Report: Alderman Opposes River North Wal-Mart

CHICAGO (CBS) — Another planned Wal-Mart store in the city is meeting with opposition, this time reportedly from the local alderman.

In a report this week, Crain’s Chicago Business said Ald. Brendan Reilly (42nd) had come out in opposition to a proposed Wal-Mart Express store in the old Pearl Art Supplies space at 225 W. Chicago Ave.

Reilly said he was concerned about the impact on traffic and parking, and the proximity to busy CTA bus lines and ‘L’ stops, Crain’s reported.

The alderman said he already told Wal-Mart about his opposition, and has offered to help find them another more suitable location close to downtown, according to Crain’s.

Reilly has not addressed the issue on his Facebook page, although at least one opponent has done so, making reference to traffic, parking and “900,000 Wal-Mart plastic bags blowing around our hood.”

Wal-Mart has not confirmed it is planning to move into the space, but an earlier Crain’s report said the retailer would open a 14,300 square-foot convenience store-style outlet in the space at Chicago Avenue and Franklin Street. There is no lease finalized.

But plans are far more concrete for another space farther north in the East Lakeview neighborhood where Wal-Mart wants to locate, and where neighbors have come out in force to keep the retailer out.

The approximately 30,000 square-foot Wal-Mart Market would open in the Broadway at Surf retail complex in the 2800 block of North Broadway, in two empty storefronts that previously housed a Wolf Camera and a Pet Smart, and an occupied storefront from which a Cost Plus World Market store would be forced out.

Neighbors have said a Wal-Mart would decimate the many small businesses that line Broadway, Diversey Parkway and other major streets nearby.

They have also expressed concern about the business and labor practices at the world’s largest retailer. Some have also said the store could cost the neighborhood more jobs than it would create — particularly since an existing store would have to close to make way for the planned Wal-Mart.

At the meeting of the South East Lake View Neighbors Association (SELVN) last week, Bisio presented the planned Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market as serving a need for a low-cost store in the neighborhood. He said the store would carry food and produce items, beauty products, pharmacy items, and “limited” general merchandise such as computer printer paper.

Bisio met with a mostly hostile crowd at the meeting, most of whom wore stickers or buttons protesting the planned Wal-Mart.

Ald. Tom Tunney (44th) has acknowledged neighbors’ concerns, but said some neighbors had also spoken out to him in favor of the Wal-Mart. He also emphasized the city cannot legally stop Wal-Mart from renting the space and moving in, if the retailer conforms to zoning restrictions.

The planned East Lakeview Wal-Mart will be discussed at another SELVN community meeting on May 9 at the Wellington Avenue Church, 615 W. Wellington Ave.

  • tom Sharp

    If traffic problems are the big issue, how about getting rid of the phony ‘Loading Zones’ with their ridiculous time frames that take away thousands of parking spots all over town, including River North. Then you can get rid of Da Mayor’s planters in the middle of many major streets and create extra driving lanes. In short, Wal Mart isn’t the problem, the City of Chicago is the problem.

  • marsares

    Now that republicrats have sent all the good jobs overseas, ’cause their corporate donors TOLD them to, we can all work at WalMart.

  • marsares

    Oh wait, I forgot this is Chicago where you have to pay all the Corruptocrats and their underlings the tievingunionleaders before they give you a shot at opening a business, kind of like Seat licenses at the stadium.

    • Tell the truth

      Tell the truth dumb A$$. Don’t blame just the republicans. Blame the unions too. If WalMart wants to open 10 stores in Chicago, why not. This is America and if they have the money and business experience, let them do it. Competition is good. Marsares are you really that stupid?

  • Keith Cason

    Here is another situation where jobs are offered but the employed people are steering them away. I smell undercover racism – most of these oppositioners are from neighborhoods where the “affluent” live, the last thing they want to see is African Americans, Mexicans and other “elements” or “undesirables” coming to Walmart to shop – they shop the mag mile remember.. Thats the real worry. Nobody in those areas suffer tremendously from unemployment and they really dont want “that kind” (blacks mexicans and poor white folks) in the hood. This aint got nothin to do with traffic or any of the other BS they are spewing out them pieholes

    • LaKeisha

      @Keith, Why would anyone want undesirables in their neighborhood? Do you want them hanging on your block, where your children play? If I had homie-G’s hanging on my block, I would move. This is not undercover racism you fool. It’s common sense.

      • KE

        Well said! LaKeisha.

    • Keith Cason

      Funny – non of the low income areas have a problem with Walmart…Always the affluent areas…..Look at the stats……

    • Bruce Alan Beal

      This is a really offensive and inaccurate statement by Keith Carson. Again, a pro-Walmart fan tries ot support a proposed Walmart being imposed on a community that does not want one by using personal attacks – instead to a reason argument for a Walmart at this location.

      The real question Chicagoans should be asking Walmart is why have they betrayed their commitment to build stores in all of the food deserts so very quickly? Instead of keeping their promise to feed Chicago’s poorest communities, Walmart has done a 180 degree turn and headed straight for where to money is – the already well-served northside.

      As a moral issue, I have decided to fight EVERY Walmart store in Chicago that is proposed for an area that is not in a food desert, until there are no food deserts. I ask every Chicagoan to join me in this commitment. This is the minimum that Chicagoans should be doing to hold Walmart to their promises. Why should well-off folks have good healthy food on the cheap, while poorer families go hungry?

      Shame on you Walmart!

  • mark

    Blue bags flying around??? Better than rats!

  • Bruce Alan Beal

    To join the effort to hold Walmart accountable in Chicago, please join our Facebook page, found here:!/home.php?sk=group_159449284099168&notif_t=group_activity

    • ChicagoCitizen

      Walmart doesn’t have to be accountable to anyone. This is a free-enterprise system. Businesses are in the business to make a profit. They don’t have to answer to anyone. What is wrong with you people?

      • Bruce Alan Beal

        Capitalist – do you mean that you support “real capitalism” that would put children to work at 6 years old in a coal mine? Or are you thinking of the version that had deptors prisons? Or maybe you even think slavery was a good thing? All of those were defined as forms of “real capitalism”. Which of those would you choose to have us all live under?

        You live in the same nanny state you decry here – and that state is the only thing keeping Walmart alive. If you are so opposed to statist interventions – you shold be opposed to Walmart. What is worng with you?

      • Capitalist

        Let Capitalism Reign! If one works hard, educates themselves, and helps others, they can and will succeed. I am sick of this freaking nanny state and “give me” mentality!

      • Bruce Alan Beal

        All business are accountable … to someone … who just depends on what we, as citizens, demand of them.

  • tunafish charlie

    BRUCE ALLAN BEAL i found nothing racist about KEITH CASON veiws he told it like it is.CHICAGO n FRANKLIN is CABRINI GREEN and those people need JOBS and WAL-MART, or any other chain,would make a huge difference in those people lives
    That store located there has been empty for 2 years that doesn’t bring jobs open stores do……don’t you want to help? i do..its not shame on wal-mart but SHAME ON YOU BRUCE…face book,what a HUGE waste of time

  • Bruce Alan Beal

    T.C. I didn’t say anything about race – Keith did.

    My statement agreed with you, I think. I demand Walmrt go into the hardest hit areas of Chicago like they said they where going to do – and that Walmart NOT go into other areas that don’t need or want them – like Lakeview. The community around each proposed Walmart site shold have the final say, through their alderman – on whether or not a Walmart goes in, in my opinion. If you don’t think your alderman is accurately representing your community – get yourselves organized and let her/him know.

    That’s all we are doing in Lakeview – on and ofline – and with some measure of success, even if you think it’s a waste of time.

  • Sue

    I agree with Bruce. I find your comments tunafish and Keith Carson’s comments very insulting and racist. Why is it ok for either of you to make such bold accusations that an entire neighborhood doesn’t want as you say “African Americans, Mexicans and other “elements” or “undesirables” coming to Walmart to shop”? Do you have any info or statistics or an actual polling of the people to back up your claims? Not only are your comments offensive but you’re generalizing that all Walmart shoppers are “undesirables” (your words). The neighborhood doesn’t want it plain and simple. I’m not sure why Walmart wants to force it down our throats? Go to an area where you are wanted. LIke Bruce said, why are they backing down so quickly on their committment to build in food deserts?

  • tunafish charlie

    HAY SUE…. I’ll give you a example of RACIST….asking the president for his BIRTH CERT….NOW THAT’S RACIST my friend,,,how could give more example’s but then again that would be…AH…RACIST…

  • JimBo

    Good Lord people! If you don’t like them then don’t shop there. I happen to like WalMart. I would shop there.

  • ismael martinez

    Walmart went about it the wrong way with this alderman. All it takes is a campaign contribution(bribe) and the opposition is over. Money speaks loud in chicago politics.Walmart call this alderman and tell him the check is in the mail and your store will be built. By the way i am going to walmart in a few minutes.

  • Report: Alderman Opposes River North Wal-Mart | Dog Medicines

    […] Another planned Wal-Mart store in the city is meeting with opposition, this time reportedly from the local alderman. Read more on CBS Chicago […]

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