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Lakeview Not Taking Planned Wal-Mart Laying Down

By Chuck Sudo in News on Dec 13, 2010 8:53PM

Image via "Stop the Lakeview/Lincoln Park Walmart" Facebook page.
Wow, Lakeview, a lot of you really don't want a Wal-Mart, do ya?

Not that we expected you to embrace Wal-Mart's intent to lease space in the Broadway on Surf space at 2840 N. Broadway, And the recently re-named "Stop the Lakeview/Lincoln Park Wal-Mart" is growing in popularity. Hey, if Facebook can get Betty White on Saturday Night Live, then stopping a planned smaller Wal-Mart from opening in the neighborhood isn't a pipe dream, right?

You've got 44th Ward Alderman Tom Tunney in your sights. At least, his aldermanic opponent David Winner does. Winner is demanding that Tunney put a stop to to proposed Wal-Mart. Winner understands that aldermen are basically modern-day feudal lords. It's his argument that needs some work.

“It’s the suburbanization of Lake View. They’re gonna come in and close down our small businesses. It seems to be their trait. Let him work with the landlord to find an alternative,” Winner said.

“People move into the area because they like it the way it is. We like dealing with mom-and-pop stores where you get individual attention. I support Wal-Mart where Wal-Mart is necessary. But we have a well-established neighborhood with well-established businesses. Our fear is they will go away.”

Looks like Winner also possesses a knack for hyperbole. "The suburbanization of Lakeview?" Really? That happened twenty years ago. And those "mom-and-pop" stores like Trader Joe's, DSW, World Market, TJ Maxx and the Urban Outfitters on Diversey? We're not Wal-Mart's biggest fans here at Chicagoist, admittedly, but these stores will probably weather the storm.

And what of the 45 member-strong "Support the Lakeview Wal-Mart" facebook page? There are some Lakeview residents who would welcome the store, who don't want to take the Grand or North buses to the West side or drive to Niles and shop at Wal-Mart.

You want to oppose a Wal-Mart in Lakeview because of their anti-union stance and labor practices (chronicled in what someone last week called Kevin's "hit pieces"), fine. We feel that the root of the opposition is in classism. "A Wal-Mart is good, over there." "They need a Wal-Mart over there."

City Council cut a deal with Wal-Mart allowing the company to look for prime neighborhoods to expand. If they weren't going to target Lakeview now, they would have later.