Friday, March 26, 2010

City Council showdown on Wal-Mart in May?

Far South Side Ald. Anthony Beale (9th) has said he has the votes to break the City Council stalemate that has prevented Wal-Mart from building as many as five Chicago stores.
Sources said Phase One of Pullman Park -- the massive mixed-use project between 103rd and 111th along the Bishop Ford Freeway -- will be on the Plan Commission's April 15 agenda. That sets the stage for a possible City Council showdown in May.

The 180-acre project includes 850 homes, a hotel tower, community recreation center, park and senior apartments. It would be anchored by Chicago's first Wal-Mart super-center that sells groceries desperately needed in the heart of the "food desert."

The residential portion of Pullman Park would require a substantial city subsidy, but sources said the commercial phase will be considered first in an apparent end-run around the City Council's Finance Committee. The plan commission will consider the parcel's zoning.

Sources said two of Mayor Daley's top political operatives -- former chief of staff Lori Healey and former campaign manager Terry Peterson -- recently traveled to Wal-Mart's Bentonville, Ark., headquarters to huddle with company officials about legislative strategy. That might be a sign that Daley is behind the Pullman push.
As for a potential Wal-Mart on 83rd and Stewart in the 21st Ward:
Two months ago, Finance Committee Chairman Edward M. Burke (14th) tried and failed to tie a stalled Chatham Wal-Mart at 83rd and Stewart to a requirement that retailers with more than 50 employees that benefit “directly or indirectly” from city subsidies pay a “living wage” of at least $11.03-an-hour.

Barring an unforeseen wage deal between Wal-Mart and organized labor, Burke has told colleagues he has no intention of moving the Chatham Wal-Mart. He doesn’t want to risk alienating union support he needs.
This is a relatively brief article but read the whole thing to get some more details on this development in Beale's 9th Ward.

Via CapFax morning shorts!

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