may not need a zoning change for its 14,086-square-foot-store to occupy the Recycled Paper Greetings buildings. Cappleman said he scheduled meetings with executives and the buildings' owner.

The retailer signaled it wants to blend into the fabric of Lakeview.

"We want each of our Chicago stores to be a reflection of the surrounding neighborhood, and think a Walmart Express can offer Wrigleyville a convenient and affordable option for their grocery needs," according an e-mail a Walmart spokesperson sent to Crain's.

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