It looks like the city of Chicago might not get a second Wal-Mart store after all.I literally hate to open up another argument where people talk about whether or not there should be a mandated living wage. Two years ago I'd argue for the benefit of bringing jobs to struggling city neighborhoods. I still feel that way and I definitely won't join an argument in favor of a "living wage" with the belief that empolyers should pay a wage they deem fit.
The Chicago Tribune reported Wednesday that the City of Chicago has rejected a request by the world's largest retailer to build another store in the South Side's Chatham neighborhood.
For the project to move forward, Wal-Mart will need to get a law changed by the City Council. Under the current zoning for the Chatham Market shopping center at 83rd Street and Stewart Avenue, the city must approve any tenant leasing more than 100,000 square feet, the Tribune said.
Wal-Mart officials say they are still hopeful they can work out a solution with the city.
The first Wal-Mart in the city limits opened in September 2006 at North and Kilpatrick avenues on the city's West Side. That followed a spectacular political battle that began when the City Council passed an ordinance that would have required "big box" stores to pay workers at least $10 an hour plus $3 in fringe benefits.
The rules would only have applied to companies with more than $1 billion in annual sales and stores of at least 90,000 square feet.
At the same time there are those who don't care for Wal-Mart for fairly valid reasons as I've seen in this vid. This is not an Illinois focused video, but there are reasons to not like Wal-Mart other than because unions don't like them or whatever other contrived reason that can be had...
Still Chatham is a good neighborhood to have a Wal-Mart. There aren't many mom-and-pop stores that might run out of business. This should be a super-center where groceries should be sold so Jewel/Osco on 87th Street and the Chatham Food Center on 79th Street might have a run for their money.
Cross-posted at Illinoize!
Addition: A rare comment comes up and asks some good questions.
Did you know some Chatham residents take pride in the fact that our community has the most black owned businesses in Chicago? ("mom & pop stores") And, did you know Chatham Food Mart is the only black owned grocery store in Illinois? So, do you still think Chatham is a good neighborhood to have a Wal-Mart?Well Chatham is certainly a place well known for black-owned businesses. I'm certainly aware that Chatham Food Center (I apologize for not getting the name right) is the only black-owned grocery store in the state. Now as for Chatham being good for a Wal-Mart, well I could say it's good enough for a Target so it's certainly good enough for a Wal-Mart. That being said I wish I had an answer as to whether or not a Wal-Mart might automatically harm the Chatham neighborhood and those businesses already contain within. I would like to think even with a Wal-Mart they would still survive. I'm not convinced that keeping Wal-Mart out of the neighborhood is the answer.