The Chicagoist will be launching later but in the meantime please enjoy our archives.

Ald. Beale Says He Can Bring Wal-Mart to the South Side

By Kevin Robinson in News on Feb 19, 2010 3:40PM

2010_2_walmart_in_chicago.jpg Perhaps doing an end run around community opposition to Wal-Mart's plans to expand into Chatham, Ald. Anthony Beale told Fran Spielman that he has the votes to bring Wal-Mart into the Pullman neighborhood. "I'm confident I have the votes. I'm floating around 34 or 35," Beale told the Sun-Times. The Chicago Plan Commission will vote on the matter in March, and the full council will vote in April. “We will be voting on a development — not just a store. It’s a bigger issue than just Wal-Mart. My site will create 4,000 permanent jobs, generate hundreds of millions in new revenue and keep union people working. It’ll create 1,200 homes and a dozen stores. In this climate, how can you vote against that?”

Earlier this year, talks to get Wal-Mart to agree to a community benefits agreement that would guarantee wages and benefits in exchange for the opportunity to build stores in the city fell apart. The Chatham development has been stalled since then. Brookins, however, didn't sound convinced that the Pullman Wal-Mart would be able to clear Ald. Ed Burke's Finance Committee. That's because Beale's development won't work without TIF money, which Burke must first approve. “If Burke is gonna block mine, he’ll block ‘em all,” Brookins said.