Housing Complex

Walmart Resistance Begins in Ward 4

A former use for the Curtis Chevrolet. (Lydia DePillis)

After a few weeks of processing the news of Walmart's arrival, it looks like at least one neighborhood–Brightwood–is mobilizing in attempt to bend the company to its will.

Funny thing is, the outcry wouldn't be as loud if developer Foulger-Pratt hadn't backed out of a planned community meeting on the subject, calling it "unecessary."

Rebecca Mills, who maintains the neighborhood's most active blog, is rallying neighborhood residents to pressure the developer to "halt their Wal-Mart plans until there is sufficient time for community input." According to Mills, the company has opted instead to meet with smaller groups, rather than put itself through a potentially contentious public meeting. (F-P executive Dick Knapp didn't return my call or email, but he told the Post's Jonathan O'Connell that they will be at the meeting).

One of those went off last Thursday, in which Foulger-Pratt and Walmart representatives met with Councilmember Muriel Bowser, local ANCs, and civic associations. According to notes by ANC commissioner Joseph Martin, Walmart said some encouraging things: In terms of design, there will be a wide sidewalk with plants and benches and parking for 362 cars underneath the 102,000-foot store, which may or may not be more than one level (the site can handle 400,000 square feet, which was roughly the size of Foulger-Pratt's previously planned residential development). In terms of working conditions, Walmart expects to have 70 percent full-time and 30 percent part-time employees, who will be entitled to health and dental insurance, as well as vacation pay.

But concerns remain. Last night, community members met again with labor activists to go over issues around traffic, impact on small businesses, and potential alternatives that could still be considered, like a Harris Teeter. Some of those issues will be sorted out through the Office of Planning's large tract review process, which requires traffic and environmental impact studies for anything larger than three acres. For questions around Walmart's labor practices and integration into the community, participants suggested negotiating a community benefits agreement–but, as Richard Layman notes, that's going to be pretty much impossible under these conditions. Plus, although the United Food and Commercial Workers Union has stood steadfastly against Walmart's arrival, building trades unions are likely to support it, undermining solidarity on that front.

D.C. Jobs With Justice's Mackenzie Baris acknowledges that labor advocates can't hold Walmart to a higher standard on their own.

"Any concessions will need to be voluntary on Walmart's part, or pushed by the developer as a condition," she says. "The main leverage we have it community opposition and pressure and concern by the Walmart or the developer over bad publicity and their reputations."

Brightwood is the only place where I've seen significant community mobilization thus far. An online poll has residents split on the New Jersey Avenue location, and Councilmember Harry Thomas is pretty psyched about the one in his own ward.

"I am excited that Wal-Mart recognizes that Ward 5 is an ideal location for its largest DC store," he said in a recent newsletter. "Connecting residents to the jobs this project will create is one of my biggest goals for my second term in office."

  • WARD411

    Je Martin is not in the affected area of the project. Rebecca Mills is as well as her neighbors. Bowser messed this up as well as other issues in the neighborhood.

  • Ward4elder

    Muriel Bowser is a horses a.ss. She does not know what she's doing and is in over her head. Why would she proceed in this manner? All these meetings with CERTAIN groups of people. Leaving the community out until the very end. Only to be upstaged by a very important no-show. Goodness, 2012, please get here.

  • Ward4Resident

    Ok, help me out with something - Brightwood residents have been complaining for years about the lack of retail options in this area of the city (I count myself as one of them). We have complained for years about how stores don't want to come into our neighborhood because of the crime, or how we have to drive to get to decent stores. Now, here's a store that is willing to make the jump we desperately need and people are fighting it? This corner has been the site of tons of illegal activity for years now, and something like a Walmart will go a long ways towards cleaning it up. If there's a Walmart, the police are going to have a lot more pressure to deal with the crime (look at the 14th St Target as an example). This is EXACTLY what we need and residents should stop fighting just for the sake of fighting (which is what is happening now). We finally have the opportunity to make our neighborhood better! Yes, I agree that the developer should be open to receiving input from the community, but I could care less about an old barn that is literally falling down or taking the corner away from our local drug-dealing thugs. Walmart, I for one WELCOME YOU!

  • Ward4elder

    Muriel Bowser has once again FAILED. It's not that I like or dislike Walmart. I, as a resident, want to be heard. I don't like secret meetings. I don't like not being included in the process until the very end when everything is pretty much done. She is useless.

  • WARD411

    THE FUNNIEST PART IS SHE INTRODUCED THE "OPEN GOVERNMENT" MEETINGS BILL....AND SHE DOESN'T FOLLOW IT HERSELF....PICK ME UP OFF THE FLOOR FROM LAUGHING!

  • KappaNupe

    Ward4Resident, I concur with your comments. Ward 4 residents in both Brightwood and 16th Street Heights should be welcoming Wal-Mart into the community. This intersection has been a mess for years plagued with crimes. Interesting, you have the 4th District located at this intersection and you still have drug deals going down. Look at the gentrified Columbia Heights area with the Target/Best Buy. You have more upscale professional people moving into Columbia Heights. Ward 4 Councilmember Muriel Bowser has done a disservice to the voters in Ward 4. In reference to the small businesses, what have they done in the community? Most have awful customer service and social skills. Everytime I walk inside a Wal-Mart, the employees say, welcome to Wal-Mart with such a pleasant attitude. You don't get that at these ghetto establishments on Georgia Avenue, NW in Ward 4.

  • Jon Bon Jovi

    LOL@KappaNupe

  • WARD4NDC

    As a life long Ward 4 DC resident, in my opinion, the residents/community in the neighborhood where Wal-Mart is to be built should have some input or say. I do shop at Wal-Mart and I buy my groceries there. We live in a capitalist society where democracy should be practiced. What pisses me off about Bowser is her having secret meetings only with the ANC's. Who died and made the ANC's the voice of the DC voters? Most ANC's don't represent the people or do a darn thing in their single member district's. The last time I looked, private citizens pay DC taxes, vote, and they should have a voice too. Bowser is supposed to represent all the voters, not only the ANC's. We have an elected legislative Council. Why do we need ANC's? What other city in the United States have ANC's? Most people don't vote for ANC's or know what an ANC is.

  • Lamont Akins

    Most residents in Ward 4 are in support of Walmart coming. These small groups of residents that are against the Walmart will be against any progress in Ward 4. For the last several years residents have asked Trader Joes, Harris Teeter, etc. to come into the area. What happen, nothing, catch a clue they do not want to come to Ward 4.

    I am in full support of Walmart coming to Ward 4. Walmart brings fresh meat, fresh produce, lower prices, jobs, and competition for Safeway on Piney Branch. It will bring an economic revitaliztion that is needed on Georgia Ave.

    There is no time to step backwards and talk about what can be developed at the site, the time is up and has past. There have not been any secret meetings, all ANC Commissioners, neighborhood associations, the local business alliance and non-profit business development organization where invited. Not all attended which speaks volumes that not all persons are against Walmart.

    Now what we need to do is focus our energy on working with Folger-Pratt to get a building that will assist small businesses with store fronts at the street level. Work with Walmart on a great community benefits package.

    Hey opposition, get over it, Let's Move Ward 4 Forward. The train has left the station.

    Lamont Akins
    ANC 4D01
    ANC 4D Chairman

  • DaddyGraceFishSandwich

    The residents in Ward 4 should be happy Wal-Mart want's to build in their Ward. Let's face it people, Georgia Avenue, NW will never be or look like Wisconsin and Connecticut Avenues, NW in Ward 3. Until you get rid of the low life welfare recipients who live like animals and continue to commit crimes in Ward 4, this area will still look like a war torn Central American or Caribbean nation. I am tired of some black folks making excuses for these black thugs that's committing most of the crimes in the District. If you offered some of these hoodlums a job, they wouldn't take it. All they want to do is kill, rob, rape, and pillage in the community. I am sick of all the black on black violence! Where are the so called black leaders in DC and why aren't they speaking out against the black on black violence? I never heard Mayor Fenty or any black member of the DC Council speak out against black on black violence in DC. Until we as black people start addressing out of wedlock births and black on black violence, we will continue to be in denial. There are 2 and 3 churches on every corner in this city and most aren't doing a darn thing in the communities. Churches are tax exempt and most ministers continue to pimp the parishioners from the pulpit.

  • Liesl M.

    KappaNupe wrote: "Look at the gentrified Columbia Heights area with the Target/Best Buy. You have more upscale professional people moving into Columbia Heights."

    I agree with a lot of what you say, but what made Target and Best Buy move into Columbia Heights is the Metro, pure and simple. That area is gentrifying because of that Metro stop, which was there long before Target and Best Buy. The presence of that Metro stop spurred the development of housing (nice condos and apartments) and retail establishments in that area. Georgia Avenue between Silver Spring and Petworth has no Metro stop as a development anchor (and it has taken years and years for Silver Spring and Petworth to develop even with their Metro stops). I really think that is a big reason why that stretch of Georgia Avenue isn't gentrifying.

    It frustrates me too because I live in Brightwood and like KappaNupe, I do not patronize the businesses in that area. Issues with customer service aside (and there are issues!), they simply do not sell merchandise that I'm interested in buying. Also, the majority of the restaurants along Ga. Ave. between Silver Spring and Petworth, with a few notable exceptions (Jackie's, Brightwood Bistro, Fusion, Moroni and Brothers), are lousy. I'd like to see a much better selection of shops and restaurants in my neighborhood, especially given that Shepherd Park, Takoma DC, and Brightwood are solidly middle-class at the very least--hardly 'ghetto'. Surely we can do better than endless liquor stores, check-cashing establishments, hair salons, barber shops, and crappy fast food carry-out joints. No offense to the owners or customers of these places, but there is nothing there for me, so I shop elsewhere.

  • http://georgec.koch@gmail.com George Charles Koch

    Hey I think this will be a welcome addition. I remember the folks in Adams-Morgan fighting the location of METRO in their area when the subway was being planned. They did stop the METRO but I am not sure what they won?

  • Ron moten

    Just to be clear, Ward4elder and Ward411, you're both dipshits. Should every meeting be held in a stadium sufficient to hold all 80K Ward 4 residents on the off-chance idiots like you might attend (but probably wont). or is it better to hold big meetings with a dozen affected community leaders in order to gauge the electorate's initial feelings.

  • Rick Mangus

    See I told you all this was comming! Between the crooked UFCW local 400 and these so-called community activist ASS HOLES, plus crooked politicians this project will never get off the drawing board. I'm waiting for some way Jim Graham aka (The Queen of All Media) to get involved and pearch herself in front of a camera!

    Rebecca Mills, YOU ARE AN IDIOT!!!

  • DaddyGraceFishSandwich

    @RickMangus, I live in Ward 1 too. Please don't get me started on Miss Graham. She's definitely a Queen! Rick, NOODLEZ and others, I like how you tell it like it is. Please continue to speak your minds and forget about what's political correct.

  • http://urbanplacesandspaces.blogspot.com Richard Layman

    There are at least 5 different issues, some of which matter to people, and some don't.

    1. Whether a Walmart at all
    2. A Walmart with various "community benefits"
    3. A development at that site
    4. how a development at that site contributes or not to revitalization along Georgia Avenue
    5. impacts of various types of development at that site

    I am resigned to a Walmart. There is no way to prevent one under DC law. And I am not too interested in trying to get community benefits, because there are few leverage points, again, because for the most part this is a matter of right project.

    For me the issue is what kind of development on that site, whether or not it contributes to revitalization along the corridor, and mitigating negative impacts.

    I am ok with a Walmart there IF IT IS part of a mixed use development on that site, and with appropriate traffic mitigation plans. E.g., creating a delivery service for large packages, some kind of shuttle from either or both Fort Totten and Petworth Metro stations, changing the pavements on streets such as Quackenbos (my street), to limit the likelihood of through traffic traveling between GA Ave. and Blair Road. (It'd be way better if it were to be located at a transit site.)

    If it's not part of a mixed use development that contributes further to improvements on Georgia Avenue, then Foulger-Pratt needs to be lobbied. But ultimately it is up to them, not Walmart, to do such a project.

  • Kappa in Ward 4

    I for one think its great that we are getting something at this site. You ppl complain about every damn thing... you dont want housing, no retail, you want vacant lots!! get over yourselves..... this lots has been vacant for atleast 4 years..i mean how much longer do we want that??? a walmart would vastly improve the dynamics of this corridor.

    Jack on 13th st

  • Bob See

    cc'd comment at the Brightwoodian blog:

    An empty lot sure isn't going to anchor any development. It's just going to continue to anchor crime, and continue to showcase Georgia Ave as a run-down dump who's primary benefit is getting to and from Md as quickly as possible.

    As far as assessing impact, yeah there will be more traffic. On a site that large, it doesn't matter whether it's a single large store or several smaller ones, there will be more cars and people around. It's change, and I think worth it.

  • AA

    As a Brightwood resident who lives 3 blocks from the proposed site I welcome it with open arms! The stores on Georgia are awful and walmart will very likely bring foot traffic, which means more businesses. Not to mention that safeway on piney branch deserves some serious competition. Perhaps with a walmart they will operate more than 2 to 3 checkout lanes during the busiest operating hours.

  • Delta Soror

    I agree with other members of the Divine 9, why do some always complain? Having a Wal-Mart at Georgia and Missouri Avenues, NW would be great? If it were a Harris & Teeter, Whole Foods, or Sears, some residents would find something negative to say. This is why some parts of Ward 4 is a hell hole. Someone mentioned, we are mostly a middle class neighborhood. I have to disagree, because Ward 4 now has lot's of lower class uneducated and possible illegal immigrants from mostly Central America living in our Ward. Many of these people haven't been taught to live around civilized people. Many of the apartment buildings Ward 4 are overcrowded and many of our longtime middle class neighborhoods are being trashed. This type of behavior wouldn't be allowed in Ward 3 or anywhere west of Rock Creek Park. No one has complained illegal immigrants or illegal immigration. I look forward to Wal-Mart coming to our Ward.

    Deborah

    14th & Ingraham Street, NW

  • Delta Soror

    Correction:

    No one has complained about illegal immigrants or illegal immigration. I look forward to Wal-Mart coming to our Ward.

  • Bob See

    I wonder how long the site will stay an empty weed-filled place of "bizness" before the *ideal* development happens? 10 years? 20?

    I'd like to thank the resistance for their dedication. It doesn't seem to be benefiting anyone else, but what do I know?

    -somewhat proud resident of TPDC

  • WARD4NDC

    It would be nice if a Wegmans were to build at this location. Let's face it, many people can't afford to shop at Wegmans, Whole Foods, or the Organic Market on Georgia Avenue, NW. The Safeway and Giant prices are high too. I haven't been in the Safeway on Piney Branch and Georgia Avenue, NW in a long time, because the customer service is horrible, I've seen rodents, and they keep one or two lanes open. Gasoline prices are $3.00 and up in most places. Many people are losing their jobs and is struggling to make ends meet. Many seniors or people on disability will not be getting a raise again in 2011 on their Social Security checks. Many working people are not getting raises, but the cost of living is continuing to go up. Most healthcare plans are going up tremendously in 2011. Wal-Mart prices can fit into most people's budgets and their food prices is much cheaper than Safeway, Giant, Shoppers, Harris & Teeter, Whole Foods, and Food Lion. I say to the few residents in Brightwood, stop bitching and get on board with the majority and welcome Wal-Mart to Ward 4.

    Bernard
    Ward 4

  • Rick Mangus

    'WARD4NDC', Wegman's will only build in economic stable zones, sorry the way Georgia Avenue is now because of meddling idots like Rebecca Mills the area will remain a sink hole!

  • WARD4NDC

    @Rick Mangus. I am afraid you are correct. LOL LOL

  • DCexpat

    The opposition to WalMart in W4 is simply racial, its perceived as a white owned and outsider business by many of the hardcore racists in the area. My guess is many of those folks benefit off the drug market that goes on at that intersection but that's another story. If WalMart is smart they will send black reps to the meetings and hopefully squelch the protests, but that may not work either as they'll be decried as bamas and whatnot. Its a sad sad place, upper ward 4, that deserves every lost nickel of poverty it gets.

  • EMiller

    I, too, agree that Muriel has once again missed the boat. And I, too, agree with those of you who support Wal-mart. We already have a Safeway (two, in fact)- for better or worse- on Georgia Ave. so we really do not need Harris Teeter or Wegmans. We need an all-purpose store, like a Target, or a Wal-mart, that will cater to our needs so we do not have to drive to Maryland or across town. I am really tired of hearing about the lost business along that corridor. Let's face it the only businesses along that strip of Georgia are a myriad of liquor stores, hair braiding salons and fast food restaurants. The only threat Wal-mart will pose to these stores is that they may face higher rents. It would be a blessing to see that area north of Missouri cleaned up. It would be nice to aspire to more than Doggy Day Care along that busy intersection.

  • Tod Ewing

    I enjoy living in this area and as for the Wal-mart it seems to me community input is very important and that the impact be evaluated not just in general but very specifically and that there be clarity about how the traffic issue is going to be handled. That does not make me for it or against it, it makes me desirous of being fully and truthfully informed without alot of drama. What concerns me about this email stream is the racial comments made by a few. On these kinds of forums their is not room for thoughtful discussion so I would encourage people and I say this politely, to not throw racial accusations and innuendo into this mix.

  • WARD411

    RON MOTEN BESIDES BEING A THIEF YOU ARE DUMB. LAMONT AKINS NOT EVERY RESIDENT IN WARD 4 SUPPORTS WALMART AS YOU HAVE STATED BUT THAT IS TO BE EXPECTED FROM YOU SINCE YOU WERE GIVEN A JOB BY BOWSER THROUGH HER PRINCE FENTY PAYING YOU 70K FOR DOING NOTHING AS REPORTED BY YOUR CO-WOKERS IN DC GOVERNMENT.
    BOWSER IS AT FAULT FOR ALL OF THIS BECAUSE SHE WENT WITH FENTY IN FEBRUARY TO THE RETAIL CONVENTION IN VEGAS WHEN THIS DEAL THAT HAS ALREADY BEEN MADE WAS DONE! SHE IS THE WORST THING TO HAPPEN TO WARD 4.

  • SuperS

    Some of us in Ward 4 has got to be the stupidest people on the planet. We have a chance to bring economic development to Ward 4 and what do we do complain the whole fuc----- way. I hope that we don't let the few that oppose everything, because they are so miserable and have nothing else to do, stop the majority of us from getting a Walmart.

  • BJones

    I commend residents in Ward 4 for speaker out, and demanding to be apart of this process. In Ward 7 we have have no leadership in CM Yvette Alexander. Also, many of the ANC are disfuctional. If we were smart we'd develop a cross ward CBA hold Walmart and the non-functional CM's accountable. Yes, I agree that several if not all CM made deals in Vegas, now we have to work together to bring the best options to our communities. Hey Ward 4 will your Walmart sale guns? That's my question.

    I look forward when Ward 7 get balls like Ward 4 and standup and fight. Not continue to be lead by light/blondy of PennBranch/Hillcrest.... We have potentials lets show it!! BJ

  • Rick Mangus

    People of Ward 4 you all need to marginalize people like Rebecca Mills and tell them to shut-up and bug-out!

  • Tiggy

    @Delta Soror "Many of these people haven't been taught to live around civilized people" Real nice... I love how you threw in a little biggatry. If you knew your history, not to long ago people, whole countries and organized religions considered your folk "uncivilized" and I am sure you have relatives that were treated and made to take jobs like these "illegal uneducated Central Americans" you speak of. If you like Walmart, like Walmart don't use the discussion to mistreat a whole category of people. Use your highfalutin' education for good, not evil:)

  • CampaigningKappa

    I must say that I disagree with my fellow frat brothers and other greeks on the board. The last thing you want in that part of the city is a Walmart. The company does not spark true positive growth. Show me one transformed neighborhood which has a walmart. I can show you targets, wholefoods, Wagmens, HarrisTeeters, etc but no Walmarts. It is not by accident. You don't want a walmart in your community you want positive growth, improvement and jobs. I feel bad for the residents of the area if/when it comes. Hey, I'm near another one of the sites in the city and I wish I had to money to stop the project as I don't think it will be good for the community.

  • WARD4NDC

    @Tiggy; the correct spelling is bigotry, not biggatry. Were you educated in the Salvadoran school system down in El Salvador? Since some mentioned illegal immigration, I haven't heard any of you liberals discussing the impact of illegal immigration on black U.S. citizens and our neighborhoods. I am a Democrat, but I am not a liberal and I don't support illegal immigration. If Wal-Mart comes to Georgia & Missouri Avenues, NW, I wonder how many of these construction jobs will go to U.S. citizens black and white?

  • Domo

    "@Tiggy; the correct spelling is bigotry, not biggatry. Were you educated in the Salvadoran school system down in El Salvador?"

    Spelling nazi, sure sign of someone bereft of a real argument.

    " I haven't heard any of you liberals discussing the impact of illegal immigration on black U.S. citizens and our neighborhoods. "

    I don't know, most of them don't seem to be lazy and useless trying to excuse it with cries of "oppression"...

    "I wonder how many of these construction jobs will go to U.S. citizens black and white?"

    Doesn't seem many americans are interested in working construction. We've got cheap immigrant labor at our disposal, after all, giving us time to do real work like sitting at a computer. Are you going to help build it? If not, then kindly shut up, because your complaining just sounds like hollow posturing.

  • Muczu

    I live a few blocks from the proposed Wal-Mart and I'm looking forward to that lot being put to use again. Would I have prefered to see a Target along with a Harris-Teeter set up shop there? Sure! But neither retailer made an offer. Did Wal-Mart kill off the mom and pop shops around the town square in the little town I grew up in 30 years ago. Right again. But it's 2010, not 1975. Mom and pop retail isn't what it used to be. And my neighborhood could use a variety retail store like Wal-Mart, just as Ward4Resident, KappaNupe, Ward4NDC, Lamont Akins and Delta Soror point out. And as Bob See states, Wal-Mart is definitely better than a weed filled, crime ridden empty lot that is doing nothing for the community. As far as community input goes, I think the community should try to get as much as possible: underground parking, traffic mitigation plan, whatever. But in the end, we are a capitalist country and the owner of that lot should be able to decide along with the buyer what to do with his property. Sure, the politicians and organizations should try to influence the plan for the better for the community. But just to throw rocks and complain does no one any good: neither the seller, the buyer nor the community. Why can't everyone approach this as a win-win all around and then truly try to work towards that win. Even if everyone doesn't get everything they want, at least we all get a little something and the community benefits as a whole.
    As far as metro goes, I agree with Liesl M. Lack of metro does make the area less attractive to big developments like in Columbia Heights. I've always wondered why there is not a station between Takoma and Fort Totten. It seems like the area around where the metro accident was last year would be large enough for a metro stop plus there is already commercial space there which could be developed. Maybe even get some mixed use development in the area. It's approximately a mile from Takoma station, a mile from Fort Totten station and about a mile and a half from Georgia Ave. It might not be walking distance from Wal-Mart, but it would bring a metro station a little closer to Brightwood.
    I just hope that the nay-sayers don't block the development so long that Wal-Mart decides it's not worth the trouble and we end up with no jobs, no tax income, no convenience to the residents and a non-productive empty eyesore for years to come.

  • EMiller

    To Muczu: Well stated. Amen.

  • CatbirdsinBrightwood

    The idea of a Wal-Mart is great for this area. We can finally begin to reclaim money DC loses to Montgomery County, Maryland everyday because there are few retail options in this area. The Wal-Mart will likely pull money into DC from Maryland shoppers. It's great and it may just be the spark needed to propel Georgia Avenue to a status enjoyed by Connecticut and Wisconsin Avenues. That status: a place people visit, spend money and enjoy.

  • madmilker

    on Wal*Mart's China web page!

    "Wal-Mart China persists in local procurement which provides more job opportunities, supports local manufacture industry and promotes local economy. So far, 95% of merchandising sold at Wal-Mart China store are local products by which Wal-Mart has established business relations with nearly 20,000 suppliers. At Wal-Mart, we treat suppliers as partners and would like to develop with them. In 2008 Wal-Mart won the Supplier Satisfaction published by Business Information of Shanghai for five consecutive years."

    5% foreign in China...

    That doesn't support American exports and American jobs.

    Remember what Lance Winslow wrote in that article "The Flow of Trade in a Global Economy"....

    "Now let us look at Wal-Mart again; you buy a product there, 6% goes to the employees, 10-18% is profit to the company, 25% goes to other costs and 50% goes to re-stock or the cost of goods sold. Of the 50% about 20-25% goes to China, a guess, but you get the point. Now then, how long will it take at 433 Billion dollars at year for China to have all of our money, leaving no money flow for us to circulate? At a 17 Trillion dollar economy less than 40-years minus the 1/6 they buy from us. Some say that if we keep putting money into our economy, it would take forever, but if we do not then eventually all the money flow will go. If China buys our debt then eventually they own us, no need to worry about a war, they are buying America, due in part to our own mismanaged trade, so whose fault is that? Not necessarily China, as they are doing what's in the best interests, and we should make sure that trade is not only free, but fair too."

    Think for a moment about George Washington....yes the man that is on the US dollar bill....How do you think George feels being sent overseas in return for all that foreign so-call cheap items and being left in a foreign bank because the American worker doesn't make anything for the foreigners to buy. Cheap items didn't make this great union of 50 states the greatest place on the face of this Earth.....the American worker (union and non-union) did.

    You can't have a strong country without having a strong currency and you can't have a strong currency unless you keep it floating around within your 50 states. This is why the store with the star in the name puts 95% China made items in their stores in China....to keep their "yuan" in their country helping the nice people there. And with only 5% left for all the other 182 country's that make stuff including the United States of America....that doesn't produce very many jobs outside of China.

    Being an old person myself and knowing how it was back in the 40's, 50's and 60's in this union of 50 states....I look at George each time I pull him out of my billfold and make a promise to send him out for items made in America so after floating around helping each hand he touches just maybe one day he will shake mine again.

    Fifteen cargo ships pollute as much as 760 million automobiles.

    $9 billion a year in hidden taxes to all American taxpayers to clean fish from ballast tanks of ships...

    think about all those facts the next time you pull that George out of your pocket....

    Retail makes NOTHING...

    Governments only make MORE DEBT...

    It's time for less of those two and for America to get back to what it does best....MAKE STUFF..

    cause George Washington on that dollar can't help anyone in the United States of America if he is being held in a foreign hand.

    Made In America is the only way out of this mess cause foreign made put US here.

  • AG

    We do neeed to clean up Georgia Ave in all area's but by bringing in a Walmart watch your home values will hit rock bottom, I have witnessed it on other areas. Safeway will close they can't compete. We need more upscale stores like Harris Tetter, Whole Foods, Trader Joes. Take a look at the Rockville area up around the court house that is what I would love to see happen in DC. Restaurants shops not a big lot store like Walmart that will bring down the neighborhood--- it has happened in every area they go into. The residents need to be asked what they want in those area's not two groups getting together and making the decesion for us. I agree Fenty and Bowser have let down Ward 4 residents and shame on them since Fenty supposedly lives in it. But it is time to take back our neighborhood and not let them destoy it further. STOP WALMART

  • Dave

    AG ... The small time shop owners have had decades to turn a corner for this area. We do not need another hair salon, or another out-of-code bodega, nor do we need another liquor store or embarrassing restaurant attempt. The small business owners of Washington DC are a DISGRACE to the community and they are exploitative of their perches as "The only games in town." Wake up, poorly run businesses and crime are the reason Georgia avenue is what it is right now.

    Look at the surrounding areas... Kennedy...Longfellow... There is an apartment going for 85K! HOW CAN PRICES GET ANY LOWER?!? Property value will go up. Period. The businesses that do get shuttered will be the ones that should have NEVER been open in the first place. Finally who will take their place? A diverse and interesting array of specialty shops that will appeal to the increased volume of people shopping in Ward 4.

    Think about it... all of upper northwest will be coming down our way on military... Folks who live on New Hampshire will not have to drive out to MD to buy eggs and bread. 16th street heights will certainly enjoy the benefit of having this retailer present.

    You must not have a good track record for real estate investments so let me tell you right now: You are wrong, with this investment, the intersection will see further investments.. Over time there will be a transition in the area and the blight of 30 years of negligence will begin to fade.

...