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TheAnk

COMPLETE: Charles Street Walmart

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IMO, Walmarts dont belong in any cities or urban areas, it will just create more problems instead of solving them.  Isnt there a better solution to this area than building a walmart....

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I sort of disagree here. I hate Wal-Mart as much as the next person, probably more because I worked at one in high school. But I really feel that it's important to have affordable, convenient merchants in urban centers that are easily accessible by public transportation.

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I sort of disagree here.  I hate Wal-Mart as much as the next person, probably more because I worked at one in high school.  But I really feel that it's important to have affordable, convenient merchants in urban centers that are easily accessible by public transportation.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Being a city dweller who relies on the bus, I agree. Although not enough to actually patronage the proposed WalMart on Charles Street. I'll probably continue to haul myself out to the KMart at Brewery Parkade for my discount shopping needs.

Of course almost every city and town used to have a downtown 5 & dime, WalMart started life as one of these. Slowly Target and WalMart are making their way back to the cities. It would be nice though if these retailers understood the city, and designed themselves to fit it.

On a note related to the ongoing discussion, I would not be surprised to see the Charles Street store become unionized, the unions are very strong here in Providence. Unionization may or may not be a good thing, but it wouldn't be surprising.

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It is pretty amazing how Wal Mart is such a lightning rod and symbol. There was an interesting episode of Frontline all about it a while ago: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/walmart/

It was fairly balanced and included some interesting information about their super high-tech, practically real-time inventory management system. It also pointed out how they bully they suppliers just as badly as they bully their employees.

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It also pointed out how they bully they suppliers just as badly as they bully their employees.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

It also pointed out some of their deceptive pricing. Putting really wonderful prices on things at the end cap that people really don't want, then upselling them on the good stuff further down the aisle. Their prices are often higher than their competition, but when people see that you can buy a DVD player there for $49, they assume their prices are good. In reality, the $49 DVD player is crap, and no one ever buys it, the ones they end up buying cost the same, or more than it would cost anywhere else.

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It is pretty amazing how Wal Mart is such a lightning rod and symbol. 

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Yes, this is true, and mostly due to the fact that they are Number 1. Its not easy being number one, everybody wants to knock you down from that position. Look at McDonald's, another institution detested by many because of their market leadership. I for one, boycott these institutions because they are too big, and use unethical business practices.

I always associate Wal-Marts with suburban sprawl, giant parking lots, and traffic. I just dont think they belong in an urban environment. There must be a better alternative. Perhaps this is the best answer for the site in Providence, which i havent visited and know nothing about, or perhaps city leaders could put their heads together and get creative.

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I always associate Wal-Marts with suburban sprawl, giant parking lots, and traffic.  I just dont think they belong in an urban environment.  There must be a better alternative.  Perhaps this is the best answer for the site in Providence, which i havent visited and know nothing about, or perhaps city leaders could put their heads together and get creative.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

It's certainly not the 'best' alternative for this area. But it is the best realistic alternative at this point. Providence is still struggling to develop, there could be a great urban development at this spot, but there are much better locations where better projects want to locate themselves. This location is hemmed in on three sides by highways and railroad tracks, it's so close to Downtown and Smith Hill, but so far due to the highways surrounding it. At this point, an active WalMart is far better than the vacant Ames store that sits at the site now. It will benefit the local community. There's no local businesses to speak of for WalMart to put out of business, and this area is already a suburbanish wasteland. I have more hope for areas nearby along North Main Street to try to turn away from this sprawlish development pattern, but this particular spot, there's not much hope for.

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I always associate Wal-Marts with suburban sprawl, giant parking lots, and traffic.  I just dont think they belong in an urban environment.  There must be a better alternative.  Perhaps this is the best answer for the site in Providence, which i havent visited and know nothing about, or perhaps city leaders could put their heads together and get creative.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Despite my disgust of Walmart (haven't been in one in six years, will never step foot in this one, nor another, ever again) I have to agree with Cotuit on this particular site and general acceptance of Walmart here.

I don't know if you know the newer Target on Somerville Ave in Somerville near you, LeTaureau, but this site is similar to that, though even more distressed. Its a typical former smaller scale stripmall gone to waste amongst several stripclubs, train tracks, and highways. And of course a Home Depot. Its pretty hopeless. That being said, its but a stonethrow to the Statehouse (!), so its kinda sad to see this condition so close to the core of the Capitol City.

(Come to think about it, despite all the work that has been done in Providence, its going to take a long long time to fix all the problems wrought by 60 years of inept government, godawful planning, and general urban degradation.)

Anyway, the one thing I would be concerned about is additional traffic on Silver Spring Ave and Charles St. It could get ugly if the already poor conditions remain as is. At the very least, I would attempt to extract some infrastructure improvements and as many parking lot trees and landscaping as possible. If we're gonna be stuck with a massive parking lot, at least it should be a kinda green parking lot.

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Anyway, the one thing I would be concerned about is additional traffic on Silver Spring Ave and Charles St. It could get ugly if the already poor conditions remain as is.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

We'll probably see the traffic backing up onto Route 146.

It's a tragic environment for pedestrians, which is waht makes it seem so far from Downtown. They need to put in proper sidewalks, crosswalks, and walk signals. A good number of their customers will be on foot from the surrounding area.

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I don't know if you know the newer Target on Somerville Ave in Somerville near you, LeTaureau, but this site is similar to that, though even more distressed.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Yes I know exactly where that is, its right next to the McGrath Highway. I've never been, but I can see your point in the importance of having these stores where people can get to them.

I guess there is no choice but to let evil reign. However, if the Providence city council were smart, they would ask Wal-Mart to give to the community, ie fund afterschool programs, city beautification, etc. Its the price to pay to allow blight in such a close area to downtown

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The good news is that the city is working on re-writing the zoning laws, and density is a big objective of the new zoning laws. Hopefully something like this will see more scrutiny in the future.

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Christ! I read through the "real facts about Walmart section", that friggen company has managed to violate almost every law, every moral, principle, etc. in existence. Definitely an eye-opener.

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It's certainly not the 'best' alternative for this area. But it is the best realistic alternative at this point. Providence is still struggling to develop, there could be a great urban development at this spot, but there are much better locations where better projects want to locate themselves. This location is hemmed in on three sides by highways and railroad tracks, it's so close to Downtown and Smith Hill, but so far due to the highways surrounding it. At this point, an active WalMart is far better than the vacant Ames store that sits at the site now. It will benefit the local community. There's no local businesses to speak of for WalMart to put out of business, and this area is already a suburbanish wasteland. I have more hope for areas nearby along North Main Street to try to turn away from this sprawlish development pattern, but this particular spot, there's not much hope for.

...Except supermarkets..This will be a Super-Walmart with a full scale supermarket.....enough to lure people from Shaw's Plaza on No. Main and Stop & Shop on Branch....both very close by....

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...Except supermarkets..This will be a Super-Walmart with a full scale supermarket.....enough to lure people from Shaw's Plaza on No. Main and Stop & Shop on Branch....both very close by....

A Super-Walmart!?! I was under the impression it was a regular old non-super wm? No?

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You thought wrong!

Are you sure. ProJo says the store is only 134,700 square feet, the Super Centers are usually 200k+.

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Are you sure. ProJo says the store is only 134,700 square feet, the Super Centers are usually 200k+.

Supercenters are supposed to be 186K square feet. My mother was on a board to block Wal-Mart from opening here. First Bristol Corp. out of Fall River is the developer, but there is really no insight on their website. She told me this was a scaled back version...( life center? )

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Just to mix it up, here are a couple of articles that present some other views on Wal-Mart and the like:

Mixed Grade for Wal-Mart on Report Card

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/11/05/politics...t.html?emc=eta1

Why Big Box Stores Are Good For The Environment

http://www.planetizen.com/node/17889

Jack

Thanks for posting the other side here. I don't buy it though, those few points about big boxes being good for environment are all so petty and don't get at all to the root of the problem. I'd rather put money into a local, urban store that I can walk to than save some by shopping at Walmart and then donating the money I save to an environmental cause... And how many people when they make their auto trip to Walmart make that the only trip, these arguments are so moronic.

As for the NY Times article, it seems to disparage all the positive things it says by showing that when Walmart moves into an area, wages drop. That bout sums it up for me.

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Despite my disgust of Walmart (haven't been in one in six years, will never step foot in this one, nor another, ever again) I have to agree with Cotuit on this particular site and general acceptance of Walmart here.

I don't know if you know the newer Target on Somerville Ave in Somerville near you, LeTaureau, but this site is similar to that, though even more distressed. Its a typical former smaller scale stripmall gone to waste amongst several stripclubs, train tracks, and highways. And of course a Home Depot. Its pretty hopeless. That being said, its but a stonethrow to the Statehouse (!), so its kinda sad to see this condition so close to the core of the Capitol City.

(Come to think about it, despite all the work that has been done in Providence, its going to take a long long time to fix all the problems wrought by 60 years of inept government, godawful planning, and general urban degradation.)

Anyway, the one thing I would be concerned about is additional traffic on Silver Spring Ave and Charles St. It could get ugly if the already poor conditions remain as is. At the very least, I would attempt to extract some infrastructure improvements and as many parking lot trees and landscaping as possible. If we're gonna be stuck with a massive parking lot, at least it should be a kinda green parking lot.

FYI; The Somerville site you speak of is also under consideration for an IKEA. This disappoints me because it means that IKEA will serve Rhode Island out of their new Stoughton store. They do not put stores too close together except in large population centers such as Boston.

First, I hate Walmart and I get upset with my wife when she shops there. That being said, the Charles Street/Silver Spring location is excellent for Walmart and the lower income workers of Providence. I have always had a problem with the lack of retail in Providence and how families have been forced to drive to the suburban shopping areas. Those who do shop at Walmart have had to go outside the city or state to find them. What is wrong in having those revenues remain in the city of Providence? There will be a new traffic light at the Wendy's intersection and hopefully the State House trolley will be extended to the Walmart. This will allow South end customers to arrive by public transit rather than by car. Unlike other Walmarts in Rhode Island there should be a large amount of walkin shoppers from the nearby neighbourhoods. I see this as a positive for the local Providence community.

I do agree that there needs to be some positive landscaping to avoid the wasteland of the vast parking lot to be built.

Mark

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FYI; The Somerville site you speak of is also under consideration for an IKEA. This disappoints me because it means that IKEA will serve Rhode Island out of their new Stoughton store. They do not put stores too close together except in large population centers such as Boston.

Somerville repeatedly turned down IKEA's proposals going back at least 15 years which is why they ended up in Stoughton. Given what IKEA sells, Boston should have been one of their first US markets, but they were never able to find an appropriate space, and the local furniture places have continually tried to shut them out (for instance about two days after they were rumored to be looking at a parcel in Framingham, Jordan's bought up the land and put that huge Jordan's there)

I can understand why Somerville doesn't want an IKEA (they are traffic nightmares and the ultimate in boring boxes) but IMO Assembly Square was an almost ideal place for one. The location in Stoughton is going to be horrific for traffic (it is already bad with the Home Depot, Jordan's, and generally bad layout of the place) and it is nowhere near any mass transit.

Steve

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We are talking about this in the Charles St. hotel thread, but I thought the pics belonged here.

First, the brick they are using for the facade. Better than dryvit or pre-stressed concrete I think for this location. They are pouring a concrete walkway type thing in the foreground. I'm not what this is supposed to be but it is well below the grade of Silver Spring Ave.

w012r8.jpg

This picture shows that really the side of the building isn't that close to the Silver Spring. I really thought this would be almost like the Home Depot abuts Charles St. around the corner, but no, it is set back.

w01389.jpg

Last, here is the massive parking lot which will have no trees. boo. You can see the state house, superman, and hospital trust towers poking their heads over the Home Depot in the near distance.

w015ck.jpg

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