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Congratulations, Lakeview! You're Getting a Wal-Mart!!!

By Chuck Sudo in News on Dec 9, 2010 8:00PM

Photo by code poet
Wal-Mart: it isn't just for Austin and Chatham anymore. Chicago Real Estate Daily reports that the retail superpower has signed a letter of intent to lease space for a planned small-box store at 2840 N. Broadway. That's the Broadway on Surf retail space that currently lists as tenants mom and pop stores Cost Plus World Market, TJ Maxx and Bed, Bath & Beyond. The space used to house a Petsmart and has advertised 30,000 square-feet in retail space available for rent.

Naturally, this news isn't sitting well with the Lakeview proletariat. Already, a Facebook user named Bruce Alan Beal has set up a "Stop the Lakeview/Boystown Walmart" page, with 59 members and climbing.

A Wal-Mart spokesman said that the company is focused on opening the smaller neighborhood stores, ranging from 30,000 to 60,000 square feet in space. From a business perspective, it makes sense to open in a neighborhood not lacking for retail. But the upcoming backlash is gonna be something to see.

But think of the folks who are going to make a day of it in the city, shopping for $59 Blu-ray players, then heading north for some killer margaritas before taking in an early "Blue Man Group" show. We wonder how much of the opposition is because of Wal-Mart's reputation, and how much of it is because they want a wal-Mart anywhere but in Lakeview?