10/04/2009

Walmart Inching Closer

Posted by MJ

 LUSJ reporting that the latest Citizens for "Smart Growth" request was shot down. One more to go?

Walmart facilities have come a long way in the last 4 years. These delays will at least ensure we have a much better facility than we would have if it was built when originally announced.

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

And you can thank Smart Growth!

Rocketboy said...

Wow, what a pathetic way to put it.

I could agree if Smart Growth was actually arguing FOR a better building, and just not No Walmart, but to credit Smart Growth with a delay, one that started and ended with a different corporate culture due to a different economy is just delusional.

MJ said...

I wasn't sure if the annon comment was sarcastic or not ;)

Charles Dabkowski said...

A better facility would be one somewhere else, somewhere far away. A super Wal-Mart was a mistake, and is still a mistake four years later.
It's hard to believe Lockport was ever a "union" town, inasmuch as Wal-Mart supporters are supporting Chinese slave labor. This is really the wrong kind of socially irresponsible "growth" that focuses on the short term.
Let's see how things are four years into the future.

MJ said...

I don't see what your points are that make it a mistake?

Is it that Walmart should be union? How would it make it better? So the employees can make $1 more an hour with %30 percent going in taxes and the other 70% of it going to union dues? Both power plays by people already in power taking the added money for themselves.

Target has a union, on average pays only a little more than Walmart for each position (a wash with union dues) and we the customers get the great union benefits such as this:
http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20070813111704AAyUSlx

Is it where the product comes from? Tops, Target, Home Depot and others all have the same "china" products lining their shelves. Should we chase them (and all other big box stores) far far away too?

Rocketboy said...

Charles Dabkowski ...
"A better facility would be one somewhere else, somewhere far away."

Somewhere else that we can send our tax dollars to? Somewhere else then a soon to be empty lot?

"A super Wal-Mart was a mistake, and is still a mistake four years later."

Explain.

"It's hard to believe Lockport was ever a "union" town,"

Still is. Except that many union companies shut down or had to move out due to the high cost of union labor. Or are you saying that you miss these days?
http://www.niagarafallsreporter.com/91stranglehold.html

" inasmuch as Wal-Mart supporters are supporting Chinese slave labor."

Someone as learned as you should realize that the progress that China has made is due TO the slow creep of capitalism, not in spite of it. The increasing freedoms are because of the "Chinese slave labor" as you put it. The creation of a working class. Not from the 'nirvana' of a gov't controlled country.

"This is really the wrong kind of socially irresponsible "growth" that focuses on the short term."

Explain.

"Let's see how things are four years into the future."

And when your types said that for years ago and were wrong, you never admitted to it. When your types were wrong four years before that you never admitted to it.

Oh, and Don't Shop There.

The rest of us, we can make a decision weighing all of the factors by ourselves. Just don't look down on people that value some things greater than you do, sometimes it's not by choice.

Rocketboy said...

Oh and MJ, Smart Growth types will take any sort of credit they can. Because you know, they are fighting the "good fight" against the injustices of the world. (Ignoring that 90% of their complaints apply to the retail world at large, of course.)

Charles Dabkowski said...

Whatever was I thinking? I wish the "People of Wal-Mart" nothing but the best--they are beautiful! see? http://www.peopleofwalmart.com/

MJ said...

We still don't know what you were thinking. Not to antagonize but we were just asking for some pointers to discuss. Unless lower income residents are the next point?

Rocketboy said...

Ah, true colors reveal themselves.

There's a few sides to the Anti-Walmart crowd. Some are so pro-union, that they just cannot stand that Walmart isn't unionized. By Pro-Union, I do actually mean pro-collecting union dues, and pro-lobbying special interest groups.
There are also the ones that believe that Walmart is the soul reason behind the loss of manufacturing jobs in the US. This has a lot do do with the first group (manufacturing jobs is usually just another term for union jobs). There can also be some racist feelings there, but I wouldn't say that there was much of that. The third group, are the class warfare types. These people actually look down on anyone who shops at Walmart as lower-class. This is often combined with racist feelings.

Oddly enough, all three major groups are generally full of people on the left side of politics.

The other side to the Smart Growther are the NIMBYs who don't like that the mall property is going to be back as a viable retail space, and people that are associated with Tops.

You would think that someone who is posting with their name, like Charles Dabkowski (i'll let you google it) does, you would think that they would not so publicly engage in class warfare.

But you know what Mr. Dabkowski? I find just as many rude people in Walmart, as I do at the Wegmans in the 'nice' neighborhoods.

Anonymous said...

Did anyone see the the Buff News artice http://www.buffalonews.com/cityregion/niagaracounty/story/809133.html
Where Koch stated "his best friend, State Sen. George D. Maziarz" insisted he go to the hospital. Since George and his crony Seaman run the town, how can anyone expect a fair ruling when arguing a case in front of him about the town?

MJ said...

Seems that Amherst likes vacant Ames stores over new Walmarts also: http://www.buffalonews.com/cityregion/story/822533.html . Though with no Maziarz or Seaman influence courts are still turning down the claims.

Anonymous said...

I don't know the details in Amherst but in Lockport they definitely bent the zoning and planning laws to allow the Walmart to go on a lot that is too small for it.
My gripe isn't the union issue, it's why didn't they just go on a plot of land that is suitable for the store, and instead of us getting a small superstore we could have had a large one.
Nothing makes sense about it! If they hadn't of chased the stores out of the mall (especially the cinema, Rosa's, the book store, phat boys) those store and probably more would still be there. They only left town because their leases were not renewed.

MJ said...

1) The proposed Walmart is less than half size of the existing mall. (Which to me equals waste of space.) I fail to see how it is "too big". I say build it to its original size (still just over half the size of the existing mall) and get rid of the excessive parking requirements. Has anyone seen the existing Walmart lot ever more than 75% full? Does it need to be designed in case every resident decides to go there at the same time?

2) The issue comes about since the property is being divided and the Bonton is still there. So we have issues like building set-backs (another waste of space) and green space requirements (makes it hard for Walmart to meet the excessive parking space requirements.) The best would be if someone like Benderson bought the whole property and built a new building attached to it to lease to Walmart. We would still be freeing up the 200,000 sqft of space but not have to worry about the phantom property line running down the middle.

3)Be happy Walmart is moving inward. If it were to move out to 93 and 78 you'd see plazas and stores follow it. Walmart is a commercial draw for as much as people like to criticize it. WNY is full of areas that were built up around Walmarts in the name of progress(their model built on the outskirts for cheap land) only to leave empty plazas in the older sections of towns. (easy for politicians to ignore)

Anonymous said...

Oh that makes a lot of sense, you put in new laws (green space, parking, setbacks) to try and upgrade an area but because thats not how it used to be lets not go forward. And thats baloney about Walmart moving and taking businesses with it, everyone with any common sense knows that Walmart wipes out any local competition -
here's one study
Job Creation or Destruction? Labor-Market Effects of Wal-Mart Expansion - By Emek Basker, University of Missouri, Review of Economics & Statistics, February 2005

Often cited and typically misrepresented by Wal-Mart supporters, this study examines the impact of the arrival of a Wal-Mart store on retail and wholesale employment. It looks at 1,749 counties that added a Wal-Mart between 1977 and 1998. It finds that Wal-Mart's arrival boosts retail employment by 100 jobs in the first year—far less than the 200-400 jobs the company says its stores create, because its arrival causes existing retailers to downsize and lay-off employees. Over the next four years, there is a loss of 40-60 additional retail jobs as more competing retailers downsize and close. The study also finds that Wal-Mart's arrival leads to a decline of approximately 20 local wholesale jobs in the first five years, and an additional 10 wholesale jobs over the long run (six or more years after Wal-Mart's arrival). (Wal-Mart handles its own distribution and does not rely on wholesalers). This works out to a net gain of just 10-30 retail and wholesale jobs, and the study does not examine whether these jobs are part-time or whether they pay more or less than the jobs eliminated by Wal-Mart. The study also found that, within five years of Wal- Mart's arrival, the counties had lost an average of four small retail businesses, one midsized store, and one large store. It does not estimate declines in revenue to retailers that survive. Basker looked at the effect of Wal-Mart on retail employment in neighboring communities, but found that the confidence intervals were too large (meaning the results showed wide variation) to draw any conclusion about Wal-Mart's impact. (Her initial working paper, published in 2002, reported an average decline of 30 retail jobs in surrounding communities, but, after correcting an error, she determined the confidence intervals were too large to produce a precise result.)

Charles Dabkowski said...

Guys, guys--calm down. Everything is going to be OK. You will eventually get your Wal-Mart.
You deserve it.

MJ said...

I dd not mention local stores. My point was that they take stores (usually chain) with them. Look at 7 corners in Orchard Park etc. Walmarts always built on the edges of development with plazas and other stores following. No other stores have that power. Targets, Kohls etc build where the action all ready is. A lot of time dictated by the location of the Walmart. Build a Walmart farther down Transit and watch the existing plazas in Lockport empty out for locations closer to the Walmart. That was my only point. We should be happy that Walmart is finally trying to reuse our existing infrastructure instead of causing us to have to build new infrastructure plus maintain the old underused infrastructure around old empty plazas. That needlessly adds to our tax burden.

Your point was that it is ok farther down the road. That does nothing to protect the locals. My point was that farther down the road is more detrimental in the big scheme of things. That is all.

I agree that laws "try to make things better" but rarely do so. The "Transit North Plan" (if it gets off the ground) will do a lot of good by bringing buildings back up to the street etc. Setbacks are a waste of space. How does it benefit us to have a bunch of useless space between the BonTon and the Walmart? If things were built closer together and sharing more parking we'd have a lot more green space since the need for all the excessive parking would be reduced. The property line between Bonton and Walmart should be a moot point and the town rightly said it is. Public squares, tree lined sidewalks etc are useful green space. Not the homely trees and plots of dead grass skirting a massive parking lot. And last I knew, Walmart was meeting the green space requirement. Please let me know if I am mistaken.

Walmart is just another discount store. Kmart, Ames etc in a different name. Just doing a better job at being a discount store. People buy Toyotas telling the American manufactures to compete or get out of business, yet they treat Walmart differently for outdoing its competition. Why have it both ways?

Thank you for the comments. They are appreciated even if we don't agree.

I agree CD. It will come.

Anonymous said...

Rocket Boy Said: I could agree if Smart Growth was actually arguing FOR a better building, and just not No Walmart,

If you followed the arguments and quotes from various representatives of Smart Growth, That's exactly what they were saying. By building it on the property between Value and the Fieldstone, WalMart could have had everything they wanted in the original plan. Drive thru pharmacy, full size garden center and gas pumps.
Supporters of this projected should feel cheated for having to settle for a smaller store. And that's WalMarts fault. Walmart knows that occupying that corner controls the rest of the retail in this town, and they are willing to short change Lockport for that control. Why else would they spend this much time and money to build it there when a more suitable lot is a few hundred yards away?

MJ said...

How is it a better building being fought over? If you remove the property line split between the Bonton the overall property is legal and not "too big for the property". Questioning the overlay district requirement for windows on the front facade won't disappear if it went to 78 and 93. I'd be fine for it over there too if I wouldn't then have to drive passed more empty plazas on the way into the city. The Home Depot plaza is having trouble filling now. It would have even a tougher time if the new Walmart was built at 78+93 drawing activity further down the road. Though the owners of the Big Lots plaza would pry be happy as they would finally have some hope of filling in.

I still say build it between Ruhlman and Summit and give the tax base to the city. Signals exist on Transit at Summit and Rulhman and cars can easily go over to the 93 bypass to deflect some of the traffic off of Transit.

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