Tuesday, December 18, 2007

City wants more time, info before deciding on super-center plans

There has been a debate on this for a while. People will say that Wal-Mart doesn't pay their workers enough while there are those who will just want the jobs more than wish that Wal-Mart pays better. Well I'm sure that debate isn't settled but now the debate is over whether or not Wal-Mart might add another location on 83rd and Vincennes.From the Sun-Times...
“We just don’t have enough information to make a decision” about the proposal to build a new super-center at 83rd and Stewart, said city Planning and Development Department spokesman Peter Scales.

Scales refused to spell out what information the city needs but doesn’t have before making a final decision.

“We want to move this project forward. But, we need to sit down with the developers and thoroughly discuss this. It’s our opinion that there isn’t a time limit on reaching that decision,” he said.

Peggy Kral, development director for Arcon Development, refused to comment on the letter sent Friday by Planning and Development Commissioner Arnold Randall. Wal-Mart officials could not be reached.

The Chicago Sun-Times reported last month that Arcon had written a letter to Randall asking for approval to build Chicago’s second Wal-Mart and first super-center that sells groceries.

The letter signaled the developer’s decision to forge ahead with a second Chicago Wal-Mart without City Council approval. It reportedly warned that a redevelopment agreement is due to expire in mid-December and that the city has no right to veto who the anchor tenant should be.

The ultimatum dropped the controversy that gave birth to the now-vetoed big-box minimum wage ordinance squarely in Mayor Daley’s lap.

The City Council re-zoned the site in 2004 on a promise that Wal-Mart “is not and will not be” part of the Chatham Market development. The site of the old Ryerson steel plant remains vacant.

1 comment:

  1. There's definitely concern, some of which seems like fearmongering.

    At a meeting a few months ago, sponsored by WIM (Wabash-Indiana, Michigan), a neighborood group covering areas between 79th & 83rd, State to King, there was some talk about it.

    6th Ward Alderman Lyle was there to give some feedback (though she isn't the Alderman for the proposed Wal Mart area, so she didn't have as much pull).

    One person said that Chatham "was a middle class neighborhood", and that they didn't need Wal-Mart...i though Wal-Mart was a symbol of the suburbs...the same income as many Chatham residents?

    Another person, who said she worked in marketing, said that Wal-Mart attracts immigrants who have all kinds of diseases.

    Another person was worried about the "chinks" and "Ay-rabs" would could potentially have businesses there. My understanding is that they go into places that whites have abandoned and blacks are either unable or unwilling to start a needed business. And wouldn't be better if a "chink" who lived in the neighborhood, and hired local people, and shopped & ate in local places, had a business...better than someone who, though black, lived downtown, and hired only "his" people, who weren't from the community & spent money in predominatly white areas?

    Looking back, it sounded like the type of talk the whites in the neighborhood were probably saying about blacks as they moved into the area 50 years ago. Very ironic.

    Note, one of the moderators of the meeting, an oficer of WIM, sounded very angry at a couple of people after the meeting, & said he would have a talk with them. i didn't know what he meant at the time, but i am sure he was going to address the racism expressed.

    Certainly some businesses would be hurt....but how many people are driving out to Evergreen Park anyway?

    And wouldn't people from Hyde Park, and downtown, be willing to drive up to the new Wal-Mart, especially with the Dan Ryan project completed, and making travel pretty quick?

    Referring back to another blog entry -- it would be good to have local businesses built up. If there's a super grocery, Chatham Foods (which Ald. Lyle said was the only black-owned grocery in the city, if not the state)could be hurt by wal-Mart ...but perhaps having somethign as major as a Wal-Mart can spur some interest in the rest of the community (such as the restaurants), once the white people see it's not so scary over here.

    We shall see...


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