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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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People-watching at a Wal-Mart off of Washington Avenue after the bars close should be a blast! I'm already looking forward to shopping there.

Too bad they didn't build this a decade ago. It could have drawn a slightly more risque Montrose 2 AM crowd than the one that now exists.

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The houston chronicle article today said that "A development site plan obtained by the Houston Chronicle shows a 152,015-square-foot Walmart flanked by a parking lot for 664 cars and additional retail spaces for a bank, fast-food restaurant and other stores."

Has anyone seen any site plans or renderings?

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/business/7090711.html

Never mind.. found it:

http://swamplot.com/only-a-little-off-target-walmart-heading-right-between-washington-ave-and-the-heights/2010-07-01/

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People-watching at a Wal-Mart off of Washington Avenue after the bars close should be a blast! I'm already looking forward to shopping there.

I wonder if they will put this on the Jitney route and/or allow people to park there.

ah...drunken morons shopping at 3am for replacement underwear, the possibility for after-hour antics is amazing for the parking lot.

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The houston chronicle article today said that "A development site plan obtained by the Houston Chronicle shows a 152,015-square-foot Walmart flanked by a parking lot for 664 cars and additional retail spaces for a bank, fast-food restaurant and other stores."

Has anyone seen any site plans or renderings?

http://blogs.chron.com/primeproperty/2010/07/post_69.html

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People-watching at a Wal-Mart off of Washington Avenue after the bars close should be a blast! I'm already looking forward to shopping there.

I'm gonna give you that one. :lol:

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I'd love nothing more than to see the concerned heights neighbors do a real protest of the proposed Yale Wal Mart.

Think of it as a meaningful vacation from strenuous days of blogging, girls lunches at Stella Sola, play dates, bikini boot camp,and taking your overly-accesorized children to Berryhill while the moms relax with some 'ritas. Raise awareness for the cause by mobilizing for hours a day in the 100 degree heat, marching in the dirt with signs and bullhorns. Or how about going door- to- door with clipboards? Forming a human chain in front of the bulldozers? If you did, you might get a tiny bit of insight into the tiring, hot and less-than-comfortable lives of the people for whom WalMart is a good thing.

Yea, I know I'm being hyperbolic and rude. I originally expressed these sentiments in a PM, but I feel compelled to go public with them. I've had dear friends in the Heights on and off for more than 20 years, and there's a lot about it I love. But I am really, really glad that I did not buy a house there. Because lately I find the misdirected, contradictory righteousness just downright suffocating. We're talking about empty dirt by the railroad tracks, on the other side of the freeway, generating no jobs and nothing to the tax base. I understand taking a philosophical stance, but not at the expense of our community during a recession.

I will say this to the Stop Wal-Mart crowd: whatever big box retailer builds on that site, watch the news when they start

hiring. When 5,000 people show up to apply for 250 jobs, ask yourself: are my priorities perhaps misplaced?

I am willing to bet this nastiness is directed at me since I think I am the only obvious mother who has a blog in this thread (and I go to Berryhill and drink margaritas). I don't go to boot camp and I've never had lunch at Stella Sola and I have sons so they don't wear accessories, but I get the fact that you are stereotyping. And I can add to this that you know nothing about me outside of how you have stereotyped me. For you to think I have come to this position in life easily and that I have no understanding of a less-than-comfortable life makes you just as self righteous as anyone else.

As I've said before, I think that people who are anti-Walmart are in many cases because they care about people and feel that WM does a lot of things to perpetuate the poverty cycle. This is what I have expressed many times in this thread. I understand that others think Walmart benefits the poor with their pricing, but I think the bad outweighs the good and a lot of others feel that way as well.

Also, I don't think anyone wants to see nothing on that site and see it remain a dirt lot. People just had higher hopes for this area than 1 giant big box store with a mcdonalds and a 600 space parking lot. There could be something like a scaled down, area appropriate City Centre which would employ a huge and diverse population, from chamber maids at a hotel to clerks, receptionists, waiters thru to management. Maybe people who worked at the new hotel and movie theater might even get some health benefits and be allowed to work a 40 hour week. Who knows? People would just like something else, something better for everyone.

Edited by heights_yankee
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From the plans, it looks like that upscale apartment complex just south of the bayou between Heights and Yale is going to go away and be replaced with retail or something. (and maybe that chic nightclub that fronts Yale, too)

And now looking closer (you can right-click and zoom in), I see there will be not one, but TWO banks!

Personally, I don't mind there being a Walmart (call me crazy), but the last thing we need in or near the Heights is another f-ing bank!

Edited by heights

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From the plans, it looks like that upscale apartment complex just south of the bayou between Heights and Yale is going to go away and be replaced with retail or something. (and maybe that chic nightclub that fronts Yale, too)

that chic night club you mentioned is named Dirt.

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that chic night club you mentioned is named Dirt.

HAHAHAHAHA. How appropriate.

I was just looking at the HCAD maps of the area and I see that the property just north of the tracks between Heights and Yale where the "Son's of Hermann" (yes, they actually had an apostrophe on the sign making "sons" possessive) used to be is referred to as "Lofts on Heights Boulevard". Has this been mentioned here before? I thought that was going to be some retail place.

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I am willing to bed this nastiness is directed at me since I think I am the only obvious mother who has a blog in this thread (and I go to Berryhill and drink margaritas). I don't go to boot camp and I've never had lunch at Stella Sola and I have sons so they don't wear accessories, but I get the fact that you are stereotyping. And I can add to this that you know nothing about me outside of how you have stereotyped me. For you to think I have come to this position in life easily and that I have no understanding of a less-than-comfortable life makes you just as self righteous as anyone else.

Crunch apparently hit close enough to home that you overlooked the hyperbole disclaimer.

And yeah, speaking as someone who is himself less-than-comfortable and that has recently spent a fair bit of his time Censusing less-than-comfortable populations alongside less-than-comfortable coworkers...I tend to think that your appreciation for this lifestyle is pretty superficial. People in your community need work. They want to work. Wal-Mart provides work. A vacant lot does not. ...and from the sounds of things, HEB is still interested in your neighborhood, so it won't be too long until you have both. Nothing wrong with that!

People just had higher hopes for this area than 1 giant big box store with a mcdonalds and a 600 space parking lot. There could be something like a scaled down, area appropriate City Centre which would employ a huge and diverse population, from chamber maids at a hotel to clerks, receptionists, waiters thru to management. Maybe people who worked at the new hotel and movie theater might even get some health benefits and be allowed to work a 40 hour week. Who knows? People would just like something else, something better for everyone.

Those people have been living in a cave for the last several years, apparently. Nothing like that can or will happen for a long time to come; well-capitalized discount retailers and grocers are very nearly the only game in town.

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You know, this is almost as bad as Starbucks trying to put in a coffee shop at 19th and Heights. Wonder if the neighborhood association will have as much luck defeating Walmart.

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We're talking about empty dirt by the railroad tracks, on the other side of the freeway, generating no jobs and nothing to the tax base. I understand taking a philosophical stance, but not at the expense of our community during a recession.

I will say this to the Stop Wal-Mart crowd: whatever big box retailer builds on that site, watch the news when they start

hiring. When 5,000 people show up to apply for 250 jobs, ask yourself: are my priorities perhaps misplaced?

The problem with this argument is that Walmart and other big-box retailers do not necessarily create net-new local jobs. Instead, they take jobs away from existing businesses and may put smaller and independent competitors out of business due to their cost advantages.

The net of an argument against Walmart, at least for me, is that the company plays by its own rules and leeches off society. There is considerable cost hidden by the low pricing of the products you find on Walmart's shelves, including the loss of American manufacturing jobs, increased environmental degradation at production moved overseas where rules are less strict had human rights abuses are tolerated, and underpaying store employees who then become dependent on society for food stamps and ER visits for healthcare. Saving a few bucks at Walmart is realistically just shifting problems and costs onto other areas, and we all end up paying the price.

It's interesting that someone already brought up the taxpayer-funded feeder reconstruction of I-10. Of course, this is not specifically to benefit Walmart, but there is a history of taxpayer funded or subsidized infrastructure projects for many other Walmart locations. It will be interesting to see if Walmart receives additional assistance for this location, such as property tax breaks. The company has been able to take advantage of smaller communities desperate for their business and mindless to the risks, but in an urban and competitive environment like inner-loop Houston, nobody is that desperate for them to build, so hopefully we don't get stuck subsidizing their business.

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You know, this is almost as bad as Starbucks trying to put in a coffee shop at 19th and Heights. Wonder if the neighborhood association will have as much luck defeating Walmart.

Which neighborhood association claims jurisdiction over this parcel?

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The problem with this argument is that Walmart and other big-box retailers do not necessarily create net-new local jobs. Instead, they take jobs away from existing businesses and may put smaller and independent competitors out of business due to their cost advantages.

Which small or independent businesses in the West End or Heights-area will be put at a competitive disadvantage by Wal-Mart?

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It's interesting that someone already brought up the taxpayer-funded feeder reconstruction of I-10. Of course, this is not specifically to benefit Walmart, but there is a history of taxpayer funded or subsidized infrastructure projects for many other Walmart locations. It will be interesting to see if Walmart receives additional assistance for this location, such as property tax breaks. The company has been able to take advantage of smaller communities desperate for their business and mindless to the risks, but in an urban and competitive environment like inner-loop Houston, nobody is that desperate for them to build, so hopefully we don't get stuck subsidizing their business.

one of the few posts of value in this entire thread. wouldn't it be wonderful if you were in the NIMBY brigade yet were essentially subsidizing their business too!!??

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I do not understand how this makes business sense to WalMart. People who live in the Heights, Rice Military, Garden Oaks, River Oaks and Upper Kirby are not going to be regular WalMart shoppers. WalMart is not going to beat out Kroger and Whole Foods for grocery store customers. And when given a choice between WalMart and Target, innerloopers will chose Target 9 out of 10 times. I thought WalMart's attempts at upscaling were seen as a failure. So, why put a superstore down the street from a historic neighborhood, parallel to a street where people are paying $12 for cocktails, a mile away from a nice Kroger and a future Whole Foods, and miles away from WalMart's bread and butter? Just think of what people would post if Max's Wine Dive announced that they were opening a new location in Pasadena.

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People who live in the Heights, Rice Military, Garden Oaks, River Oaks and Upper Kirby are not going to be regular WalMart shoppers. WalMart is not going to beat out Kroger and Whole Foods for grocery store customers. And when given a choice between WalMart and Target, innerloopers will chose Target 9 out of 10 times.

Those neighborhoods would represent only a fraction of this Wal-Mart's customer base. The fact is, there is a huge untapped market of Wal-Mart's core customer base inside the loop, only you have to look in places like the Near Northside, 5th Ward, the East End, and 3rd Ward to find it. There are only a handful of parcels of prime inner-loop land that could accommodate a Supercenter, and I'd argue that this is the best of them.

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I do not understand how this makes business sense to WalMart. People who live in the Heights, Rice Military, Garden Oaks, River Oaks and Upper Kirby are not going to be regular WalMart shoppers. WalMart is not going to beat out Kroger and Whole Foods for grocery store customers. And when given a choice between WalMart and Target, innerloopers will chose Target 9 out of 10 times. I thought WalMart's attempts at upscaling were seen as a failure. So, why put a superstore down the street from a historic neighborhood, parallel to a street where people are paying $12 for cocktails, a mile away from a nice Kroger and a future Whole Foods, and miles away from WalMart's bread and butter? Just think of what people would post if Max's Wine Dive announced that they were opening a new location in Pasadena.

The hell we aren't! Well, at least for some things. Probably not meat and produce. Some of us are coupon clippers getting by on one income while moms take care of babies.

As for that apartment complex on Yale/Heights that is gonna bite the dust, finally. That's where all the criminals live I hear.

Edited by 20thStDad

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I'd love nothing more than to see the concerned heights neighbors do a real protest of the proposed Yale Wal Mart.

Think of it as a meaningful vacation from strenuous days of blogging, girls lunches at Stella Sola, play dates, bikini boot camp,and taking your overly-accesorized children to Berryhill while the moms relax with some 'ritas. Raise awareness for the cause by mobilizing for hours a day in the 100 degree heat, marching in the dirt with signs and bullhorns. Or how about going door- to- door with clipboards? Forming a human chain in front of the bulldozers? If you did, you might get a tiny bit of insight into the tiring, hot and less-than-comfortable lives of the people for whom WalMart is a good thing.

Yea, I know I'm being hyperbolic and rude. I originally expressed these sentiments in a PM, but I feel compelled to go public with them. I've had dear friends in the Heights on and off for more than 20 years, and there's a lot about it I love. But I am really, really glad that I did not buy a house there. Because lately I find the misdirected, contradictory righteousness just downright suffocating. We're talking about empty dirt by the railroad tracks, on the other side of the freeway, generating no jobs and nothing to the tax base. I understand taking a philosophical stance, but not at the expense of our community during a recession.

I will say this to the Stop Wal-Mart crowd: whatever big box retailer builds on that site, watch the news when they start

hiring. When 5,000 people show up to apply for 250 jobs, ask yourself: are my priorities perhaps misplaced?

I, too, feel compelled to go public with this message. Since you don't live in the Heights, why don't you take your crunchy-tastic, holier-than-thou, self-righteous and judgemental attitude, drag Niche along with you, and worry about something in your own soul-less and character-less neighborhoods. I, too, am really, really glad you didn't buy a house here. I worked my butt off to pay my way through college, worked in an incredibly male-dominated, chauvinistic industry, kicking a** I might add, and postponed having kids until I was in my early thirties so that I could provide for my kids in a way that would make their lives easier for them, as well as take these years a bit easier for myself. And, oh by the way, this also includes working at and volunteering for many not-for-profits (that I am betting with a name like "Crunchtastic" you support) in an effort to give others better breaks than life has already brought them. My husband works his butt off to provide for his family and maintian the ability to give to the causes of his choice. Why should we feel guilty about lunch with our friends, play dates, going to the gym, or whatever the hell we want to do or attitude we want to have if it is not hurting anyone else. My priorities are not misplaced. My kids wear what they want to wear, and if that includes multiple tutus with a frigging fireman hat, I am glad they are not worried about what some jaded ninny's opinions are.

I'm not going to apologize for wanting an H-E-B over a Wal-Mart. The H-E-B will hire the same, or more, people than the Wal-Mart, take better care of them and the neighborhood, and provide a better product that is still within the budget of people who shop at Wal-Mart. Accept that lower-income families deserve access to good quality at good prices, and, just like high-income families, they know the difference.

For all you know, I may be one of the ones physically campaigning against Wal-Mart. You bet I started this thread to create public awareness and hopefully protests. I feel like Mr. Burns from The Simpsons, rubbing my hands together while saying, "Exxxxcellent."

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I, too, feel compelled to go public with this message. Since you don't live in the Heights, why don't you take your crunchy-tastic, holier-than-thou, self-righteous and judgemental attitude, drag Niche along with you, and worry about something in your own soul-less and character-less neighborhoods. I, too, am really, really glad you didn't buy a house here. I worked my butt off to pay my way through college, worked in an incredibly male-dominated, chauvinistic industry, kicking a** I might add, and postponed having kids until I was in my early thirties so that I could provide for my kids in a way that would make their lives easier for them, as well as take these years a bit easier for myself. And, oh by the way, this also includes working at and volunteering for many not-for-profits (that I am betting with a name like "Crunchtastic" you support) in an effort to give others better breaks than life has already brought them. My husband works his butt off to provide for his family and maintian the ability to give to the causes of his choice. Why should we feel guilty about lunch with our friends, play dates, going to the gym, or whatever the hell we want to do or attitude we want to have if it is not hurting anyone else. My priorities are not misplaced. My kids wear what they want to wear, and if that includes multiple tutus with a frigging fireman hat, I am glad they are not worried about what some jaded ninny's opinions are.

I'm not going to apologize for wanting an H-E-B over a Wal-Mart. The H-E-B will hire the same, or more, people than the Wal-Mart, take better care of them and the neighborhood, and provide a better product that is still within the budget of people who shop at Wal-Mart. Accept that lower-income families deserve access to good quality at good prices, and, just like high-income families, they know the difference.

For all you know, I may be one of the ones physically campaigning against Wal-Mart. You bet I started this thread to create public awareness and hopefully protests. I feel like Mr. Burns from The Simpsons, rubbing my hands together while saying, "Exxxxcellent."

Well said!!!

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If someone does not live in the Heights, they can't have an opinion about this? If you didn't want 'outsiders' to chime in, perhaps you should have stuck to posting on your neighborhood group.

Soul-less? Character-less? Now who's being self-righteous?

Jaded ninny?, that's being judgemental. Unless of course you personally know Ms. Crunch which I doubt.

She was gracious whereas you were not. Easy to see who has class and who doesn't.

No, I don't know her.

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If someone does not live in the Heights, they can't have an opinion about this? If you didn't want 'outsiders' to chime in, perhaps you should have stuck to posting on your neighborhood group.

Soul-less? Character-less? Now who's being self-righteous?

Jaded ninny?, that's being judgemental. Unless of course you personally know Ms. Crunch which I doubt.

She was gracious whereas you were not. Easy to see who has class and who doesn't.

No, I don't know her.

Listen, Little Frau, I never said that people couldn't have an opinion, and I certainly never said "outsiders" (your word, not mine.) What I hoped to express, be it not up to your standards, was that I don't appreciate anyone, Heights resident or not, passing judgement on my lifestyle nor assuming that I am a complete, self-serving idiot simply because I oppose a Wal-Mart in my neighborhood and may enjoy the occasional lunch with friends while, gasp, still managing to be my kids' main caretaker. But thanks for pointing out how gracious he/she (you assume this person is a she, you seem to be good at assuming) was to insult an entire population of the Heights. I thought "jaded ninny" (that one you can quote) was an appropriate turn of phrase. Feel free to disagree, but don't imply that you know any betterm because as you say, you don't know her.

But, getting back to topic of the resistance to WalMart, I will continue to stir the pot and fight the fights I choose based on my own accounting of what the situation is. You, and anyone else who so chooses, are welcome to disagree and even offer contradictory points of view. But don't come in here insulting me and mine and not expect a swipe back at you and yours. I would say that same philosophy is used by many o'HAIFer. Don't mess with our chickens.

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Which neighborhood association claims jurisdiction over this parcel?

Apparently the HHA if you believe the title of this thread.

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The hell we aren't! Well, at least for some things. Probably not meat and produce. Some of us are coupon clippers getting by on one income while moms take care of babies.

I agree. I will be shopping at the Walmart if they build it. I do admit I would rather have had an HEB there, but I don't make those decisions. And while I respect the right of the anti-Walmart folks to protest, I really think it's more NIMBY syndrome than anti-Walmart syndrome. I think truth be told, most of them would probably shop at a Walmart if they were near one (i.e. they had driven from the Heights out at Katy Mills Mall and realized they needed laundry detergent, animal crackers, hot-dog buns, a six-pack of Hanes briefs, and lightbulbs so they stop at the Walmart before heading back to town) . Others have probably not been in a Walmart Supercenter to see just how much variety they have and how much lower the prices are than Kroger. (Maybe there will be some price-pressure on Kroger as a result)

And with regard to the comments about "we already have Target and don't need Walmart" -- I personally am not a fan of Target. I think Target has the potential to draw the same demographic that the anti-Walmart folks point to as a Walmart "problem". Target definitely has higher prices than Walmart. And something about the smell of the Target "snack bar" really makes me sick when I walk in.

Edited by heights

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I live in the area and prefer to not see a Wal-Mart. If its built, i will simply not shop there...but I see a re-run of "Ashby Highrise" here... let me get the popcorn :rolleyes:

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I, too, feel compelled to go public with this message. Since you don't live in the Heights, why don't you take your crunchy-tastic, holier-than-thou, self-righteous and judgemental attitude, drag Niche along with you, and worry about something in your own soul-less and character-less neighborhoods.

We both live in Eastwood. You've obviously never been here, and thank goodness.

I worked my butt off to pay my way through college, worked in an incredibly male-dominated, chauvinistic industry, kicking a** I might add, and postponed having kids until I was in my early thirties so that I could provide for my kids in a way that would make their lives easier for them, as well as take these years a bit easier for myself. And, oh by the way, this also includes working at and volunteering for many not-for-profits (that I am betting with a name like "Crunchtastic" you support) in an effort to give others better breaks than life has already brought them. My husband works his butt off to provide for his family and maintian the ability to give to the causes of his choice. Why should we feel guilty about lunch with our friends, play dates, going to the gym, or whatever the hell we want to do or attitude we want to have if it is not hurting anyone else.

Good question. I'd appreciate the opportunity to pose the same line of assertions and questions, right back at you, with respect to my relationship to Wal-Mart.

My kids wear what they want to wear, and if that includes multiple tutus with a frigging fireman hat, I am glad they are not worried about what some jaded ninny's opinions are.

They may not be, but clearly you are, or it wouldn't merit a 371-word response. More to the point, if you didn't feel that you had something to be ashamed of, you wouldn't bother being insulted in the first place or taking the time to rationalize it.

I'm not going to apologize for wanting an H-E-B over a Wal-Mart.

Nobody's asking for an apology. From the sound of it, HEB is still in the market for a site. What do you have to complain about then; you'll get what you want; I'll get what I want.

For all you know, I may be one of the ones physically campaigning against Wal-Mart. You bet I started this thread to create public awareness and hopefully protests. I feel like Mr. Burns from The Simpsons, rubbing my hands together while saying, "Exxxxcellent."

Point-blank: will you be one of the ones physically campaigning against Wal-Mart?

Nobody cares how you feel. What are you doing? Really. Doing.

Edited by TheNiche

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I don't appreciate anyone, Heights resident or not, passing judgement on my lifestyle nor assuming that I am a complete, self-serving idiot simply because I oppose a Wal-Mart...

This from the person who lectured me on my own lifestyle! People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.

Apparently the HHA if you believe the title of this thread.

I don't. The OP got her facts wrong (and no surprise there).

Edited by TheNiche

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Apparently the HHA if you believe the title of this thread.

The HHA has gone on record as disowning the area south of I-10, with the singular exception of the section of Heights Boulevard extending to Washington.

http://www.houstonheights.org/map.htm

Map

Houston Heights

N. Shepherd on the west, Loop 610 on the north, N. Main/Studewood on the east and I-10 on the south. Area along Heights Blvd. that extends to Washington.

As such, this parcel to the west of Yale is not in the Heights. It is, as discussed over drinks last night, simply a brownfield, formerly occupied by a steel factory. Though the enlightened masses might never admit it, paving over soil poisoned by decades of toxic chemicals leaching into it from steel fabricating operations would actually improve the environment around the area, protecting area children from all manner of cancer causing and ADHD promoting compounds. One can only hope that concern for the children will outweigh any disdain for Walmart.

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Lots of hot emotions here. I haven't done any studies, but I would guess that at least half of Heights residents are older people who have been here a while who don't use internet forums, as opposed to younger upstarts with lots of opinions. I bet they would appreciate a nearby Walmart. It might be a heck of a fight for that greeter interview.

I still say anything that aims to tear down the apartments just south of I-10 is a good thing. Bonus that I can buy really cheap Christmas lights there.

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The houston chronicle article today said that "A development site plan obtained by the Houston Chronicle shows a 152,015-square-foot Walmart flanked by a parking lot for 664 cars and additional retail spaces for a bank, fast-food restaurant and other stores."

Has anyone seen any site plans or renderings?

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/business/7090711.html

This was on Swamplot:

walmart-heights-plan.jpg

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Lots of hot emotions here. I haven't done any studies, but I would guess that at least half of Heights residents are older people who have been here a while who don't use internet forums, as opposed to younger upstarts with lots of opinions. I bet they would appreciate a nearby Walmart. It might be a heck of a fight for that greeter interview.

I still say anything that aims to tear down the apartments just south of I-10 is a good thing. Bonus that I can buy really cheap Christmas lights there.

Actually, one half of the Heights is not old people. However, over half of the Greater Heights Super Neighborhood is Hispanic. Additionally, 56% of Greater Heights families make less than $50,000 per year, and would benefit greatly from the availability of low priced goods. There is definitely a disconnect between the actual demographic composition of those who live within the Greater Heights area and those with an idealized view of what the Heights is or should be. While some believe that the Heights is an enclave of enlightened upper middle class white citizens with an appreciation of historic homes, range fed meat and poultry, and products lovingly crafted by well paid workers and sold by local merchants who also wish to save the planet, the reality is far different. For every family with a $100,000 income affording them the opportunity to eschew big box stores not named Target, Whole Foods, or HEB and the luxury of installing Pella Architect Series windows on their historic bungalows with the 2 story addition in the back, there are 5 other families whose sub $50,000 incomes make them lucky to even replace the broken glass with a new pane. I do not know if the over $100,000 crowd is blissfully ignorant that over half their neighbors struggle mightily to pay the bills, or if they secretly wish to price them out of the neighborhood. I simply know that a new Walmart built on the other side of a hideously grotesque freeway overpass will not only not harm my property value, but also make the day to day lives of half of my neighbors marginally easier. For that reason, I am not opposed to a Walmart on the site of a former steel factory.

(Source: City of Houston Super Neighborhood Demographics)

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Actually, one half of the Heights is not old people. However, over half of the Greater Heights Super Neighborhood is Hispanic. Additionally, 56% of Greater Heights families make less than $50,000 per year, and would benefit greatly from the availability of low priced goods. There is definitely a disconnect between the actual demographic composition of those who live within the Greater Heights area and those with an idealized view of what the Heights is or should be. While some believe that the Heights is an enclave of enlightened upper middle class white citizens with an appreciation of historic homes, range fed meat and poultry, and products lovingly crafted by well paid workers and sold by local merchants who also wish to save the planet, the reality is far different. For every family with a $100,000 income affording them the opportunity to eschew big box stores not named Target, Whole Foods, or HEB and the luxury of installing Pella Architect Series windows on their historic bungalows with the 2 story addition in the back, there are 5 other families whose sub $50,000 incomes make them lucky to even replace the broken glass with a new pane. I do not know if the over $100,000 crowd is blissfully ignorant that over half their neighbors struggle mightily to pay the bills, or if they secretly wish to price them out of the neighborhood. I simply know that a new Walmart built on the other side of a hideously grotesque freeway overpass will not only not harm my property value, but also make the day to day lives of half of my neighbors marginally easier. For that reason, I am not opposed to a Walmart on the site of a former steel factory.

(Source: City of Houston Super Neighborhood Demographics)

You loooove to stereotype. I know a lot of people in that income range who do a lot for their community, who are giving and care about their community. I also know a lot of people in that income range who are total douchebags. I also know a lot people under $50k who are equally as douchy and are more elitist than their higher earning counter parts. Can we leave the stereotyping behind? It really doesn't add much to the discussion.

I live on a very mixed income block and I know that the elderly Hispanic couple across the street from me [who also have their special needs granddaughter living with them] will continue to shop at Fiesta and the stores across Main even if the Walmart is built. My white next door neighbor doesn't earn $100k or probably even $50k (he works as a band photographer) but shops at Whole Foods sometimes, and Fiesta other times. He loves Whole Foods probably because he is the kind of guy that thinks preservatives are a government conspiracy and that the foil wrappers in Velveeta can track your movements for the FBI. If you met him, you would certainly not think there was anything elitist about him even though he is primarily a WF shopper. Ironic that my neighbor on the other side is a DEA agent. The middle aged, gay, white petroleum engineers on the corner might shop at Walmart but they might not. They don't offer many political opinions but based on the careful renovation job they did on their house they're obviously jerks, so I guess we'll say no. Of all the people on my block, all of whom I know, the most likely to shop at Walmart is probably the newest couple- 20 something, DINKS, with small dogs in a 2/1.

I am also curious to see how the demographics you cite are going to change when the new census numbers are released. When the numbers the SN has were put together, they were most likely based on the 2000 census at which point an area like Cottage Grove was 100% low earning and minority. That area is probably only 50% low earning now. I am not saying this is a good thing, but I think the numbers will need to be adjusted. Just like the Target wasn't made a Super because of old demographics, Walmart may be looking at those same demographics and getting a false picture of it supposed clientele. I'm not saying the townhouse hell Cottage Grove has become is a good thing, but it's a very real thing.

But I am curious if the Walmart supporters think that Walmart is the only option? Are you just being so adamant because you don't like it when people have contrary opinions? For example, if this thread wasn't about Walmart, but rather was titled "What would you like to see if you could choose anything for development on this parcel?" What if Walmart were never mentioned and you were starting with a clean slate? Would Walmart be the 1st thing that would come to mind for you? Or would you have had a different vision? Maybe mixed income housing like they have on the east side of Austin? Maybe a small hotel that would employ 300 ppl, plus a restaurant employing 100 more and a few shops, employing 100+ more, all totaling more jobs and generally higher income, even in the lowest positions (hosuekeepers, busboys) for low earners, than Walmart would thus affording these people a better standard of living. If they already live in the area and shop at Walmart, they can continue to go to the (assuming 290) location and still have more pocket money at the end of the day. You might not find it more convenient, but it's about jobs, right? So, rather than 600 parking spaces for one big box, they have a garage with 600+ spaces and multiple businesses, creating more jobs than a Walmart would. Would you want that? Because that is what most of the anti-Walmart people want. We think there are better options out there.

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So, rather than 600 parking spaces for one big box, they have a garage with 600+ spaces and multiple businesses, creating more jobs than a Walmart would. Would you want that? Because that is what most of the anti-Walmart people want. We think there are better options out there.

There aren't any better options out there. Not realistic ones. When will see with open eyes what the true state of the economy (and commercial real estate and finance, specifically). It is time to adjust your dated utopian visions of mixed-use, town-square, quasi-urban wholesomeness for all. Quit being willfully ignorant of reality.

This is the reality: Houston Pavillions: mainly empty. West End: almost entirely empty. City Centre: mostly empty. Regent Square: dirt. For three years, dirt. And consider that Houston is in better shape than nearly all of the country. The Costco development got it right on Richmond and would like to see Wal-Mart do the same thing. I think it's unlikely though.

Like Niche said, the growth is coming from well capitalized grocery and big box retail. Dream all you want, there's not going to be mixed use boutique hotel, gymboree/slash whatever built on that large a site. It is not economically viable now and it won't be for years. Right now this country is saturated by retail that people aren't buying. Wal-Mart will bring things people will buy, and a net gain of jobs to the area, period. None of the other big boxes ringing the Heights forced businesses and jobs out. Not Lowes and HD on the north loop, not Target, not the new giant Kroger.

You are using a 20 year old argument pertinent to small town America and it simply doesn't apply in Houston, Texas. Protest Wal Mart labor practices all you want, but understand that keeping people under 40 hours a week is the rule, not the exception, in large retailers. Shop at Target and pretend that the cute sundress you just bought was not made in Ecuador by near-slave labor. Delude yourself into thinking that HEB is a Chinese-plastic free zone. Do whatever makes you feel right and good. But for the love of god, don't keep pushing this non-argument that a Yale St Wal Mart will take jobs and destroy businesses. At this location, in this city, it will not.

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There aren't any better options out there. Not realistic ones. When will see with open eyes what the true state of the economy (and commercial real estate and finance, specifically). It is time to adjust your dated utopian visions of mixed-use, town-square, quasi-urban wholesomeness for all. Quit being willfully ignorant of reality.

This is the reality: Houston Pavillions: mainly empty. West End: almost entirely empty. City Centre: mostly empty. Regent Square: dirt. For three years, dirt. And consider that Houston is in better shape than nearly all of the country. The Costco development got it right on Richmond and would like to see Wal-Mart do the same thing. I think it's unlikely though.

Like Niche said, the growth is coming from well capitalized grocery and big box retail. Dream all you want, there's not going to be mixed use boutique hotel, gymboree/slash whatever built on that large a site. It is not economically viable now and it won't be for years. Right now this country is saturated by retail that people aren't buying. Wal-Mart will bring things people will buy, and a net gain of jobs to the area, period. None of the other big boxes ringing the Heights forced businesses and jobs out. Not Lowes and HD on the north loop, not Target, not the new giant Kroger.

You are using a 20 year old argument pertinent to small town America and it simply doesn't apply in Houston, Texas. Protest Wal Mart labor practices all you want, but understand that keeping people under 40 hours a week is the rule, not the exception, in large retailers. Shop at Target and pretend that the cute sundress you just bought was not made in Ecuador by near-slave labor. Delude yourself into thinking that HEB is a Chinese-plastic free zone. Do whatever makes you feel right and good. But for the love of god, don't keep pushing this non-argument that a Yale St Wal Mart will take jobs and destroy businesses. At this location, in this city, it will not.

If you'd actually go back and read all my comments in this thread rather than just assuming you know what I believe based on the stereotype you have of me, you would see that I have said more than once that I don't think Walmart will take business from the local retailers in the Heights. BUT i also don't think it's going to be a retail and job utopia for all the disenfranchised of the inner loop, either. that's equally as foolish and also short sighted.

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What if Walmart were never mentioned and you were starting with a clean slate? Would Walmart be the 1st thing that would come to mind for you? Or would you have had a different vision? Maybe mixed income housing like they have on the east side of Austin? Maybe a small hotel that would employ 300 ppl, plus a restaurant employing 100 more and a few shops, employing 100+ more, all totaling more jobs and generally higher income, even in the lowest positions (hosuekeepers, busboys) for low earners, than Walmart would thus affording these people a better standard of living. If they already live in the area and shop at Walmart, they can continue to go to the (assuming 290) location and still have more pocket money at the end of the day. You might not find it more convenient, but it's about jobs, right? So, rather than 600 parking spaces for one big box, they have a garage with 600+ spaces and multiple businesses, creating more jobs than a Walmart would. Would you want that? Because that is what most of the anti-Walmart people want. We think there are better options out there.

Name one (that isn't a pipe dream).

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BUT i also don't think it's going to be a retail and job utopia for all the disenfranchised of the inner loop, either. that's equally as foolish and also short sighted.

That's your opinion. Mine is that a vacant lot sells nothing, provides next-to-nothing to the tax base, and employs only immigrant labor at below-minimum-wage compensation to occasionally cut the grass.

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Actually, one half of the Heights is not old people. However, over half of the Greater Heights Super Neighborhood is Hispanic. Additionally, 56% of Greater Heights families make less than $50,000 per year, and would benefit greatly from the availability of low priced goods. There is definitely a disconnect between the actual demographic composition of those who live within the Greater Heights area and those with an idealized view of what the Heights is or should be. While some believe that the Heights is an enclave of enlightened upper middle class white citizens with an appreciation of historic homes, range fed meat and poultry, and products lovingly crafted by well paid workers and sold by local merchants who also wish to save the planet, the reality is far different. For every family with a $100,000 income affording them the opportunity to eschew big box stores not named Target, Whole Foods, or HEB and the luxury of installing Pella Architect Series windows on their historic bungalows with the 2 story addition in the back, there are 5 other families whose sub $50,000 incomes make them lucky to even replace the broken glass with a new pane. I do not know if the over $100,000 crowd is blissfully ignorant that over half their neighbors struggle mightily to pay the bills, or if they secretly wish to price them out of the neighborhood. I simply know that a new Walmart built on the other side of a hideously grotesque freeway overpass will not only not harm my property value, but also make the day to day lives of half of my neighbors marginally easier. For that reason, I am not opposed to a Walmart on the site of a former steel factory.

(Source: City of Houston Super Neighborhood Demographics)

Great post Red. I know when I drive through gentrifying neighborhoods inside the loop looking for houses to buy I tend to not even see the low income homes that are intermingled with all the new townhouses. We don't want to think about people that are not as well off as we are so they become kind of invisible. If I don't always see them then there are probably a lot of other people out there just like me. When I ride the bus down I-10 in the morning I see them. This area of town is full of low-income families. It always strikes me as interesting that those giant presidential heads that are a little over a mile from the proposed Wal-Mart site are surounded by discarded mattresses and homeless camps. River Oaks this area is not.

If people don't want to see or live around poor people then The Heights is not your neighborhood. You should move to Bunker Hill, Piney Point or River Oaks.

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You should probably read the last sentence of post 188 again. I am not opposed to Walmart building on a brownfield near (not in) the Heights. That is a far different statement than being a Walmart supporter. Neither am I opposed to a boutique hotel, a restaurant and a few shops, though I haven't a clue who would want to stay in said hotel, and there are already more restaurants and shops on Washington Avenue than I could ever hope to visit, so those options would be of no use to me. But, this is where we differ. Just because I would never visit a boutique hotel down the street does not mean I am opposed to its existence. Your posts make it clear that you oppose Walmart because you would not shop there.

The new reality is that many Americans can no longer afford the facade that HGTV and Target have pushed for years. They cannot afford to finance the facade with easy credit card debt. In light of this new reality, I find it hypocritical for me to oppose the building of a Walmart that caters to those who can not afford the facade. Therefore, I do not oppose it. I further cannot think of any store that would better serve the needs of those who cannot afford boutique hotels and restaurants. HEB would be nice, but there is room for one of those as well. Ideally, both will be built.

One last thing about stereotypes. My opinion, and those of others with whom you disagree, are not based on stereotypes, but rather your own words, those typed by you on this very forum, indeed in this very topic. I actually know you from the time when you did not express these opinions. The picture of you painted by your posts is actually a NEW one, created by the thoughts you've expressed on this and other threads recently. It is not a well-worn cliched stereotype, but rather a new image that you yourself have presented. I am merely expressing my surprise at this new image, as well as refusing to conform to the image that the new and improved Heights resident is supposed to convey.

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There aren't any better options out there. Not realistic ones. When will see with open eyes what the true state of the economy (and commercial real estate and finance, specifically). It is time to adjust your dated utopian visions of mixed-use, town-square, quasi-urban wholesomeness for all. Quit being willfully ignorant of reality.

This is the reality: Houston Pavillions: mainly empty. West End: almost entirely empty. City Centre: mostly empty. Regent Square: dirt. For three years, dirt. And consider that Houston is in better shape than nearly all of the country. The Costco development got it right on Richmond and would like to see Wal-Mart do the same thing. I think it's unlikely though.

Like Niche said, the growth is coming from well capitalized grocery and big box retail. Dream all you want, there's not going to be mixed use boutique hotel, gymboree/slash whatever built on that large a site. It is not economically viable now and it won't be for years. Right now this country is saturated by retail that people aren't buying. Wal-Mart will bring things people will buy, and a net gain of jobs to the area, period. None of the other big boxes ringing the Heights forced businesses and jobs out. Not Lowes and HD on the north loop, not Target, not the new giant Kroger.

You are using a 20 year old argument pertinent to small town America and it simply doesn't apply in Houston, Texas. Protest Wal Mart labor practices all you want, but understand that keeping people under 40 hours a week is the rule, not the exception, in large retailers. Shop at Target and pretend that the cute sundress you just bought was not made in Ecuador by near-slave labor. Delude yourself into thinking that HEB is a Chinese-plastic free zone. Do whatever makes you feel right and good. But for the love of god, don't keep pushing this non-argument that a Yale St Wal Mart will take jobs and destroy businesses. At this location, in this city, it will not.

Have you been to City Centre in the past 6 months...? It is thriving! I've had business lunch meetings there and the whole area is packed and I've also met friends that live out that way for a weekend dinner and it was a zoo. They have activities and events there all of the time. Do some fact checking.

Also - It is not a 20-year old argument as there are the same objections going on in Chicago recently:

CHICAGO, May 24, 2010 (AScribe Newswire) -- A coalition of labor, community, and religious groups is pressing city council members to vote "no" Wednesday on zoning variances for Chicago's first two Wal-Mart stores -- unless the company agrees to a community benefits agreement (CBA) promising living wage jobs with benefits, local hiring, nondiscrimination, and neutrality on union organizing -- and forswearing predatory pricing.

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Actually, one half of the Heights is not old people. However, over half of the Greater Heights Super Neighborhood is Hispanic. Additionally, 56% of Greater Heights families make less than $50,000 per year, and would benefit greatly from the availability of low priced goods. There is definitely a disconnect between the actual demographic composition of those who live within the Greater Heights area and those with an idealized view of what the Heights is or should be. While some believe that the Heights is an enclave of enlightened upper middle class white citizens with an appreciation of historic homes, range fed meat and poultry, and products lovingly crafted by well paid workers and sold by local merchants who also wish to save the planet, the reality is far different. For every family with a $100,000 income affording them the opportunity to eschew big box stores not named Target, Whole Foods, or HEB and the luxury of installing Pella Architect Series windows on their historic bungalows with the 2 story addition in the back, there are 5 other families whose sub $50,000 incomes make them lucky to even replace the broken glass with a new pane. I do not know if the over $100,000 crowd is blissfully ignorant that over half their neighbors struggle mightily to pay the bills, or if they secretly wish to price them out of the neighborhood. I simply know that a new Walmart built on the other side of a hideously grotesque freeway overpass will not only not harm my property value, but also make the day to day lives of half of my neighbors marginally easier. For that reason, I am not opposed to a Walmart on the site of a former steel factory.

(Source: City of Houston Super Neighborhood Demographics)

Ok, wrong demographic but the same point. People around us could use a Walmart ,and the ones who could aren't likely hanging around internet forums.

But I am curious if the Walmart supporters think that Walmart is the only option? Are you just being so adamant because you don't like it when people have contrary opinions? For example, if this thread wasn't about Walmart, but rather was titled "What would you like to see if you could choose anything for development on this parcel?" What if Walmart were never mentioned and you were starting with a clean slate? Would Walmart be the 1st thing that would come to mind for you? Or would you have had a different vision? Maybe mixed income housing like they have on the east side of Austin? Maybe a small hotel that would employ 300 ppl, plus a restaurant employing 100 more and a few shops, employing 100+ more, all totaling more jobs and generally higher income, even in the lowest positions (hosuekeepers, busboys) for low earners, than Walmart would thus affording these people a better standard of living. If they already live in the area and shop at Walmart, they can continue to go to the (assuming 290) location and still have more pocket money at the end of the day. You might not find it more convenient, but it's about jobs, right? So, rather than 600 parking spaces for one big box, they have a garage with 600+ spaces and multiple businesses, creating more jobs than a Walmart would. Would you want that? Because that is what most of the anti-Walmart people want. We think there are better options out there.

Oooh, I love this game. My unrealistic list (ranked in order of preference) is:

1. Move my office from Pearland to this site

2. Schlitterbahn Heights (it's freakin hot, and white oak bayou is basically ready for the lazy river ride)

3, The biggest indoor (air conditioned) rock climbing gym in the world

4. New Belgium Brewing Company opens a new brewery, posts brewmaster position at the same salary I make now

5. Academy or some golf super store, I could just look at stuff and try things out all day

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But I am curious if the Walmart supporters think that Walmart is the only option? Are you just being so adamant because you don't like it when people have contrary opinions? For example, if this thread wasn't about Walmart, but rather was titled "What would you like to see if you could choose anything for development on this parcel?" What if Walmart were never mentioned and you were starting with a clean slate? Would Walmart be the 1st thing that would come to mind for you?

Actually, when they were clearing the lot where Target is on Sawyer, I was hoping it was a Walmart going in there.

By the way, I found this on Walmart's web site: "Supercenters average 185000 square feet and employ about 350 or more associates."

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Also - It is not a 20-year old argument as there are the same objections going on in Chicago recently:

How does that retort demonstrate that it is not a 20-year-old argument?

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Name one (that isn't a pipe dream).

Well, the HEB that Walmart outbid is a start...

For the AntiWalmarters (over 1000 on FB now), How Spring Valley stopped Walmart

""The impact on real estate values is difficult to measure," 18-year resident John Byerly told the nine-member commission. "But I can tell you that in the 30 years I have been selling real estate, every buyer I dealt with did not want to be anywhere near a situation like this store."

Spring Valley resident Tom Rusnek supported his neighbor's contention with a 10-minute slide show that received a standing ovation from the boisterous crowd.

Rusnek's slides displayed images of Wal-Mart stores in the Houston area. His presentation showed leaking oil and battery acid, piled up storage containers, poorly maintained landscaping, and piles of trash and old tires.

"Property values in Houston last year went up 9.2 percent, and the property values in Spring Valley were up 10.9 percent last year," Rusnek said. "However, last year the property located adjacent to the Dunvale store dropped 11.27 percent."

A second slide show was presented by Bruce Spain. His presentation refuted an independent safety study that was presented last week.

Spain said the study did not take into account the types of crimes that would be committed with a supercenter, and failed to account for crimes such as forgery, vandalism and harassment.

"The study's proposed increase in police officers will consume more than half the tax revenue Wal-Mart will bring to Spring Valley," he said. "And if we meet the required protection of 168 hours the study suggest, then all of the tax revenue will be gone. There will be no new money."

Spain, who said he is a Wal-mart stock holder, was unequivocal in his opposition."

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