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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.

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!

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