Urban Fold

Mayor to Wal-Mart: Build More or Else

Washington, DC Mayor Vincent Gray isn't fighting the megaretailer like other cities have. In fact, he's demanding Wal-Mart build more stores than they have planned, or he's threatening to pull their permits.

Specifically, Mayor Gray is demanding Wal-Mart build in the Skyland Shopping Center in his home ward.

As the Washington Post has previously reported, Wal-Mart wants to open new stores in D.C. neighborhoods "where retail options are relatively scarce: on the site of a former car dealership on Georgia Avenue NW; at New York Avenue and Bladensburg Road NE; as part of a new mixed-use development on New Jersey Avenue NW; and at East Capitol and 58th streets SE."

Wal-Mart representatives are currently working with the D.C. Council and neighborhood and community groups in those areas to try to get their stores built.

The Mayor made clear that his threats were not idle, according to reporter Jonathan O'Connell:

"Gray indicated he would be willing to go so far as to nix the company's requests for building permits on privately owned sites, even for neighborhoods where residents favored Wal-Mart's opening."

Full Story: Misplaced priorities: threatening Walmart if they don't open another store


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