It happened when Ald. Howard Brookins (21st), business and community leaders turned up the heat on aldermen to give Wal-Mart the go-ahead to build its second Chicago store -- and first super-center that sells groceries -- at a former Chatham industrial site at 83rd and Stewart.You can also check out this report that aired at 10PM this evening on FOX Chicago regarding Ald. Brookins' renewed push to bring Wal-Mart to his ward.
It happened when Ald. Howard Brookins (21st), business and community leaders turned up the heat on aldermen to give Wal-Mart the go-ahead to build its second Chicago store -- and first super-center that sells groceries -- at a former Chatham industrial site at 83rd and Stewart.
With the city facing a $300 million budget shortfall and unemployment among African Americans topping 20 percent, Brookins said it makes no sense to block a $64 million project that would create 600 full- and part-time jobs.
Daley has said Brookins' request "is not gonna fly" because Wal-Mart backers "don't have enough votes." The mayor is reluctant to pick a fight with organized labor before the International Olympic Committee's Oct. 2 vote on a host city for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games.
Brookins' ammended redevelopment agreement would strip the commissioner of the power to veto stores over 100,000 sq.ft. That would pave the way for construction to begin.
Brookins' decision to put the City Council back on the hot seat with labor unions doing battle with Wal-Mart over wages and benefits did not sit well with some of his colleagues.
"This is a nightmare for all of us. It re-opens old wounds," Ald. Toni Preckwinkle (4th), a candidate for Cook County Board president against incumbent Todd Stroger, told the Sun-Times recently.
Here's more from Crain's:
A city rules committee deferred a vote on an amendment to the Chatham Market shopping center development agreement that would repeal a clause aimed at keeping out Wal-Mart.Aldermen are unwilling to engage in the battle over the big-box ordinance and Daley wants organized labor's support for the Olympics. Well we should already know that there is some gritty fighting coming on this issue.
Alderman Howard Brookins Jr. (21st), who’s been fighting for a store in his ward since 2004 and introduced the proposal in April, says the committee is expected to vote on the amendment in July.
Also, he says he’s near the 26 votes needed to pass the measure once it gets before the City Council.
“It’s not a given, but it is close,” Mr. Brookins said. “Everyone sees how dire the economic situation is now. The ongoing delay would postpone when the store will be open and . . . able to put people to work.”
A Wal-Mart Stores Inc. spokesman says the company is "cautiously optimistic" about getting city council's approval to open a second store.