Wal-Mart to Plant Supercenter Front on Dallas Street

Apr 29, 2002

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. has chosen an in-town Dallas location for the first of a new generation of “urban” discount stores. The proposed store will front right on the street. Parking will be built at ground level under the elevated Supercenter.

“We’ve never built a store like this,” says Wal-Mart spokeswoman Daphne Davis Moore. “We’ve had to use specially designed escalators that allow you to take your shopping carts on them.”

Although Wal-Mart stores are common in suburban areas, few of its “big box” retail buildings have been constructed in more congested urban cores. “In urban areas, it is a challenge to get enough available land” for a Supercenter, usually more than 20 acres, Ms. Moore says. “But we recognize that lots of people live in these urban areas, and more are moving back from the suburbs. We want to be where our customers are.”

Moderator Comment: How active a role should retailers
encourage communities to play in site development?

Wal-Mart has probably encountered the most community
resistance to site development. The company that Sam built, however, is not
the only retailer to has faced this battle.

An opinion piece in today’s New York Times, Rebuilding
a City One Block at a Time
discusses how Los Angeles has sought to
rebuild from the riots. The thesis is that LA is making it back largely due
to economic development made in consultation with and reflecting the priorities
of the residents of that area.

Torie Osborn, who wrote the column, calls this process
accountable development. According to the Times, Osborn is executive
director of the Liberty Hill Foundation, a group that supports grass-roots community
organizations. [George
Anderson – Moderator

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