Tunney Seeks Changes In East Lakeview Wal-Mart Plan

Many Neighbors Still Seek To Keep Retail Giant Out

CHICAGO (CBS) — Ald. Tom Tunney (44th) says he wants to see some revisions to the plan for a Wal-Mart store in the East Lakeview neighborhood, while community activists still hope to keep the store out altogether.

In a statement on the 44th Ward service office Web site Wednesday, Tunney said he had heard from many neighbors about the proposed Wal-Mart in the Broadway at Surf retail complex in the 2800 block of North Broadway.

The Wal-Mart store would occupy a vacant storefront where a PetSmart closed last year, but would also displace and force the closure of an existing store – the Cost Plus World Market at 2844 N. Broadway, which has been in business since the Broadway at Surf opened in 1997.

“I understand that to many neighbors, the prospect of a Wal-Mart in the 44th Ward is unacceptable, no matter what the size of the proposed store. I have also heard from neighbors who would like to see a low-cost grocery store at that location,” Tunney said on his Web site. “The City of Chicago cannot legally exclude a business from entering into a tenant agreement if that tenant conforms to underlying zoning.”

Tunney says he says he is seeking commitments and limitations from Wal-Mart about the proposed store, including a cap on the maximum square footage in the store, and a commitment that the retailer will not expand to more storefronts in the Broadway at Surf building or other nearby sites.

He also wants to see Wal-Mart commit to selling a higher percentage of groceries and fresh produce at the store. At a meeting of the South East Lake View Neighbors Association (SELVN), Wal-Mart spokesman John Bisio said the store would carry food and produce items, beauty products, pharmacy items, and “limited” general merchandise such as computer printer paper.

Tunney is also asking for a dedicated traffic management plan that would limit delivery times and would need to receive the approval of the Chicago Department of Transportation, and a community benefits program under which Wal-Mart would assist local non-profits.

The alderman is also still considering a proposal to downzone the block of Broadway where the retail complex is located, which would limit any new store opening in the area to 25,000 square feet. The current plan for the proposed Wal-Mart is about 30,000 square feet.

The owners and real estate managers of the Broadway at Surf building have objected to the downzoning proposals, on the grounds that it might keep out future tenants that require more space. Dick Spinell, principal of building property manager Mid-America Real Estate, has said he hopes someday to see a Nordstrom Rack or a Saks store locate in the complex.

Meanwhile, opposition to the Wal-Mart remains stiff in the neighborhood.

walmart Tunney Seeks Changes In East Lakeview Wal Mart Plan

Signs against a proposed Wal-Mart have been popping up in the Lakeview neighborhood. (CBS)

The “Stop the Lakeview/Lincoln Park Wal-Mart Facebook group has swelled past 800 members, and an online petition has been circulated against Wal-Mart coming into the community at all. Opponents are also collecting petition signatures from neighborhood residents in person.

At the Monday night meeting, about 150 people attended, most wearing buttons or stickers protesting the arrival of Wal-Mart. After Bisio gave a presentation about the plan, dozens of people lined up to voice their opposition to Wal-Mart moving into the neighborhood.

Opponents expressed concerns that a Wal-Mart would drive out small businesses and cost the neighborhood jobs, criticized the retailer’s business and labor practices, and worried about traffic congestion and delivery trucks in the area. They also emphasized that unlike other communities that Wal-Mart has said it plans to enter in the city, East Lakeview is not a “food desert.”

The Lakeview East Chamber of Commerce has also come out against the proposed Wal-Mart, over concerns about its effect on smaller businesses. At the Monday night meeting, chamber executive director Maureen Martino said small merchants constitute 80 percent of the businesses in the neighborhood.

Martino said Wal-Mart had not offered research to show an East Lakeview store would be successful, or the impact it would have on small businesses.

A couple of people spoke in support of Wal-Mart at the Monday night meeting, but only a few people clapped after the supporters’ comments, while many Wal-Mart opponents generated thunderous applause at the meeting.

Meanwhile, reports of possible plans for yet another Wal-Mart store have surfaced. On Wednesday, Crain’s Chicago Business reported that the retail giant is seeking to open a small-scale Wal-Mart Express store in the former Pearl Art Supplies store, at 225 W. Chicago Ave.

Wal-Mart has officially secured plans for six stores of various sizes across the city. These include Supercenters at 111th Street and the Bishop Ford Freeway and at 83rd Street and Stewart Avenue; mid-size Neighborhood Market stores at 76th Street and Ashland Avenue and in the Presidential Towers, 555 W. Madison St.; and convenience store-style Wal-Mart Express stores at 71st Street and Western Avenue, and in the same shopping center as one of the Supercenters at 83rd Street and Holland Road.

A revised East Lakeview Wal-Mart plan is expected at a SELVN community meeting on May 9 at the Wellington Avenue Church, 615 W. Wellington Ave.

CBS Chicago Web Producer Adam Harrington contributed to this report.

  • Dan Boland

    Ald Tunney as usual is biding his time until he can find a way for the proposal to benefit him personally. Don’t be surprised when you see that Walmart selling Ann Sather Brownies and Cinammon Rolls ! Why doesnt Walmart just take over the Borders location @ Clark and Diversey, it would actually be a larger space, closer to the new Trader Joe’s opening across the street on Diversey and Orchard and would not displace any other businesses.

    • Molly D.

      Well said! I hadn’t realized that the Walmart proposal would displace World Market. That store is really nice to have in the neighborhood, and it would be a shame if it were displaced.

      • Bruce Alan Beal

        Recent reports from within World Market suggest they are not leaving of their own choice! They are being FORCED OUT out by the landlord – who has Walmarts in several othar buildings he controls. It is starting to smell like the jerk who runs Mid-American is the true villian in this saga. They have several other buildings in the area – and lives in the Chicagoland area.

        The downzoing would have NO negative impact on this building and it would protect the community by limiting Walmart to what they claim is thier current plan. We have no more responsability to protect the landlord’s possible, undemonstrateed need for the current zoning in the future. We do have a responsability to protect the current community interests from the probably lies of Mid-Amercia and Walmart.

        Alderman Tunney: PLEASE pass the downzoing immediately.

      • Bruce Alan Beal

        Recent reports from within World Market suggest they are not leaving of their own choice! They are being FORCED OUT out by the landlord – who has Walmarts in several othar buildings he controls. It is starting to smell like the jerk who runs Mid-American is the true villian in this saga. They have several other buildings in the area – and lives in the Chicagoland area.

  • Mike

    I’m in support of the Walmart. I live in East lakeview and i think it would be a great addition. There was suppose to be a Dominics store going up 2 blocks south of the Walmart site which has been sitting vacant for 6 years now. If Tom Tunney wants to get involved in a cause, he should be helping get that lot developed. The Cost Plus can relocate to a different part of the neighborhood where there is plenty of vacant spaces for it. I wish they would build one of these stores in the old Borders space in Uptown as well.

    • Dead Dominick

      The Dominicks project was killed bc the developer was trying to build condos over it.

    • eje

      i don’t think the dominick’s site is within tunney’s ward. personally i don’t care if wall mark opens in lakeview or not, i wont shop there. it sounds like the cost plus is looking for a way out of its lease there.

  • Steve

    East Lakeview will go back to being the toilet it was in the 70’s thanks to Walmart. Nothing good comes out of Walmart except for low wages, no benefits and the cheapest products ever made.

    • Bud Keyes

      Target is also non-union!!! Why no protests against Target??? Wal-Mart pays the same if not higher wages than Jewel and Doninc’s and employees don’t have to pay union dues!! Why no protests against Jewel to pay a living wage????

      • Really?!?

        NOT the same wages and benefits, Bud. Gotta stop watching Fox and reading NewsMax

      • leo

        Bud, “same if not higher wages” — don’t make us laugh.

  • NoWalmartInMyNeighborhood

    This is crazy! We’re getting a Trader Joe’s; why on earth do we need a Wal-Mart!

  • Bruce Alan Beal
  • cassue


  • Bud Keyes

    Lakeview Residents are idiots. Target is also non-union; why no protests?? Wal-Mart pays the same if not higher wages than Jewel or Dominics and without having to pay union dues!! Why no protests against Jewel to pay a living wage??? It is a grocery store in your neighborhood. Why is there a problem???

    • Really?!?

      NOT the same wages and benefits, Bud. Gotta stop watching Fox and reading NewsMax.

      And, wasn’t the first time enough?

      • Edwin


        So what is so great about the wages and benefits at Jewel? Did you know that they have a lifetime cap on their health insurance plan of $500K? So if you ever have heart problems, cancer, etc. it’s pretty easy to run up $500k in medical bills. Wal Mart has NO lifetime cap on their health insurance and employees are charged less than their union counterparts.


      • Bud Keyes

        My brother works at Jewel at the Deli Counter. He makes a whopping $9.75 an hour after 12 months. Is that a living wage to you?? after a year at WalMart, most employes make $10 or more. Are you going to protest Jewel or are you just another hypocritical idiot??? I don’t watch Fox and I am a democrat, just not a dumb or ignorant one like you!!!

    • Really

      Bud, Bud,

      Just give it up. Why don’t you insist your imaginary brother just go work for WalMart, and leave the astroturf postings to others that do it better.

      • bUD kEYES

        You are an idiot and have no idea what you are talking about. How many people do you know that work at Jewel or Walmart??? Probably none. Get your head out of your liberal a$$ of yours!!!

  • Edwin

    Why is everyone against Wal Mart, yet welcomes Home Depot, Target and Walgreens with open arms? Traders Joe’s sells strictly food, the Wal Mart would have a wider assortment of merchandise competing directly with Walgreens and CVS who as we all know charges 2x for everything. I personally worked for Wal Mart and when I left I was making $21/hour, had 401k, profit sharing, AD&D, Life Insurance, STD, LTD and Health. I paid $50 a month for health insurance with a $300 deductible. I LOVE shopping at World Market and I don’t see Wal Mart taking any market share from them. They are on the opposite ends of the spectrum in terms of merchandise assortment.

  • No Walmart!

    Ald. Tunney will stop at nothing to drive Lakeview into the ground. It’s already going down hill. In fact in the last 3-5 years you can see the change for the worse! Although Walmart will offer a lower cost alternative, the Mom and Pop stores will not be able to compete with this and eventually shut their doors. Yes, let’s create a monopoly with all the big box stores. That sounds like a great idea! (smh!) This is not good for our neighborhood!

  • Edwin

    Lakeview residents want the trendy Trader Joe’s (German owned, same as Aldi), Whole Foods type stores in their neighborhood. They are perceived as being more upscale, yet they don’t pay upscale wages or benefits. Or maybe the Lakeview residents don’t want black and brown people coming into their neighborhood to shop? I agree with Bud. If the residents were fair and balanced and would stop believing everything pro union newspapers write about Wal Mart, they wouldn’t be so opposed. Do union based stores like Jewel and Dominics offer anything non union stores like Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, Target, etc. don’t offer?

    • Really?!?

      Dude, gotta stop huffing, it’s ruining your brain. Your info is off in several places, but, at least you admit to being a WalMart employee. Not all of your brethren are as forthcoming when they post.

  • Edwin

    Wal Mart will NOT drive Lakeview into the ground. There are plenty of mom and pop stores who specialize in merchandise and services that the scaled down Wal Mart won’t offer. Remember, its not a 150,000 sq ft. Super Center, its a 25,000 sq ft. neighborhood market. Think of it as a big Walgreens or CVS. Who by the way, are both non union and NOBODY every gripes about them.

    • No Walmart!!

      You have no data to support any of your claims accept for your all your hot air. Look at the numbers you idiot. When they opened DSW, five local shoe stores were closed within the year. You can take all 25,000 square feet of YOUR beloved Walmart and shove it!

  • Edwin


    Please tell me where my info is off at least in 1 place. Since you can’t give any specifics I’m guessing there aren’t any.


    • Yes, Really.

      Dominick’s and Jewel offer better wage/benefit packages than your list, though it’s a sliding scale, there’s not a pro-union newspaper in this town, and you ASSumed knowledge about me, and you know what that makes you?

      Dude, you’re a paid poster, and people recognize that, and believe you BS as much as they believe Scott Walker’s.

      • Edwin

        I’m still waiting for you to let me know specifically what I’m wrong about. You sound like our president speaking in vague and non specific terms. I guess where the rubber meets the road you really have no substance to your side of the discussion. Detroit is a prime example of what happens when Unions get everything they ask for. Short term, they take care of a few people, but in the long term they can be sustained and they bring everyone else down with them. Why don’t you post your name?

      • Edwin

        LOL, yes when one ASSumes, it makes and ASS out of YOU and ME. So I guess we are both in the same boat now Really!!!!!

      • No, just U

        Sorry, you’d probably want the cheapest, non-union captain, so, you’re alone in the ASSu boat.

  • Edwin


    First of all, I have no idea who Scott Walker is and if you read my posting, I am a FORMER employee. I work for a not for profit organization now. Please give me some specifics on the wage/benefit package Jewel offers. I have no skin in this game, I don’t even live in Lakeview. I’m just tired of people making decisions based on inaccurate facts. What does Jewel offer their employees that Wal Mart doesn’t? By the way, my father is a retired UAW employee for Ford and my mother is a retired school teacher. Why don’t you post your name in your comments Really? !

    • Kevin

      Hah. Scott Walker would be the governor of Wisconsin. You know, that state about an hour north of you? Have you not watched the news in the past couple months?

  • http://thesecrettablet.com/uaresuccessful/?p=7307 Lastest Plan News | .

    […] Tunney Seeks Changes In East Lakeview Wal-Mart Plan Ald. Tom Tunney (44th) says he wants to see some revisions to the plan for a Wal-Mart store in the East Lakeview neighborhood, while community activists still hope to keep the store out altogether. Read more on CBS Chicago […]

  • Kate

    I support the downzoning amendment that is sitting on Alderman Tunney’s desk at the moment. I live under 1000 feet from the proposed Walmart location and my entire condo association supports the downzoning as well. We have written letters, signed the online petition and hope to see some neighbors out with clipboards this weekend to sign the offline petition as well. Let’s work together to make sure that Walmart is limited to developing a 25,000 sq ft neighborhood grocery store and cannot expand to a 75,000 sq ft City Supercenter.

  • http://toryburchoutlet.extendedstay7.com/tunney-seeks-changes-in-east-lakeview-wal-mart-plan.html Tunney Seeks Changes In East Lakeview Wal-Mart Plan | Tory Burch Outlet

    […] neighborhood, while community activists still hope to keep the store completely. Read more on CBS Chicago Deal Divas hit up the International Plaza, to celebrate a special birthday Deal Divas We are busy […]

  • TonyMonterey

    Seems like the Wal-mart will fail if so many people are going to refuse to shop there?

    We had the same anti-Wal-mart stuff here and two years later the parking lot is jammed from 8 AM until 10 PM.

  • http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2011/04/21/neighbors-to-protest-east-lakeview-wal-mart-plan/ Neighbors To Protest East Lakeview Wal-Mart Plan « Neighbors To Protest East Lakeview Wal-Mart Plan « CBS Chicago

    […] Last week, Ald. Tom Tunney (44th) acknowledged neighbors’ concerns, but said some neighbors had also spoken out to him in favor of the Wal-Mart. […]

blog comments powered by Disqus
Daily Weather Reports Delivered To You!SIGN UP NOW: Get daily weather reports every morning from meteorologist Steve Baskerville!
CBS Sports Radio RoundupGet your latest sports talk from across the country.

Listen Live