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HeyHatch

Wal-Mart to invade the Heights

Walmart at Yale & I-10: For or Against  

160 members have voted

This poll is closed to new votes
  1. 1. Q1: Regarding the proposed WalMart at Yale and I-10:

    • I live within a 3 mile radius (as the crow flies) and am FOR this Walmart
      41
    • I live within a 3 mile radius (as the crow flies) and am AGAINST this Walmart
      54
    • I live outside a 3 mile radius (as the crow flies) and am FOR this Walmart
      30
    • I live outside a 3 mile radius (as the crow flies) and am AGAINST this Walmart
      26
    • Undecided
      9
  2. 2. Q2: If/when this proposed WalMart is built at Yale & I-10

    • I am FOR this WalMart and will shop at this WalMart
      45
    • I am FOR this WalMart but will not shop at this WalMart
      23
    • I am AGAINST this WalMart but will shop at this WalMart
      7
    • I am AGAINST this WalMart and will not shop at this WalMart
      72
    • Undecided
      13
  3. 3. Q3: WalMart in general

    • I am Pro-Walmart
      16
    • I am Anti-Walmart
      63
    • I don't care either way
      72
    • Undecided
      9


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In the spirit of stirring the pot, I'd like to make a few broad generalizations, and see how the argument plays out:

Earlier someone said that the median income of a 'typical' Walmart shopper was in the $35,000 range. Let's say that's accurate (even if it's $50,000, I don't think it will change my point). Based on home values in and around The Heights area, Washington, etc., I think it's a fair assumption that most folks in the $35,000/year income range do not own homes in the Heights, Washington area. I think a broader generalization would be that many of these folks probably rent their homes.

Since they don't own homes in the area, they don't pay property taxes in the area.

The folks who do own homes in the area, do pay property taxes.

By that logic, the folks paying for the roadway improvements, utility upgrades, etc to the Walmart property aren't the ones who will *primarily* be shopping at Walmart.

Broad generalization? Yes. Possibly accurate? Maybe.

Discuss....

You cannot judge demographics based upon the price of single family homes. First of all, you're ignoring apartments and garage apartments. Secondly, demographics lag waaaaay behind single-family home prices. You wouldn't move out of the neighborhood the moment that your house became too expensive for you to buy (if you didn't already own it). No, you'd probably stick around for a good long while. And if you were a landlord with a rent property, you'd probably defer maintenance and milk it by allowing the cruddy rental-quality decor to depreciate before having it flipped or selling for lot value.

Also, the $35,000 income level was the average for each Wal-Mart shopper, and if you have a couple of Wal-Mart shoppers living together, that becomes a really respectable sum...and after all, fully half of Wal-Mart shoppers make more than that!

And yeah, the other guys pointed out about property taxes being paid indirectly through rent. Renters should have a say in municipal politics.

There are no non-disclosure agreements in this deal. Ainbinder and Wal-Mart have been speaking publicly about the deal for weeks. Ainbinder rejected HEB's bid in favor of Wal-Mart's bid. Ainbinder released drafts of the site plan. Both sides have retained counsel. That is not "just talk".

NDAs are standard practice, particularly for Wal-Mart. (They probably had an active LOI, but that's completely unbinding.) But it would've been outright dumb for them to maintain silence. Good corporate communications practices are proactive. They had a meeting with the community, the notes of which indicated that the parcel did not yet have a contract in place, but that they would within coming weeks.

As for the site plan that was released, those are very preliminary and are typically drawn up by the retail brokerage firm to help their prospective buyer envision a deal. They do not represent a binding agreement or even one that is preliminary.

People going to Wal-Mart from either direction on I-10 are going to turn down Yale. If they go down Heights, they will have to cut accross Kohler or Center and sit through a bunch of lights. The fraction of drivers that will do this will not mitigate the traffic impact on Yale, especially considering that there is no left turn on Heights from eastbound Washington and the preference of most commuters to use Yale to avoid the train crossing on Heights.

Heights has a higher traffic count than Yale, and if Kohler is signalized at Yale and Heights (which will no doubt happen whether a Wal-Mart is developed on this site or something else), then its tit-for-tat, really, as far as someone exiting I-10 westbound--like me--would be concerned.

The Wal-Mart supercenter concept is a suburban concept. They put them out in undeveloped areas where the land is cheap because they are so huge and need tons of land and create massive amounts of traffic. Wal-Mart's sales have not been growing at the rate shareholders want, so they are now going to try to cram supercenters into urban areas. it won't work. Yale St. is not FM 1960. The proposed development is less than one mile from the hike and bike trail crossing and a school crossing.

So wait, in the very same post, you're complaining that a Wal-Mart would generate too much traffic (possibly much higher than average because it is off of I-10) and also that Wal-Mart's business model won't work at this location because it is only Yale Street.

And you're positing that urban areas are not meant to be subjected to such "massive amounts of traffic", such as would be appropriate for a suburban site. And you desire to keep retail away from places where people walk, hike, or bike.

I think you've mistaken the West End and the Heights for suburbs. They aren't. Wake up and smell the diesel fumes, man! You're living in the urban core of one of the fastest growing metropolitan areas in the country. Traffic, pedestrians, bicyclists, pollution, congestion, density, diverse peoples mingling together in the same marketplaces, cutthroat business competition...that's what surrounds you.

Finally, it is my neighborhood. I drive Yale every day to work. I cross Yale every day when I run. My kids will cross Yale every day when they are old enough to start school. My wife rides her bike down Heights to the bayou all the time.

Your neighborhood is part of a larger community, my community. I'll yield for pedestrians, but not for your 'Woodlands South' concept of quality of life.

Then what are you saying? So what if a 15k sq ft Trader Joes has more trips per sq ft than a 150k sq ft Wal-Mart? Reading comprehension is a virtue. But, there has to be something to comprehend.

Well, Trader Joes takes up less acreage than a Wal-Mart, meaning that if one were on this site, there'd be other retailers (or alternative land uses) off to the side of it. They'd generate traffic, too, possibly more or possibly less per square foot than would a Wal-Mart, but a Trader Joes (or other convenience-oriented grocer) would tend to skew the average to the higher end.

I am not imposing my version of morality on the community. I am organizing with people who share my view of morality to bring about change through the government leaders we elected. That is how we got civil rights, child labor laws, and consumer protections. If you disagree with my morals, you can contact your elected officials and tell them that you want your tax dollars to support Wal-Mart. But, you cannot tell me that I have no right to do the opposite.

I haven't. Lay off the straw men fallacies.

And might I say, it's remarkable how the American upper and middle classes have adopted a persecution complex to justify a sort of socioeconomic warfare against stores that are in any way associated with people of lesser means. (At least, that's what I gather from your utterly bizarre application of objectivism to this situation.)

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… not everyone sees Walmart as being evil and malevolent, or as in my case think Walmert is no more evil and malevolent than any other corporation.

So all corporations are evil?

Having money isn't a grave sin. Acting douchey to others who don't share in your bounty is though. Fine, you've got a lot of money. You don't want to shop at Walmart. Good, no one cares. Neither Central Market, Costco nor Whole Foods is far from you. We already know you won't shop at the Walmart, so no harm no foul for you at all whatsoever. However, there are people who will shop there, and frankly their quality of life concerns vastly outweigh any Heights pretensions.

I would bet the vast majority of those shopping at Central Market and Whole Foods live in the vicinity of those stores (River Oaks, Bellaire, Uptown), none of which are located in the Heights. And yet, you’re presenting an argument that it’s the Heights residents who are pretentious because they assumedly shop there. The major supermarkets in the Heights are Fiesta and Kroger. I guess you don’t visit the Heights often, because the Fiesta near me is always busy, and most of the clientele are working class and mostly Hispanic folks.

I do think Central Market can be kind of pretentious, because it’s overpriced gourmet food that isn’t necessarily any better than what you find elsewhere. However, plenty of folks without lots of money shop at Whole Foods because they care about their health or the welfare of the food system that Whole Foods is more diligent than others about supporting. Yes, they sell some overpriced fancy things and I think their CEO is a douchbag, but the core spirit of the store does not seem pretentious to me. It would seem the douchey person would be the one who patronizes a store that abuses human and workers rights.

Oh, and I really don't know how many times this has to be said, but in yet another attempt to clarify this point, I will repeat it yet again. This Walmart is not only for Heights residents. The Yale Street plot is a strategic location to draw as many people as possible from the entirety of the inner-loop. The people of the Heights cannot for some reason seem to grasp this point, and they seem to continually lose sight of the fact they share the rest of the inner loop with people of various means. And speaking for what's best for those of lesser means based on your emotions and not reason reeks of paternalism and doucheyness.

I think the argument is that the negative aspects (primarily traffic) will impact Heights more than other parts of town, regardless of which neighborhood boundary the store falls within.

And I’ll say it again…there is no evidence that Walmart is less expensive than numerous other retailers already inside the loop. Yet folks continue to argue that Walmart is going to be a boon to low-income folks. This is simply no evidence of this. There are better ways to support low-income residents than bringing in a mid-priced, poorly ranked retailer into the area.

No, everybody pays property taxes. Landlords don't gift their civic obligations to their lessees. The taxes are subsumed by the monthly lease cost. Also, considering all Houston property taxes are paid for by all Houstonians and not just Heights residents, and those dollars are then doled out where they're needed throughout the entire city, no one neighborhood and no one resident has any more say than another. Ultimately, if you paid the property taxes on the one piece of property in question, then you could decide what would go there. Otherwise, unless you're willing to outbid Walmart, you have no say.

Tenants may pay property taxes indirectly through their rent, but they do not have an investment in the property beyond their lease. Home ownership brings much greater responsibility and justifiably greater concern for the neighborhood vs. someone who can leave at the end of their lease.

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I'm sorry but that's faulty logic. Just because 90% haven't chimed in to the Facebook page doesn't mean they don't mind it. It means they haven't chimed in. In fact, unless you regularly visit HAIF, Swamplot, or one of the news websites on the day or two that it was publicised, there's probably a good chance you don't know about it. There aren't signs, banners, billboards, etc.

Until every single resident votes or somehow expresses their opinion one way or the other (or option 'C' of "I don't care either way), nobody can say "most are opposed" or "most are unopposed". Nobody knows. Toodles.

Thank you for buttressing my point.

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Tenants may pay property taxes indirectly through their rent, but they do not have an investment in the property beyond their lease. Home ownership brings much greater responsibility and justifiably greater concern for the neighborhood vs. someone who can leave at the end of their lease.

In an ideal world...how would you weigh the input of various neighborhood or community stakeholders? Let's figure using votes per some particular metric, and allow for disqualifications due to inadequate income or education, having the wrong skin color, being too young, criminal history, citizenship status, etc.

I'll go first.

For each non-felon over 25 living in a given community* for over a month, they would be allowed one vote. People with associates degrees, bachelors degrees, masters degrees, or professional degrees (like law or medicine) would weigh more highly than people with high school or academic doctorate degrees, and people without a high school diploma or GED would have no weight. Employees working in a neighborhood would also be allowed a vote, however all employee votes would be pooled and weighted according to the individual employee's number of hours worked in the past year.

* VERY IMPORTANT: A community is a sizable collection of neighborhoods that function collectively, and should probably utilize a five-mile radius or something of that nature to determine who would be considered a stakeholder. This is so that a single neighborhood cannot dictate terms to the community at large.

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I think the argument is that the negative aspects (primarily traffic) will impact Heights more than other parts of town, regardless of which neighborhood boundary the store falls within.

And I’ll say it again…there is no evidence that Walmart is less expensive than numerous other retailers already inside the loop. Yet folks continue to argue that Walmart is going to be a boon to low-income folks. This is simply no evidence of this. There are better ways to support low-income residents than bringing in a mid-priced, poorly ranked retailer into the area.

Speaking of no evidence, the traffic argument is wholly unsupported by any evidence whatsoever. With the possible exception of the intersection of N. Main, Cavalcade and Studewood, there are virtually no intersections within the Heights where one must wait more than one cycle of a stoplight to get through an intersection. Some posters use terms such as 'horrendous' and 'terrible' to describe traffic on Yale (a 4 lane street), yet traffic counts show Yale getting 1/3 the traffic that Studewood (a 3 lane street) gets, and virtually no one complains about Studewood. One poster even suggested that Studewood would be a BETTER location! A larger shopping center with a virtually identical sized Target and more smaller retailers does not appreciably increase traffic on Watson, a 2 lane road. There are parts of Houston where traffic approaches gridlock daily. The Heights experiences none of this. The traffic argument is a non-starter. Even the claim that Yale will suffer pass-through traffic from the north is a non-starter, given the fact that the Walmart at Crosstimbers will only be 1.5 miles away for residents north of 610, while the Yale store will be 3.5 to 4 miles away. Every traffic argument suggested by the opponents is either stretching the facts, or based on no facts at all.

The argument that there are better ways to help the poor is not justification to deny the right of a retailer to open a new store. In fact, proving some impact, through an increase in traffic, or some other claim, is not grounds to deny the right to build. I cannot force a neighbor not to build a 2 story home that blocks my view of downtown, even though that 2 story home severely impacts the enjoyment of my balcony. Likewise, you cannot deny Walmart the right to open a store simply because more traffic will travel on city owned streets. The impact must be severe, and the evidence is not there to suggest it, despite claims to the contrary that are based on guesses and wishes.

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Even the claim that Yale will suffer pass-through traffic from the north is a non-starter, given the fact that the Walmart at Crosstimbers will only be 1.5 miles away for residents north of 610, while the Yale store will be 3.5 to 4 miles away.

Can you imagine how much more pass-through traffic would result from a Trader Joe's at that site given that there is no traffic sink to the north? A lot of stores other than Wal-Mart would induce significantly more pass-through traffic on Yale. Womeone concerned about traffic on Yale Street in the Heights should be welcoming Wal-Mart as the perfect store for this tract of land.

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Can you imagine how much more pass-through traffic would result from a Trader Joe's at that site given that there is no traffic sink to the north? A lot of stores other than Wal-Mart would induce significantly more pass-through traffic on Yale. Womeone concerned about traffic on Yale Street in the Heights should be welcoming Wal-Mart as the perfect store for this tract of land.

Exactly. The Crosstimbers store will limit traffic from the north. Silber will limit traffic from the west. This store will draw from the immediate neighborhoods, and from the south. Maybe the real concern is that the Montrose gays will be frighteningly close to the Heights.

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Speaking of no evidence...

Actually, in this thread I've twice related how I saved $20 on a baby crib at Walmart vs Target. I grant you, it's anecdotal evidence, but it's not nothing. It was the exact same make and model, and even the UPC code was identical (I'm occasionally that anal-retentive in real life, and this was one of those occasions). I contend $20 is not an insignificant amount of money if you're counting pennies.

Also, I've unfortunately only recently discovered that the price per ounce of the store brand baby formula (identical ingredients to Similac) is ridiculously cheaper than HEB, Kroger, Costco* and Target brands. I say "unfortunately" only because I hadn't discovered the price disparity till I moved out here to the 'burbs near a Walmart only a few months ago. When I was a hip inner-looper, my Walmart trips were infrequent as that meant a trip to the dreaded Dunvale location, so price shopping baby formula never included Walmart. That means for about eight or nine months of my kid's life, I was getting raped trying to feed her. Fortunately she's too young to remember that. No kid needs an image of their father getting bent over by the vile baby formula guilds forever tainting their memories.

*Yeah seriously, Walmart is cheaper than the store brand of a discount wholesale club. If you don't believe me, price it yourself. Costco's store brand is Kirkland; Walmart's is Parent's Choice.

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Speaking of no evidence, the traffic argument is wholly unsupported by any evidence whatsoever. With the possible exception of the intersection of N. Main, Cavalcade and Studewood, there are virtually no intersections within the Heights where one must wait more than one cycle of a stoplight to get through an intersection. Some posters use terms such as 'horrendous' and 'terrible' to describe traffic on Yale (a 4 lane street), yet traffic counts show Yale getting 1/3 the traffic that Studewood (a 3 lane street) gets, and virtually no one complains about Studewood. One poster even suggested that Studewood would be a BETTER location! A larger shopping center with a virtually identical sized Target and more smaller retailers does not appreciably increase traffic on Watson, a 2 lane road. There are parts of Houston where traffic approaches gridlock daily. The Heights experiences none of this. The traffic argument is a non-starter. Even the claim that Yale will suffer pass-through traffic from the north is a non-starter, given the fact that the Walmart at Crosstimbers will only be 1.5 miles away for residents north of 610, while the Yale store will be 3.5 to 4 miles away. Every traffic argument suggested by the opponents is either stretching the facts, or based on no facts at all.

I've already stated that I don't think the traffic impact on Yale would be that great other than some additional run-off during I-10 traffic jams. But some folks that actually live near Yale do think it will worsen, and until there is a traffic impact analysis for this development, there's no proof that their concerns are unwarranted.

The argument that there are better ways to help the poor is not justification to deny the right of a retailer to open a new store. In fact, proving some impact, through an increase in traffic, or some other claim, is not grounds to deny the right to build. I cannot force a neighbor not to build a 2 story home that blocks my view of downtown, even though that 2 story home severely impacts the enjoyment of my balcony. Likewise, you cannot deny Walmart the right to open a store simply because more traffic will travel on city owned streets. The impact must be severe, and the evidence is not there to suggest it, despite claims to the contrary that are based on guesses and wishes.

The position of helping the poor was brought up by Walmart supporters. I'm suggesting that is a fallacy based more on a successfully advertising campaign than any actual evidence (other than anecdotal evidence from Attica). A survey of 30,666 indicates their prices are only average for a big-box retailer.

Regarding what can or cannot be accomplished, the opponents of the Ashby High Rise seem to have been successful in their efforts, and that development was only projected to add 2,000 extra vehicles a day vs. 10,000 for this project. Repeated community efforts like this may eventually result in some form of zoning in this city, and I know that scares the bejesus out of some folks who view property rights like an NRA member views the second amendment.

You did mention that some folks want a Walmart built on that site, but those people have yet to organize a group, perhaps out of embarrassment or more likely out of apathy. The perceived impact of a Walmart not being built is far less to the Walmart supporters than having the store built would be to the folks opposing Walmart. There are plenty of Walmarts and similar retailers within reasonable driving distance to satisfy big-box shopping urges. But I think it'd be really funny if someone organized a facebook campaign to show support for the largest corporation in the world in their fight against the tyrannical local residents who are trying to have an impact on their community.

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The position of helping the poor was brought up by Walmart supporters. I'm suggesting that is a fallacy based more on a successfully advertising campaign than any actual evidence (other than anecdotal evidence from Attica). A survey of 30,666 indicates their prices are only average for a big-box retailer.

Yeah, and each of those were paying subscribers to Consumer Reports. We've already been over this. Can you say sample bias?

You did mention that some folks want a Walmart built on that site, but those people have yet to organize a group, perhaps out of embarrassment or more likely out of apathy.

Protesting is for people who think that the loudest mob can win the day with taunts, ad hominems, cute little slogans, vapid rhetoric, and bloviated talking points.

Counter-protesting is for people that are so insecure in their own stance that they feel they must fight fire with fire (which is really dumb)...instead of the quenching waters of reason.

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Yeah, and each of those were paying subscribers to Consumer Reports. We've already been over this. Can you say sample bias?

Protesting is for people who think that the loudest mob can win the day with taunts, ad hominems, cute little slogans, vapid rhetoric, and bloviated talking points.

Counter-protesting is for people that are so insecure in their own stance that they feel they must fight fire with fire (which is really dumb)...instead of the quenching waters of reason.

if peeps go to a business ending in CREEK, they'll surely go to a business ending in MART

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The position of helping the poor was brought up by Walmart supporters. I'm suggesting that is a fallacy based more on a successfully advertising campaign than any actual evidence (other than anecdotal evidence from Attica). A survey of 30,666 indicates their prices are only average for a big-box retailer.

Regarding what can or cannot be accomplished, the opponents of the Ashby High Rise seem to have been successful in their efforts, and that development was only projected to add 2,000 extra vehicles a day vs. 10,000 for this project. Repeated community efforts like this may eventually result in some form of zoning in this city, and I know that scares the bejesus out of some folks who view property rights like an NRA member views the second amendment.

You did mention that some folks want a Walmart built on that site, but those people have yet to organize a group, perhaps out of embarrassment or more likely out of apathy. The perceived impact of a Walmart not being built is far less to the Walmart supporters than having the store built would be to the folks opposing Walmart. There are plenty of Walmarts and similar retailers within reasonable driving distance to satisfy big-box shopping urges. But I think it'd be really funny if someone organized a facebook campaign to show support for the largest corporation in the world in their fight against the tyrannical local residents who are trying to have an impact on their community.

I believe that the argument was made that Walmart hurt the poor, and several posts were made showing that studies suggest otherwise. Be that as it may, Walmart's pricing scheme has been studied as well (nearly everything about Walmart has been studied). Walmart will routinely price its least expensive item below its competition. As long as one always buys the 'base model', so to speak, he will usually save money over shopping elsewhere. However, Walmart will place successively higher priced models with more options next to the base model in an attempt to encourage the shopper to move up. The shopper is thinking that, for only a few dollars more, she can buy the coffee maker with the automatic brew cycle. THESE models are often times priced well above Walmart's competitors. Walmart calculates that the basic consumer urge to have the fancier model will kick in often enough to subsidize the low cost model. In this way, Walmart both improves its bottom line and allows the more vain shoppers to subsidize the more frugal shoppers. So, across the board, Walmart may not be such a discount. But, on its lowest priced brands, it is.

This is not unique to Walmart. All retailers engage in 'loss leader' marketing tactics. GM and Ford for years have sold compact cars nearly at cost, subsidized by the pickups, Suburbans and Expeditions loaded with overpriced options, bringing over $10,000 in profit for every vehicle sold. Toyota makes a killing selling Toyotas badged as Lexus' to those whose vanity will not allow them to purchase the more reasonably priced Toyota.

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if peeps go to a business ending in CREEK, they'll surely go to a business ending in MART

I think the most virulent protesters don't want Walmart nearby because they don't trust their own self-control.

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Protesting is for people who think that the loudest mob can win the day with taunts, ad hominems, cute little slogans, vapid rhetoric, and bloviated talking points.

Counter-protesting is for people that are so insecure in their own stance that they feel they must fight fire with fire (which is really dumb)...instead of the quenching waters of reason.

Sooo.... which side of this fence are you on, Niche? :unsure:

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Speaking of no evidence, the traffic argument is wholly unsupported by any evidence whatsoever. With the possible exception of the intersection of N. Main, Cavalcade and Studewood, there are virtually no intersections within the Heights where one must wait more than one cycle of a stoplight to get through an intersection. Some posters use terms such as 'horrendous' and 'terrible' to describe traffic on Yale (a 4 lane street), yet traffic counts show Yale getting 1/3 the traffic that Studewood (a 3 lane street) gets, and virtually no one complains about Studewood. One poster even suggested that Studewood would be a BETTER location! A larger shopping center with a virtually identical sized Target and more smaller retailers does not appreciably increase traffic on Watson, a 2 lane road. There are parts of Houston where traffic approaches gridlock daily. The Heights experiences none of this. The traffic argument is a non-starter. Even the claim that Yale will suffer pass-through traffic from the north is a non-starter, given the fact that the Walmart at Crosstimbers will only be 1.5 miles away for residents north of 610, while the Yale store will be 3.5 to 4 miles away. Every traffic argument suggested by the opponents is either stretching the facts, or based on no facts at all.

The argument that there are better ways to help the poor is not justification to deny the right of a retailer to open a new store. In fact, proving some impact, through an increase in traffic, or some other claim, is not grounds to deny the right to build. I cannot force a neighbor not to build a 2 story home that blocks my view of downtown, even though that 2 story home severely impacts the enjoyment of my balcony. Likewise, you cannot deny Walmart the right to open a store simply because more traffic will travel on city owned streets. The impact must be severe, and the evidence is not there to suggest it, despite claims to the contrary that are based on guesses and wishes.

I am not disagreeing with your other points, but the Heights could really benefit from a left turn signal at Yale and 11th st, that was on a timer. In the afternoon, its very common to wait 2, maybe 3 light cycles...its a yield on left and the traffic coming down Yale is timed so that as soon as the cars approaching from the North reach the intersection it turns green...those folks on Yale turning West onto 11th end up waiting 2 or more cycles unless they just get out in the intersection and run the red after its turned.

It annoys me tremendously...3-6 cars line up there and frequently only 1 gets through...if you have an old foagy who is scared of his shadow in the front, he may not make it through in a light cycle....I have recently been going straight and cutting through on 12th with all its dang stop signs b/c its still faster than waiting out the left turn there.

With that said - I hate Walmart, I support their rights to build wherever they feel like it.

I love the traffic arguments though. Any store that gets built is going to create more traffic. You live inner city, in one of the largest cities in the world. Traffic is a reality, get used to it. If your too high strung to sit through it, you need to move to the country where there is no traffic.

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I am not disagreeing with your other points, but the Heights could really benefit from a left turn signal at Yale and 11th st, that was on a timer. In the afternoon, its very common to wait 2, maybe 3 light cycles...its a yield on left and the traffic coming down Yale is timed so that as soon as the cars approaching from the North reach the intersection it turns green...those folks on Yale turning West onto 11th end up waiting 2 or more cycles unless they just get out in the intersection and run the red after its turned.

That signal is just one of many which COH traffic planners seem to neglect. And with the city’s insistence to set yellow lights to switch too fast for posted speed limits (but put up red light cameras), as well as Houston drivers’ propensity not to signal their intention to turn left while sitting at a red light, I don’t get the impression the issue will be resolved soon.

With that said - I hate Walmart, I support their rights to build wherever they feel like it.

I’ve seen that sentiment phrased that way before. I’m not sure why a “Hail Walmart, Full of Hate” must be said before any statement of the rights of the property owner and WalMart to come to a legal and proper agreement?

I love the traffic arguments though. Any store that gets built is going to create more traffic. You live inner city, in one of the largest cities in the world. Traffic is a reality, get used to it. If your too high strung to sit through it, you need to move to the country where there is no traffic.

True dat, but those living nearby are justified to want more concrete studies regarding the potential traffic issues.

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It annoys me tremendously...3-6 cars line up there and frequently only 1 gets through...if you have an old foagy who is scared of his shadow in the front, he may not make it through in a light cycle....I have recently been going straight and cutting through on 12th with all its dang stop signs b/c its still faster than waiting out the left turn there.

If your too high strung to sit through it, you need to move to the country where there is no traffic.

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For those of you who like studies, here are the results of several.

http://www.newrules.org/retail/key-studies-walmart-and-bigbox-retail#1

Here are others. You don't mind that Wal-Mart sources them for its corporate factsheets, do you? No, of course not.

http://walmartstores.com/pressroom/factsheets/

"Has Wal-Mart Buried Mom and Pop? The Impact of Wal-Mart on Self Employment and Small Establishments in the United States," by Andrea M. Dean and Russell S. Sobel.

"The Price Impact of Wal-Mart: An Update Through 2006," from IHS Global Insight

"The Effect of Wal-Mart Supercenters on Grocery Prices in New England," from the Review of Agricultural Economics, 30 (1):4-26.

"The Evolving Food Chain: Competitive Effects of Wal-Mart's Entry into the Supermarket Industry," by Emek Basker and Michael Noel

"The Causes and Consequences of Wal-Mart's Growth," by Emek Basker

"Wal-Mart and Local Labor Markets, 1990-2004," by Scott Drewinaka and Dain Johnson

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.

I especially like this FedGazette article, "The research literature on Wal-Mart: Some frowns, some smiley faces," by Richard A. Wirtz. It's commentary, but it does succinctly summarize my stance regarding Wal-Mart. The article's summary is below:

So, where does all of this leave the argument about Wal-Mart's effect on local communities? Mostly right back where we started, with both sides anchored, in part because of comparatively thin evidence supporting and refuting various positions.

Dube et al. point out that few studies directly measured the effect of Wal-Mart (or big-box stores generally) on employment, wages and working conditions in the retail sector. Studies on these matters to date "produce ambiguous results and have many limitations."

And Basker added in her 2007 report, "Wal-Mart is the largest company in the world, yet little is known about its economic impact."

Maybe this tug-of-war that's going (mostly) nowhere is itself representative of Wal-Mart's full effect: The firm's positive and negative effects are mostly a wash and, at the end of the day, Wal-Mart is just a successful business, neither benevolent enough to put on a pedestal nor evil enough to shame to the economic margins.

Drewianka and Johnson's study concluded that Wal-Mart is "a fairly benign force," and they admitted to some perplexity over the debate itself. Their findings were generally favorable to Wal-Mart, but they uncovered unfavorable results as well. But they stressed that "the great majority" of estimated effects were tiny—a fraction of 1 percent in most cases. To which they concluded: "[E]stimates of this magnitude do not seem to justify the rancor of the debate. Perhaps it can be justified on other grounds, but if so it would seem wise to redirect the discussion in that direction."

Edited by TheNiche

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True dat, but those living nearby are justified to want more concrete studies regarding the potential traffic issues.

annise parker's office is loving the possibility of walmsrt paying for new infrastructure.

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You did mention that some folks want a Walmart built on that site, but those people have yet to organize a group, perhaps out of embarrassment or more likely out of apathy. The perceived impact of a Walmart not being built is far less to the Walmart supporters than having the store built would be to the folks opposing Walmart. There are plenty of Walmarts and similar retailers within reasonable driving distance to satisfy big-box shopping urges. But I think it'd be really funny if someone organized a facebook campaign to show support for the largest corporation in the world in their fight against the tyrannical local residents who are trying to have an impact on their community.

Someone has started a Facebook group welcoming Walmart to the Rice Military area. They have a grand total of 16 members.

http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=133781763321552&v=wall&ref=mf

Toodles.

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Someone has started a Facebook group welcoming Walmart to the Rice Military area. They have a grand total of 16 members.

http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=133781763321552&v=wall&ref=mf

Toodles.

Here are a couple more -

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Bring-On-the-Heights-Wal-Mart/137866322905842

http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=138132209545052

I guess it's not as easy for FB folks to get worked up about bringing one in..

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Here are a couple more -

http://www.facebook....137866322905842

http://www.facebook....138132209545052

I guess it's not as easy for FB folks to get worked up about bringing one in..

It's tough to get worked up about anything on Facebook unless your entire point-of-view can be summarized with the letters O, M and G.

The only reason I'm even on Facebook is to show off pictures of my kid to geographically distant family members and write funny stuff on my wife's wall. It's no political outlet for me, and any group assigned for such an action would be a waste of time. I think most proponents of the Walmart are pragmatists and not in support because of the knee-jerk emotional cues that the name Walmart can set off. So, looking for strength in an argument based on Facebook popularity is naive at best. I remember recently some of my less evolved Facebook "friends" were reposting links to a couple Facebook fanpages titled something dumb like "I Bet We Can Get One Million People to Support Banning the Teaching of Evolution in School" and "I Bet We Can Get One Million People to Say Global Warming is a Hoax". And you know what? If I recall correctly, both of those fanpages were pretty close to achieving their membership goal.

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It's tough to get worked up about anything on Facebook unless your entire point-of-view can be summarized with the letters O, M and G.

my less evolved Facebook "friends" were reposting links to a couple Facebook fanpages titled something dumb like "I Bet We Can Get One Million People to Support Banning the Teaching of Evolution in School" and "I Bet We Can Get One Million People to Say Global Warming is a Hoax". And you know what? If I recall correctly, both of those fanpages were pretty close to achieving their membership goal.

I Bet We Can Get Betty White to Host Saturday Night Live!

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I Bet We Can Get Betty White to Host Saturday Night Live!

It worked and was worth it. I also like "I bet this dog poodle in a tin foil hat can get more fans than Glenn Beck"

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Walmart is more environmentally conscious than many other retailers:

But as Hollender explains, the Walmart of today is hardly recognizable compared to the Walmart of, say, 2006. "Our conclusion is that they are doing more than most. When we see a potential partner exhibit the amount of change that they've exhibited over the past three years or so, it warrants you to reevaluate your position."

link

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I don't know if this has already been posted, but apparently the site plan leaked to the Chronicle was incorrect - a revised one sketched by Peter Brown is attached. This information went out in a Super Neighborhood 22 informational email..

Peter Brown\'s alternate plan 07 23 2010.pdf

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I don't know if this has already been posted, but apparently the site plan leaked to the Chronicle was incorrect - a revised one sketched by Peter Brown is attached. This information went out in a Super Neighborhood 22 informational email..

To be completely and totally honest, as much as I despise Walmart (and I won't be shopping there regardless), this plan is much better than what I was expecting. At least it's set back quite a bit from Yale.

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To be completely and totally honest, as much as I despise Walmart (and I won't be shopping there regardless), this plan is much better than what I was expecting. At least it's set back quite a bit from Yale.

Peter Brown did that site plan pro-bono for the 22 superneighborhood leaders. He is trying to find middle ground between the opposition and the developers by proposing a site plan that would make everyone happy. Peter Brown's plan is not the plan that Wal-Mart and Ainbinder are proposing. In fact, no one has seen what Wal-Mart and Ainbinder are proposing. The site plan leaked to the Chronicle was just a preliminary design that Ainbinder prepared. In fact, Ainbinder's planning firm (Marsh Darcy) took down the signs for the replat request. So, it looks like Ainbinder and Wal-Mart were changing the property dimensions up to the last dimensions before Wal-Mart bought the land. No one, beyond Ainbinder and Wal-Mart, know what the development will look like.

Wal-Mart is talking a lot of talk about making the Yale location some new urban concept Wal-Mart, but won't give anyone any details. The only thing they have said for certain is that they are not going to put in a gas station or a tire/lube service center. They made the same promise for the Silber location. Not sure about 45 and Crosstimbers.

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Peter Brown did that site plan pro-bono for the 22 superneighborhood leaders. He is trying to find middle ground between the opposition and the developers by proposing a site plan that would make everyone happy. Peter Brown's plan is not the plan that Wal-Mart and Ainbinder are proposing. In fact, no one has seen what Wal-Mart and Ainbinder are proposing. The site plan leaked to the Chronicle was just a preliminary design that Ainbinder prepared. In fact, Ainbinder's planning firm (Marsh Darcy) took down the signs for the replat request. So, it looks like Ainbinder and Wal-Mart were changing the property dimensions up to the last dimensions before Wal-Mart bought the land. No one, beyond Ainbinder and Wal-Mart, know what the development will look like.

Wal-Mart is talking a lot of talk about making the Yale location some new urban concept Wal-Mart, but won't give anyone any details. The only thing they have said for certain is that they are not going to put in a gas station or a tire/lube service center. They made the same promise for the Silber location. Not sure about 45 and Crosstimbers.

This location really isn't very "urban", or at least what I think of urban as being. It's only semi-dense and centrally located, near a large neighborhood and an interstate. Show me what Wal-Mart would propose to put on the magnificent mile in Chicago, that would be much more urban.

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This location really isn't very "urban", or at least what I think of urban as being. It's only semi-dense and centrally located, near a large neighborhood and an interstate. Show me what Wal-Mart would propose to put on the magnificent mile in Chicago, that would be much more urban.

But this is Houston and the mixed use development and residential density from apartments and townhomes are about as "urban" as a sprawling city like Houston gets.

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But this is Houston and the mixed use development and residential density from apartments and townhomes are about as "urban" as a sprawling city like Houston gets.

Wal-Mart used the term "urban" when discussing a possible concept for the Yale location, not me. Regardless of how you define "urban", Wal-Mart appears to be conceding that its typical suburban superstore is not suited for the area.

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Wal-Mart is talking a lot of talk about making the Yale location some new urban concept Wal-Mart, but won't give anyone any details. The only thing they have said for certain is that they are not going to put in a gas station or a tire/lube service center. They made the same promise for the Silber location. Not sure about 45 and Crosstimbers.

That's too bad. The tire/lube center is one of the best things about walmart.

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Not sure what is going on with the file - here is an image of it:

2expy79.jpg

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Not sure what is going on with the file - here is an image of it:

Thanks, the new pic works. I am going to cross post it in the "Non-Confrontational Wal-Mart Information" Thread if you don't mind.

It does look like they would be a little short on parking for a Wal-mart Supercenter.

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Thanks, the new pic works. I am going to cross post it in the "Non-Confrontational Wal-Mart Information" Thread if you don't mind.

It does look like they would be a little short on parking for a Wal-mart Supercenter.

The drawing is not to scale...meaning, it has no bearing on reality. It's crap. In fact, in oh-so-many ways, the girth of this particular crap is anatomically improbable. It might be mistaken for a woodland critter that climbed up through the plumbing into the bowl, just in time to die and rot.

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The drawing is not to scale...meaning, it has no bearing on reality. It's crap. In fact, in oh-so-many ways, the girth of this particular crap is anatomically improbable. It might be mistaken for a woodland critter that climbed up through the plumbing into the bowl, just in time to die and rot.

Not quite sure I'm picturing this correctly - perhaps an animation would help.

The drawing is confusing, too.

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That's an expensive plan. It would require them to acquire the apartment complex on Heights blvd, demolish it, extend Koehler St, & then create a new block by cutting the newly acquired parcels with an avenue. Terminating the axis at the store. Apparently also according to the conceptual site plan posted above, the metal warehouses in the northwest corner of the site are going to remain as existing. I suppose if you were bored enough you could scale a transposition of his plan over an ortho google map.

Edited by porTENT

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It would require them to acquire the apartment complex on Heights blvd, demolish it, extend Koehler St, & then create a new block by cutting the newly acquired parcels with an avenue.

While the image may be considered 'crap', this part does seem true as I've read somewhere that these apartments are part of the sale and will be demolished as part of the project.

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While the image may be considered 'crap', this part does seem true as I've read somewhere that these apartments are part of the sale and will be demolished as part of the project.

Very interesting, if true.

So, the building of this Wal-Mart is going to benefit low-income citizens ... by demolishing their affordable housing?

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Very interesting, if true.

So, the building of this Wal-Mart is going to benefit low-income citizens ... by demolishing their affordable housing?

Yeah I have been thinking the same thing for a while. There is a big variance sign in front of the apartments. Good luck finding a couple hundred apartments in that area on the bus line and accross the street from the public health facility that is on heights at a similar rent.

It will be odd when they tear down affordable housing and build a panera bread / starbucks / nail salon and act as if that is somehow helping poor folks.

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Very interesting, if true.

So, the building of this Wal-Mart is going to benefit low-income citizens ... by demolishing their affordable housing?

Yeah I have been thinking the same thing for a while. There is a big variance sign in front of the apartments. Good luck finding a couple hundred apartments in that area on the bus line and accross the street from the public health facility that is on heights at a similar rent.

It will be odd when they tear down affordable housing and build a panera bread / starbucks / nail salon and act as if that is somehow helping poor folks.

Weird. So you two thought the low prices were intended only to benefit low income residents of just this one apartment complex? That's weirder than the idea that this Walmart is being built to service just Heights residents.

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The apartments are already part of the development. Since that slice of land is already a plat they can extend the road through it without a traffic study and yes, they have asked the city to put a light at the intersection. This was directly from the developer/city after I called about the variance and plat notifications.

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Aw, I'm kind of sad to see the apartments go. I know they are low-income, but that place is always spotless. Flowers are always planted and several times I've observed management picking up the yard. Compared to the dreck that is Skyline on White Oak, they are very nice.

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After seeing some of the posts about traffic and where exactly the Wal-Mart will be located, I don't think Yale north of 10 will be that much more inundated with traffic (originally I did). I wonder what they're going to do about the 1 lane headed north near Washington though. I no longer care if they put the Wal-Mart in, I've got more important things to worry about. Don't want to support their "tactics", just don't shop there.

The other thing I think is just ridiculous is the charge that people against the Wal-Mart are racists and don't like Latinos. That's as much of a stretch as Wal-Mart being put on this earth to stick it to the poor.

I wonder how people would feel if it was a Costco instead of a Wal-Mart?

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Weird. So you two thought the low prices were intended only to benefit low income residents of just this one apartment complex? That's weirder than the idea that this Walmart is being built to service just Heights residents.

Neither of said anything of the sort. How weird that our words could be misinterpreted so purposely.

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The other thing I think is just ridiculous is the charge that people against the Wal-Mart are racists and don't like Latinos. That's as much of a stretch as Wal-Mart being put on this earth to stick it to the poor.

Well it's either hipster elitism or racism. Or a combination of both.

Neither of said anything of the sort.

Yeah, you did: "So, the building of this Wal-Mart is going to benefit low-income citizens ... by demolishing their affordable housing?"

Or maybe you were trying to prove Walmart is evil and not concerned about the poor by drawing an analogy of no relevance whatsoever? I mean, you know, since Walmart isn't building this new supercenter to benefit just the people who live in that one single apartment complex.

Edit: Unless you're suggesting this Walmart will be mobile and sentient, wandering around the innerloop devouring any low-income housing it comes across.

Edited by AtticaFlinch

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