Walmart Tries to Open in NYC -- Again

Controversial discounter eyeing Brooklyn location for NYC outpost

By Erica Butler
|  Monday, Apr 26, 2010  |  Updated 6:05 PM EDT
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Walmart Tries to Open in NYC -- Again

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Walmart is gearing up for another fight, as they continue to eye possible locations to open its first New York City store. High on the list- for the hot-button discount retailer is the 630,000-square-foot Gateway II shopping center off Jamaica Bay in Brooklyn

Union leaders from United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1500, are planning a protest the retail giant within the next 10 days. 

"We don't like how they treat workers as it relates to salaries and benefits, and we're not going to have them in our community," City Councilman Charles Barron of Brooklyn told Crain's New York.

This isn't the first time the company has tried to open a location in one of the five boroughs.  Attempts in Queens and Staten Island  were shot down when labor unions and community groups fought against it's opening.  Protesters feared the chain would put mom and pop shops out of business and threaten jobs at Pathmark, Key Food and Duane Reade.  The location could also pose a problem for stores like Target and BJ's Wholesale Club, who are both tenants in the Gateway I complex.

According to Crain's, the store has been on the look out for an as-of-right site, that would not require approval by the City Planning Commission.

“We know that New Yorkers want to shop and work at Walmart, and as a result, we continue to evaluate potential opportunities here,” Steven Restivo, the company's director of community affairs told Crain's.

The site at Gateway II is currently vacant, and Walmart has not released any plans to open at the Brooklyn location. According to Crain's, Walmart is believed to also be examining other sites in the outer boroughs.
 

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