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baldy

New Livonia Walmart Supercenter?

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I'm really surprised no one has posted about this yet. Now Walmart stores stir up a lot of opposition where ever they try to build, but for the first time, race was brought up as an issue.

Walmart, which currently has a store located at I-96 and Middlebelt, is looking to move 1 mile south to the site of the now vacant wonderland mall and build a Walmart Supercent, which would be open 24 hours.

I tried to find the article from yesterday's newspaper, but it appears they are no longer available. Feel free to post if you find it. Basically, and I'm paraphrasing, it talked about the people who opposed to it being built due to it being a "ghetto" store and it bringing the black people from Detroit. Some of these are comments are in the following articles

Livonia board approves plans for new Wal-Mart

From the Detroit Free Press - Sept 21, 2005

City officials voted early this morning to recommend the development of a Wal-Mart Supercenter in Livonia after more than 500 residents thronged to a city meeting Tuesday night, fueling an ongoing battle against the proposal, which has drawn some racially charged complaints.

Read the rest of the article here

Statement by Mayor Kilpatrick regarding Livonia hearing on Wal-Mart

From the Detroit Free Press - Sept 20, 2005

"The comments made by some Livonia residents at two public hearings on a proposal to build a new Wal-Mart in their city, quoted in today's Free Press, are a jolting and deeply offensive reminder of how the issue of race continues to divide and hold back our region.

"The comments are a very graphic example of how deeply embedded these attitudes are in this region. And they provide a rare public expression of attitudes that too often are held in private and have produced a situation where we still don't have a workable mass transit system and where we can't come together on other issues so critical to moving this region forward in a world economy.

"As Mayor of the City of Detroit and as an African American man, I deeply resent and am outraged by the numerous slurs that were expressed at the hearing and quoted in the article. All people of good will in this region should be equally outraged.

Read the rest of his statement here

I must say that for once I agree with the mayor, although I hope he doesn't use this to fuel his whole city/black vs suburb/white compaign.

Personally, I hate Walmart and avoid shopping there by all means. Throwing out the race card as an excues? WTF! I'm really disappointed that someone would even suggest it. What is it about Walmart that brings out the worst of people?

Also, I must say I don't agree with the location for a 24 hour store, no matter what it is. There is a huge parcel of land south of the service drive between Middlebelt and Inkster that would work much better.

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The Free Press removed yesterday's article shortly after they put it on their website so they didn't piss off their customer base. I saved it to my computer, though. I'll work on getting it online when I'm in my next class.

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I don't really see why they would want to make another Wal-Mart when the other one in Livonia isn't doing that well.

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I think their reasoning is that business is bad because the building needs some work and that if they build a new place that will be a supercenter which is open 24 hours, it will create a place that will take business away from all the other places nearby (since this is going to built in a commercial district) and thus will do well and make those I've never worked a day in my life Walton kids a few more million dollars. Then again, this is just my opinion.... :)

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The current Livonia Walmart is not doing well? I've never been there, so I wouldn't know. They want to build another Walmart because it is their business expansion strategy: Put in Walmarts all over the place where you can buy everything so that Walmart becomes the only place to shop. Ten years ago there were very few Walmarts in Michigan. Now they're all over the place. I used to live 25 miles from the nearest Walmart...now there are 3 or 4 within 25 miles of my house.

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I wouldn't want a WalMart where I live, either. But the overtly racists comments made at the former meeting just made me sick. That is exactly the image that Livonia doesn't need to portray in such a highly divided metro. It's really sad that Detroit is the ONLY area where race has been an said issue in where a WalMart locates. The region should be embarrassed and use this as a springboard for change.

But they won't.

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I wouldn't say the store is not doing well. The parking lot is always packed when I drive by (and I do mean drive by). It's just not the type of operation the company likes to run. The building, which used to house a Forest City, is quite old and much smaller than most Wal-marts which means the selection is limited and most importantly there is no room for groceries. It also doesn't help that there is a large Meijer right across the street.

As for the residents attitude, while I'm not defending it I do understand from whence it springs.

Livonia is filled with people who used to live in my west side Detroit neighborhood. Many of them are bitter because they feel they were forced out of their Detroit homes by rising crime and insurance rates. Many are afraid it could happen again.

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What Livonia is sadly realizing is that apart from their racial makeup, there is nothing unique about them that can't already be found in newer suburbs. Companies and people are passing them up for newer and greener pastures. I see this a lashing out in desparation.

Seriously, Livonia has 7,500 people in 1950, and 110,000 in 1970. This city was almost exclusively created for white fleeing Detroit, and for no other reason. They have little history, they have little of anything that makes them unique besides their racial and ethnic makeup. They are realizing that their role in a modern Detroit is going to be significantly smaller. They are no longer the "it" suburb, and never will be again. The truth hurts.

They have to realize that they can't demand much better anymore. Wal Mart is a PERFECT fit for Livonia, as much as they may hate to admit it. They can't demand IKEA's, Crate-and-Barrel's, and other pretentious stores. They are more important in their own mind than they are reality.

Like Detroit, they must realize they are become more and more irrelevant. The only way either of these cities are going to ever come back is due to immigration, because whites and blacks alike destroyed both places, socially, and people voted with their feet long ago.

Livonia's future is in immigration and tolerance. The sooner they realize that the less pain they will save themselves later on. The longer they put up the hard-ass attitude of "only ______ are invited into our community" the more pain they will incur and deservedly so.

I, for one, don't understand Livonia.

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The following was in the Detroit Free Press today:

More scrutiny seen for Wonderland Mall plan

The Livonia City Council is expected to vote Wednesday to send the Wonderland Mall redevelopment project, which inclused a controversial Wal-Mart, to the council's Committee of the Whole.

The council's study session Monday ended with unresolved issues concerning the propsed retention pond at the Middlebelt-Plymouth site, the 24-hour Wal-Mart Supercenter and the amount of parking at the redesigned Wonderland Village, according to council Vice President Brian Meakin.

All council members make up the Committee of the Whole, chaired by Gerald Taylor. Meetings are scheduled as needed.

Schostak Bros.' $100-million redevelopment of the 74-acre site includes a trio of big-box stores - Wal-Mart, Target and an as-yet-unnamed retailer - and an open-air pedestrian mall with about 40 specialty shops and restaurants.

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The $100-million redevelopment plan for Wonderland Mall, including a Wal-Mart Supercenter that brought controversy and hours of meetings, was approved Wednesday by the Livonia City Council, on the condition that the proposed 24-hour Wal-Mart would operate only 18 hours.

Detroit Free Press article: http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article...EWS02/512010554

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