.

Walmart's Elmwood Park Plan Not Any More Welcome Than In Mount Pleasant

Several officials from Walmart hosted a public meeting open house in Elmwood Park Thursday. Residents in that village feel almost identical to how their neighbors in Mount Pleasant feel: not happy.

Residents in Elmwood Park got the opportunity to look at plans for a proposed Walmart Neighborhood Market on Thursday. They also had the chance to talk directly to officials from the company itself as well as the developer, the architect, and a company attorney.

Around 100 people walked through Elmwood Park Village Hall to look at various photos and plans for the site where the former Kohl's grocery store once operated at 3131 Lathrop Avenue.

Most of the crowd, like Brenda Sims, said they object to the development.

"We have a 24-hour Walmart operation two miles down the road, and Piggly Wiggly is right here," she said. "And that intersection of Durand and Lathrop is dangerous. Every week there's a serious accident there so we don't need more traffic."

More negative than positive comments were definitely the theme of the evening. Residents in Elmwood Park seemed to echo how their neighbors think in at the intersection of Highways 20 and 31.

Vicki Spanske, owner of Share a Dream Used Bookstore, said she had no idea the Walmart was even a possibility until she read a story in the newspaper.

"We're going to get booted out and no one could tell us?" she asked. "I need to find a new place, and I'm looking, but it's not easy."

Spanske said she would still object to Walmart going there even if her business weren't being affected.

"It's not value added," she stated. "We have a grocery store right there and a pharmacy across the street."

Village President Audrey Viau disagreed.

"We've always had two grocery stores in the village, until Kohl's closed," she said. "That corner is an eyesore, and this will make it look better."

Local real estate agent Carolyn Jacobson was frustrated with the majority reaction.

"People need to understand that successful businesses bring in more business," she said. "This is going to improve the corner."

She wanted to know where village residents have been all the years Kohl's has sat empty.

"Neighbors weren't complaining before, but now that there could be improvement on that site and it's Walmart, now they want to complain," she concluded.

Charles Gasser said he hasn't made up his mind.

"That's why I'm here, to get information," he said.

The proposed $10 million Walmart development would include demolishing the existing building and pushing the store back so that it sits on an existing residential parcel. Deb Tomczyk, attorney for Walmart, confirmed the company is under contract for both the Kohl's property and the home behind it.

To move forward, though, the village would have to rezone the residential parcel to commercial use. The boundary between the village and the City of Racine runs parellel to the front of Kohl's, putting the building in the village and the parking lot in Racine.

Viau says it's a good move for the village because moving the building brings the entire development into Elmwood Park. A zoning public hearing is not yet scheduled.

RDM April 14, 2012 at 09:23 PM
Mau, we are independant. Since taking over about 1 year ago now we have added an organic section in produce, a fairly large gluten free selection, we've picked up organic buffalo, a limited amount of grass fed beef, etc. We continue on those paths and will, so that being said we've made a significant amount of changes. If you would like to give me a list of items that interest you, I'll be more than happy to pick them up and see how they sell. We also try to sell as much local produce as possible when in season.
mau April 14, 2012 at 10:02 PM
I am going to do that. I would love to have something close where I can get what I am looking for. Here are a few Spectrum All Vegetable Shortening (palm no soy), Spectrum grape seed oil, Spectrum Canola Mayonnaise. I need to avoid soy as much as possible.
Eric April 15, 2012 at 12:26 PM
The main objection in the early posts on this article seems to be that Walmart introduces competition. Not sure when that became a bad thing around here. I have read for years the mixed perspectives on Walmart's bussiness practices - some hold it out as the evil empire and others see it as a revolutionary bussiness model. I have never lived near a Walmart but shop there when we travel. They seem to do a good bussiness. I have belonged to Sam's Club for years and find our membership there worthwhile. Some questions for those who oppose the new Walmart development: Will it be better to leave that old Kohl's site vacant for another period of years? Are you inherently opposed to competition or just favor going the Door County route and disallowing all franchise bussinesses? If you consider Walmart evil, is Sam's Club also awful?
Midwest George April 15, 2012 at 04:17 PM
Eric, walmart has a documented history of moving into an area and pushing other businesses out. There is a piggly wiggly and walgreens literally within walking distance of the proposed Walmart. The Pig is the only grocery store left in the area and it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out why - the area cant support more, regardless of what the developers claim. So in the long run, it will only be walmart surrounded by empty buildings. That isnt competition. There isn't a need for a walmart there when there is one 2 miles away. How about making that area a park?
skinnyDUDE April 15, 2012 at 04:39 PM
Competition is a good thing for consumers. Walmart like them or not has customers. The monopoly argument is laughable as I seldom go to Walmart (maybe twice a year) as the choices and values I make are not based solely on price. Clearly, Pick N Save doesn't fear Walmart as they built a bigger and better store right down the street. The location Walmart wants to develop badly needs it .It is economic activity in construction and ongoing jobs. It shouldn't scare people. It not a situation where a quiet neighborhood that doesn't want the traffic etc..... This is a needed boost in a spot that really needs redevelopment .. As people are free to choose where they wish to consume the products they desire based on what ever criteria they have. The consumer ultimately decides the winners and the losers. That is how free enterprise is suppose to work. We are far better off if the marketplace picks who wins and who loses as that is the consumers and citizens deciding what they want and not just one person with a opinion . I would have further sympathy when a nice quiet neighborhood is invaded by a big entity. That is not the case here. The location here is a eye soar and has been for a decade plus . Here the benefits far outweigh the concerns.
Sandra Baggott April 15, 2012 at 07:56 PM
Picture your family in a 3rd world country. NOW EXPLAIN TO YOUR CHILDREN and GRANDCHILDREN WHY YOU CHOSE Wal-Mart over PRIVATE community develepment. America does not want to be owned by (a third world country) We already owe them trillions. It's time to pay off our debt to China with our American backbone. I have no beef with Walgreens since there Corporate office is in Deerfield IL., WI Woodmans is employee owned. Hurray for Woodman's What a great start for our American economy! Piggly Wiggly's Washington Ave.,Racine, WI has supperior meat quality/guarantee unsurpassed according to our said customers by comparresion to any other stores. It's not just our sales flyer that brings you to the Piggly Wiggly Store on Washington.... It's the people who are there to serve you!
Paul April 15, 2012 at 10:18 PM
To respond Eric and skinnydude: It's not good competition when the result is the elimination of competition. Then we all lose. And note especially how Walmart handles its labor expense. If you do a search on "Walmart" and "food stamps" you'll find article after article about how a large contingent of Walmart's labor force are paid so poorly they have no choice but to seek out government assistance to support themselves and their families. It is a fact. So we as tax payers are subsidizing Walmart. That is not competition. That is the result of a very broken political system.
Sandra Baggott April 17, 2012 at 06:49 PM
Dear Paul, you don't have to be Wal-Mart to receive a subsidized credit for hiring qualified workers. There is a doggy bone maximum tax credit offered to any employer who can relieve some of the pressure off a segment of government. I'm more embarrassed with the way our government is dispersing food stamp benefit moneys, pinning the bill on our property taxes and no one is actually monitoring the actual needs. I should only eat as well. It's one of the 7 wonders why many people opt not to own a home any more. Why buy the cow, when you can get the milk for free! Why get married anymore when you can just continue to pollute the system because you can. Ross Perot tried to address this back in the 70"s but failed. Now companies like grocery stores have come to depend on the overspending of benefit cards vs. cash payers. I think you hit the nail on the head when you brought the (broken political system) to the table. Please critics don't get me started!
madmilker April 20, 2012 at 02:14 PM
Here's a "doggy bone" for all you Wal*Mart shoppers. http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0JZS/is_6_22/ai_n24984155/ and another.... ["Over 95% of the merchandise in our stores in China is sourced locally. In addition, Walmart is committed to local talent development and diversity, especially the cultivation and full utilization of female staff and executives."] http://www.wal-martchina.com/english/walmart/index.htm and one more.... ["Now let us look at Wal-Mart again; you buy a product there, 6% goes to the employees, 10-18% is profit to the company, 25% goes to other costs and 50% goes to re-stock or the cost of goods sold. Of the 50% about 20-25% goes to China, a guess, but you get the point. Now then, how long will it take at 433 Billion dollars at year for China to have all of our money, leaving no money flow for us to circulate? At a 17 Trillion dollar economy less than 40-years minus the 1/6 they buy from us. Some say that if we keep putting money into our economy, it would take forever, but if we do not then eventually all the money flow will go. If China buys our debt then eventually they own us, no need to worry about a war, they are buying America, due in part to our own mismanaged trade, so whose fault is that?"] http://www.worldthinktank.net/pdfs/TheFlowofTrade.pdf Now, 1975 was last year America had trade surplus. It was the year Sam Walton was in Seoul. It was the year Jimmy Hoffa disappeared. Do the math.
Paul April 22, 2012 at 05:26 PM
@Sandra and Madmilker: Wow! Great additional info there! Obviously you both know how to do research. That is the main reason I typically do NOT want to be involved in the discussions on Patch. Most responses are childish; ie, name calling and insults. And almost all the responses during a discussion are emotionally motivated with little if any truth. And when truth accidentally does appear it is typically not used within its true context (eg, half truth). What a pleasure to encounter two people that are thinking, reasoning, AND researching. BTW Sandra, my wife and I primarily "shop the Pig" because of its quality and service. The Washington Ave store is looking good. I wish everyone there great success. And check out the Sunday JT. It cites an article from the NYT telling about how Walmart has been caught in a bribery scandal in Mexico. Madmilker, I'm curious about a possible connection between the port development you cite and the desperate push for more stores.
skinnyDUDE July 17, 2012 at 05:54 AM
You mean like the competition in Sturtevant where the Walmart and Menards went up. A ton of other businesses went up infront of those anchors stores. FarmNfleet is still going strong and it hurt pick n save so much they Built a BIGGER store even closer to Walmart . The reality is we seen that view point before but it doesnt jive with what actually happen . The fact of the matter is Anchor Stores are good for competition and New Unique Businesses. Look around ......your argument is simply flawed when the proof is in the pudding right in front of your face.
Paul July 17, 2012 at 09:58 PM
@skinny -- Actually, no. None of those businesses compete with Walmart. Quizno's, the gas station, the cash store, Miwaukee PC, a vacant store front or two (that's interesting), and whatever other fast-food businesses exist out there do not compete with Walmart. They are complimentary. Pick 'n Save is a competitor but only in groceries. Pick 'n Save as a corporate entity still does not compare to the massive size of Walmart, but they do have a broad presence and well-established distribution channels. Please spend some time learning more about Walmart and why it's hated world-wide. Start here. http://www.walmartmovie.com/ See it on YouTube in 10 separate parts. Start here. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P6AgKG-f4Tw Is Walmart Good for America http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/walmart/view/ Bear in mind, the people who live in Chinatown currently are fighting to keep Walmart out. Just recently people in a town in India fought and succeeded in keeping Walmart out. Walmart has been caught in a bribery scandal in Mexico. This business is morally bankrupt, unethical, unprincipled, and clearly anti-competitive. The WORST thing we could do is to allow anymore of their tentacles into our area. Shilling for Walmart is like sending even more jobs to China and forcing more people into poverty. Do you stand with your fellow Americans or do you stand with corporatists and the Chinese government?
Paul July 18, 2012 at 01:16 AM
@skinny -- Actually, no. None of those businesses compete with Walmart. Quizno's, the gas station, the cash store, Miwaukee PC, a vacant store front or two (that's interesting), and whatever other fast-food businesses exist out there do not compete with Walmart. They are complimentary. Pick 'n Save is a competitor but only in groceries. Pick 'n Save as a corporate entity still does not compare to the massive size of Walmart, but they do have a broad presence and well-established distribution channels. Please spend some time learning more about Walmart and why it's hated world-wide. Start here. http://www.walmartmovie.com/ See it on YouTube in 10 separate parts. Start here. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P6AgKG-f4Tw Is Walmart Good for America http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/walmart/view/ Bear in mind, the people who live in Chinatown currently are fighting to keep Walmart out. Just recently people in a town in India fought and succeeded in keeping Walmart out. Walmart has been caught in a bribery scandal in Mexico. This business is morally bankrupt, unethical, unprincipled, and clearly anti-competitive. The WORST thing we could do is to allow anymore of their tentacles into our area. Shilling for Walmart is like sending even more jobs to China and forcing more people into poverty. Do you stand with your fellow Americans or do you stand with corporatists and the Chinese government?
skinnyDUDE July 18, 2012 at 01:44 AM
@ Paul .....You either believe in capitalism or not. I do and I dont fear Walmart at all. Walmart on some levels competes with Menards the other anchor store . The traffic is the key to all those complimentary businesses. You act like Walmart is the only anchor store in the country . Which is Silly. I welcome capital investment and competition. You don't. YOU ACT LIKE all THOSE COMPLIMENTARY BUSINESSES don't count ..Which again is laughable . Is Walmart overall good for the country.....OF COURSE......The consumer is the one who decided that . The New York Yankees are hated too because they win . This is the same thing. But the Consumer around the world and in the USA has endorsed Walmart with Dollars not NON SENSE! Walmart is a Winner not because I say so its because the consumer does. Either you believe in capitalism you let the consumer decide winners and losers. Its really that basic.
Paul July 18, 2012 at 03:35 AM
@skinny - From your comment below. "You mean like the competition in Sturtevant where the Walmart and Menards went up. A ton of other businesses went up infront of those anchors stores. FarmNfleet is still going strong and it hurt pick n save so much they Built a BIGGER store even closer to Walmart ." Your wording declares that competition has been improved. There is a difference between complimentary business and competitive business. The businesses that have appeared are complimentary. Clearly you realize that now. And I didn't deny that it is good thing. But when a business opens that destroys other businesses in the area, they are suspect. Currently the Walmart in Sturtevant hasn't done that because fortunately it was located outside of Racine so its impact on the local businesses has been minimal. But if you would try to be objective about the issue of Walmart and it's business practices and watch the movies I've ref'd to, you would discover that is not typical. You'd also discover that many cities have turned Walmart down. But apparently you support Walmart... well, why? Just because it's a business? Then apparently you must also support entitlements.
skinnyDUDE July 18, 2012 at 04:32 PM
@Paul Paul I dont decide winners and losers. Walmart certainly doesnt survive on me . But I believe in Capitalism. You Dont. As when you start restricting investment it is unclear who that benefits. Once again .....................I tell you.... the Consumer around the world and in the USA has endorsed Walmart with Dollars not NON SENSE! Walmart is a Winner NOT because I say so its because the CONSUMER does. Either you believe in capitalism you let the consumer decide winners and losers. Its really that basic. You simply have trouble accepting that the consumer will pick the winners and losers. I have trouble excepting that YOU or the Government can do it better than the WILL of the people. Take an economics class! Growth in the economy is what makes any country thrive. I dont have to micro manage Walmart and say they do this or that. As at that point my personal bias could have a role. To me I focus on the Capitalistic benefits of all collective business and the Consumers aka people deciding with there choices who survives and who doesn't. You decide only on your personal Bias. But u can demonize any business like Obama has with YOUR logic. Its a slippery slope and not one worth debating as it is lacks the logic of debate.
Paul July 18, 2012 at 04:46 PM
@skinny - Please read my original post again and my followups. Copy and paste where I said I don't believe in capitalism into your next comment.
skinnyDUDE July 18, 2012 at 11:09 PM
@Paul lol your logic is what says your against capitalism . Please take a basic Economics class and learn what free market economy is. Than come back .
Paul July 19, 2012 at 12:19 AM
@skinny - So you have no evidence and now you're looking for a way out. The fact is you can't prove that I'm against capitalism, so you're going to sling insults and try to slip away because now you realize just how much you've overreached. You're starting to sense just maybe I know something you don't. And when I consider your spelling and punctuation, I probably do know more than you. You avoided responding to whether or not you support entitlements. Again, you're afraid where that might lead so you dodge the issue. If you know all about economics, please enlighten me. I can't wait to hear what you have to tell me. If you can't then it's clear you, in fact, know nothing at all about economics, capitalism, or Walmart. Consequently you have no credibility. If I find you contributing in another discussion, I will read your contribution very closely. And if it's anywhere near as empty as all the things you've said here, I will direct the other people in that discussion to this discussion so they can see what a complete fake you are. You behave like the classic bully. When you are confronted by someone who can out-reason and outwit you, you shrink away into the shadows hoping nobody will notice. And now you've been exposed. And I have the link to prove it.
skinnyDUDE July 19, 2012 at 09:42 PM
@Paul = Your like the classic Liberal . Always a victim. You dont understand economics . That's is another clue to your lefty leanings. So rather than waste my time talking to a wall I simply made my point and moved on . You can be a victim forever. But my life will always be better than that. Good Luck .
Paul July 19, 2012 at 10:24 PM
@skinny - And what makes you think I'm a "liberal?" And in what way have I revealed "lefty leanings?" And once again, please tell me about economics. I bet you don't know the first thing about economics. I'm willing to bet you've heard words like "capitalism" and "economics" used by others and that is the extent of your knowledge. Come on, skinny. You persist in this blustery monologue. I respond to your assumption I know nothing about economics and I invite you to tell me. Then you back out and claim I wouldn't understand. I'm sure even you can see how empty your words are. It makes you appear as though you are all talk and no substance. You should have left this exchange after my last comment, but you insist on coming back and digging a deeper hole of embarrassment for yourself. I can't wait to see what your next response will be. If you would have responded to my two original requests, you could have saved face.
skinnyDUDE July 19, 2012 at 11:21 PM
@Paul Actaully I have a B.A. in Economics. Which is why debating with you is silly. I seen your words and you lack a basic understanding of the basic material. Hence. I will leave it at that. But I could recommend a few good books to you if your really interested in how it works by one of my favorite Economists Thomas Sowell. Look him up . Than you might gain a better understanding of the material other than Union talking points and links. But I am done with your back and forth as your material lacks the basic knowledge of the United States greatest economic engine = Capitalism! Have a good day.
Paul July 19, 2012 at 11:50 PM
@skinny - Try me. And where did I say anything about being pro-union? If you have a Bachelors in Econ I have to ask if you got it online or what? If you would have been in one of my classes I would have failed you for a phenomenal lack of English, grammer, and misspelling by the gross. Looks like you've forgotten how to use the "Caps" key, skinny. No extreme punctuation marks anymore either. Feeling a bit sheepish now, eh? Here's a pop quiz. Who said... "It is amazing how many people think that they can answer an argument by attributing bad motives to those who disagree with them. Using this kind of reasoning, you can believe or not believe anything about anything, without having to bother to deal with facts or logic."
skinnyDUDE July 20, 2012 at 12:25 AM
@ Paul Yep, with all my short comings life is good. But your still learning how to be a Victim lol Not to worry I am sure you will succeed at that. As You are the one that has to stop another's success to keep existing competition ......It's laughable in any context. I doubt you ever had a economics class in your life. Look on the your bright side. Ignorance is Bliss. Good Luck . I know the man is keeping you down .
Paul July 20, 2012 at 12:46 AM
@skinny - You just can't answer anything, can you? That's how you debate. You avoid responding to any question by constantly changing the subject. Come on, skinny. Respond to one of my requests in context and on subject with supporting information. It's your fault in trapped in this discussion. You started this exchange by insulting me and making baseless accusations re my character and beliefs. And when I ask you to provide some information, you try to change the subject. And I continually try to get you back on topic. There is only one way to extricate yourself from this discussion. Respond to my questions. You might discover I actually know more than you think. Or is that what you're trying to avoid?
skinnyDUDE July 20, 2012 at 01:03 AM
HELLO .............As You are the one that has to stop another's success to keep existing competition ......It's laughable in any context. - You made that point very clearly in your writings. Preserving competition by stopping competition. That is why Ignorance is bliss. You make a economic judgement that is baseless in reality. You can defend your logic because you don't even know what competition is .If you are trying to say Walmart is a monopoly . Than you don't know what a Monopoly is. Why waste time when your general points lack THE BASIC ECONOMIC context required for debate. .You simply don't understand basic economics so teaching you is not my agenda. I advocate competition and you want to somehow control it by restricting it . That's Ignorance 101 . Your have put forth flawed logic and than wish me to teach you the specifics one by one . No thanks. You simply wouldn't understand it when you have the flawed initial view which is laughable to any Economist.
Paul July 20, 2012 at 01:32 AM
@skinny - And again, you are trying to avoid the subject. "You are the one that has to stop another's success to keep existing competition." Do you understand just how much of a contradiction that is. First you accuse me of not supporting competition. Then you say I'm trying to preserve the status quo of competition. Okay. I know I shouldn't expect any type of rational, well-defined response to this, but here goes. You say "You made that point very clearly in your writings. Preserving competition by stopping competition." Also explain "You make a economic judgement that is baseless in reality." What? When? Where? Then "You can defend your logic because you don't even know what competition is." If this is true, how could I recognize it so I could destroy it? Hmmm. "If you are trying to say Walmart is a monopoly. Than you don't know what a Monopoly is." Did I say that it was?
Paul July 20, 2012 at 01:32 AM
@skinny cont'd - "Why waste time when your general points lack THE BASIC ECONOMIC context required for debate." How could you know. You told me you were going to explain economics to me. I'm still waiting. "You simply don't understand basic economics so teaching you is not my agenda." So now you're not going to teach me basic economics. "I advocate competition and you want to somehow control it by restricting it." How do you know what I think about competition? How do you know Walmart isn't destroying competition? "That's Ignorance 101." Another insult. "You simply wouldn't understand it when you have the flawed initial view which is laughable to any Economist." How do you know? You still haven't engaged in any serious discussion re economics.
Paul July 20, 2012 at 01:34 AM
@skinny - Watch the movies. The truth is out there whether you want to see it or not.
skinnyDUDE July 20, 2012 at 04:11 PM
Paul you forgot to cut and paste the less point Your have put forth flawed logic and than wish me to teach you the specifics one by one . No thanks. You simply wouldn't understand it when you have the flawed initial view which is laughable to any Economist. It's not my job to teach you the basics . Its not something you can do in a tiny blog. Look up Thomas Sowell and get a book. Your words are anti capitalistic. It is your words that want to restrict competition . It is you who see Walmart as a threat, but the consumer that sees them as a benefit . You basic thesis appears to be Walmart's size and efficiency is bad for competition. My basic thesis is that in a true capitalistic society the consumer decides with there resources the winners and losers. Walmart is a winner once again NOT BECAUSE I SAY SO .....Its because the Consumer says so . Your view is to restrict there success because they represent unfair competition. My point is the consumer is the one that decides that Not you Or Obama. You really need to read a book on basic economic theory. You not a fan of Walmart . Here's an Idea ....don't job there. You simply wanting to restrict competition for YOUR OWN reasons deny others choices they want to make. In capitalism , winners and losers are decided by competition. As I said , I cant teach you the basics in a blog. They're are books that do that. I suggest you get one and maybe find one on self esteem as well. You only a victim of yourself. Cheers. Life is Good!

Boards

More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »