Residents Not Swayed By Walmart Plans

More than 200 people showed up Monday to say Lakeview doesn't need a Walmart

By Lisa Balde
|  Tuesday, Apr 12, 2011  |  Updated 8:18 AM CDT
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Residents Not Swayed By Walmart Plans

NBCChicago.com

Lakeview residents heard a pitch Monday night for a Walmart store in their neighborhood.

Residents stuck to their guns Monday night, arguing that Lakeview doesn't need a Walmart.

During a meeting to discuss the proposed 31,000-square-foot "Neighborhood Market," more than 200 residents crowded Wellington Avenue Church to tell store representatives the neighborhood's food market is already saturated.

A spokesman for the big-box chain said a lease hasn't been signed, but proposed plans are in place to occupy a former PetSmart space at 2840 N. Broadway to sell groceries, pharmaceuticals and some general merchandise.

It would be the first Walmart on Chicago's North Side.

But many residents who showed up at Monday's meeting weren't pleased, arguing the store would be a threat to small business and that other Chicago neighborhoods need the store more.

A Walmart spokesman replied that 22 new businesses opened in the Austin neighborhood since a store location opened there in 2006.

Ald. Tom Tunney of the 44th ward, where the Walmart would go, asked for resident feedback and said he hasn't made up his mind on the store.    

Chamber executive director Maureen Martino stood firm, the Sun-Times reports.

“We don’t want it," she said.

Meanwhile WalMart closed on the sale of a 13.5-acre parcel Monday at the corner of 83rd Street and South Holland Road, the Chicago Tribune reports. The chain retailer paid $10 million for the spot where the 155,000-square-foot Chatham Market will be built to open in 2012.

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