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Thursday, February 24, 2005

REJECTED!!!!!!! Wal-Mart not moving to Queens

Queens to Wally World: not welcome Posted by Hello

Talks break down for Queens Wal-mart


February 23, 2005, 10:17 PM EST

City Council member Helen Sears said yesterday that Wal-Mart Stores won't have a place in a shopping center being planned by Vornado Realty Trust at Junction Boulevard and 62nd Drive in Rego Park.

"I understand that Vornado has ended negotiations with Wal-Mart to open its doors in my district," the statement said.

Unions and community activists have promised to fight Wal-Mart's entry. They argue that the company is a bad neighbor, saying it has anti-union policies and a record of labor violations. Many City Council members have also voiced concerns about Wal-Mart's policies.

That opposition has threatened Vornado's plans to build the mixed-use development, since it will need permits and approvals from several layers of city government, from the Department of City Planning to local community boards.

Richard Lipsky, a spokesman for the Neighborhood Retail Alliance, cheered the breakdown of negotiations.

"It's the largest retailer in the world coming together with one of the largest real estate companies in the city, and they were unable to culminate a deal because of a fear that the project as a whole would be sunk if Wal-Mart were a part of it," he said.

"It's a very foreboding situation for Wal-Mart," he added. Wal-Mart, which is based in Bentonville,Ark., has said it is looking at several other locations in the city, though it hasn't named them.

If they couldn't cut a deal with Vornado in Queens, where are they going to cut a deal? There is no place in the city, even Staten Island, where they could negotiate that process. If I ran Target, I would seek to open as many as 10 stores in the city. Because Wal Mart will never negotiate the process as long as the unions oppose them, and this is a free and clear shot for Target and Kohls to expand into the city. The Neighborhood Retail Alliance would be on much shakier ground opposing more Targets, as they were with Home Depot and K Mart.

posted by Steve @ 12:04:00 PM

12:04:00 PM

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