Updated 09/14/2012 11:47 PM
Walmart Backs Away From Potential Brooklyn Lot
One of the city's major developers announced Friday it would not be working with Walmart, at least in Brooklyn. NY1's Courtney Gross filed the following report.
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An overgrown and empty lot in East New York, Brooklyn was long coveted by the world's largest retailer. It was there Walmart hoped to bring its low prices to the five boroughs, its first break into the city market.
But on Friday, those hopes were dashed, when the site's developer, Related Companies, confirmed it had gone with a different option: ShopRite.
In a statement, a Walmart executive said the breakdown was over "economic terms."
Walmart spokesman Steven Restivo says in a statement, "We remain committed to bringing new economic development and shopping options to New York City, especially in the neighborhoods that need them most."
He adds, "Walmart will continue to evaluate local opportunities across all five boroughs.”
This is not the first time the retail giant lost out on a New York City location. In 2005, talks fell through over a site in Queens after community opposition.
This time, not much changed. Unions rallied and protested the retailer coming to the five boroughs. The City Council held intense hearings, and of course, there were protests.
While some polling shows a majority of New Yorkers want a Walmart to come to the city, some small businesses owners said a Walmart would put them under.
"They are a big giant, they pay people cheap. No union, no nothing," said Eddie Peralta of New Lots Hardware. "They come in and destroy all the mom-and-pop stores that have been working all of their lives."
But not everyone opposed the store coming to the five boroughs. Mayor Michael Bloomberg had spoken in favor of the retailer.
"I just think we should have them here and if they survive and prosper then that's the market place saying they are great value added," the mayor said in December.
Walmart officials said support like this that means they are keeping their options open.