Friday, December 15, 2006

I Will Not Blog About Wal-Mart Again This Week

I'm getting tired of all Wal-Mart, all the time, but whether you have a horse in the Northcross Mall redevelopment or not, do read Michael King's bigger-picture piece on the so-called "Wal-Mart effect" on our society in today's Chron. Here's just one of the money quotes:

If a Dallas developer and a transnational juggernaut can impose a project this massive and disruptive in the midst of several established, residential neighborhoods, without so much as a public-hearing process to fully address its implications and consequences, then what good is a city government?


Mike said...

This line about "in the middle of a neighborhood" has got to go; it's just not true. That being said, I wish somebody else would want to move in, and I really liked your old band.

Greg said...

Hi Mike,

Thanks for leaving a comment. I'm a big fan of the Bake Sale of Bile (even when I'm not 100% in agreement). Your point about Northcross already being zoned for commercial use is well taken. This isn't the same thing as a brand new development.

I'm one of the people whose primary opposition to the Northcross Wal-Mart comes from that company's extraordinary lack of ethics, both in general and with regard to this project in particular. I do think Northcross needs to be redeveloped and that will involve a sizable anchor tenant. HEB made a huge error when they decided to rest on the laurels of their middling store at Burnet and Allandale, but what's done is done.

If nothing else, I think neighborhood opposition will result in something better being built than what Wal-Mart would do if left to their own devices.

Take care,

Mike said...


Thanks for the kind words. I fear that the more likely scenario here is that Wal-Mart pulls out and nobody else goes in - which further punishes the whole city financially (no tax dollars) for pandering to these neighborhoods (a la the Shoal Creek debacle, which we all had to pay for).

I wish Costco or Target wanted to go in, because then I could oppose Wal-Mart with a clear conscience, but apparently they don't. Wal-Mart is evil in many ways, but I can't believe they're worse than an empty mall (unless we're talking about a rural area where competition can't force them to maintain a bare minimum level of Not-That-Evil).

As for rg4n, though, I can't believe they're being serious about supporting a high-quality urban-density mixed-use project there given all these neighborhoods have fought against in the past. It requires a superhuman level of suspension of disbelief.