Some wary of Walmart coming to Lakeview

April 11, 2011 8:25:42 PM PDT
Walmart executives are hoping to bring a new store to East Lakeview, and on Monday night, they tried to win over residents opposed to the idea.

Walmart's neighborhood market concept would be located at the Broadway and Surf, which is near Cark and Diversey.

The proposed 30,000 square-foot store would primarily sell groceries.

Some neighborhood residents voiced their concern that Walmart would force mom-and-pop shops out of business.

"If I was a resident to the neighborhood here and heard there was a Walmart coming to this particular location, I'd probably be wondering how is that going to work," said John Bisio, Walmart senior manager for public affairs.

"I am quite concerned and not very excited about this development. There are plenty of parts of Chicago where Walmart would be generative to the economy. I think here it would be dilutive," said one resident.

"You've mentioned that your average Chicago wage was somewhere between $11 and $13 -- that's not a living wage in Chicago," said another resident.

Many residents pointed out that there are many grocery stores in Lakeview and asked why Walmart would want to come to an area that is not a food desert.

Small business owners also expressed concerns about traffic congestion in the area.