KFnet in T-Town

Nov. 2, 2011 at 6:53am

Walmart 1, Tacoma 0 - What's Next?

Now that it's clear Walmart was indeed successful in avoiding a big box moratorium put in place by our City Council what's next for Tacoma and her citizens? For people who'd like to prevent the retailer from, as @RR_Anderson puts it on Twitter, dropping a steaming pile of "SHIFT IS HAPPENING" on the current Elk's Lodge log in our Central Neighborhood off Union and 19th? Was their application for development fully vetted to the point that it's been deemed squeaky clean? Does our City Council have an ace up it's sleeve somewhere in the building process they can use to put a wrench in the Walmart machine? Do we #OccupyWalmart and throw our bodies in front of their bulldozers and construction cranes? Or do citizens have to simply vote with their wallets and shut the place down through captialism?

If you don't want to see Walmart in Tacoma, how do you plan to fight back?

comments [256]  |  posted under development, economic development, tacoma, urban planning, walmart


by KevinFreitas on 11/2/2011 @ 6:58am
I'd also ask what kind of precedent exists in other areas who've successfully fought from having a Walmart built in their backyard?

by fredo on 11/2/2011 @ 7:17am
The city could have passed legislation making it hard to open big box stores in town long ago. But they waited until the Elks property was already optioned off to WalMart. They waited too long. All that time the council spent debating Arizona immigration policies could have been used for the benefit of Tacomans by debating big box store development policies. I think this episode really shines an unflattering light on the council. They're in a big rush every Tuesday to get through their agenda as fast as possible. They even take pride in getting out of chamber in just one hour.

by fredo on 11/2/2011 @ 7:19am
sorry the previous posting isn't broken up into paragraphs. Whenever I edit a posting it always adds a lot extra characters which makes it hard to read.

by panachronic on 11/2/2011 @ 7:24am
I just wanted to take a moment to thank Tacoma's lefties for all of the laughs. Their irrational hatred for Walmart makes for high comedy that you just can't find anywhere else. It's a great show. Carry on!

by KevinFreitas on 11/2/2011 @ 7:25am
I agree that they acted too late on this one and that's why Walmart is steaming ahead. So what now can they/we do if we don't want Walmart in Tacoma? Or, if we do, how do we get them to take up shop in that old Lowes place instead?

Thx for the snarky remark @panachronic but this isn't about left or right this is an exploration of how anyone can find ways to take action to help them have a stake in the place they live. That's what FeedTacoma is all about -- voice -- and that's why I love Tacoma. We're big enough to have plenty going on here but small enough that any one person can be heard and make a difference.

by fredo on 11/2/2011 @ 7:47am
I think it's a mistake to overstate the anti-walmart sentiment. There are a lot of people in town and on feedtacoma specifically who don't like Walmart. But it certainly isn't everybody in Tacoma by a long shot. Is it a majority of Tacoman's? I haven't seen any evidence of that either.

by The Jinxmedic on 11/2/2011 @ 8:00am
I agree with Fredo- this is the kind of thing that happens when your city council wastes valuable time worrying about laws in other states. Really though, an urban WalMart smack downtown where the Luzon used to be would be good business.

by NineInchNachos on 11/2/2011 @ 8:20am
with a new walmart will panachronic find employment?

by NineInchNachos on 11/2/2011 @ 8:22am
the city council folded like a lawn chair when walmart developer threatened to sue for $5 million dollars.

Clear Channel is claiming $75 million... so is the council waiting till after the election to fold for them too ?

by wildcelticrose on 11/2/2011 @ 8:24am
I can tell you the first thing I did.

I voted with my... ballot...

I hadn't filled it out yet, but you can believe that I did so as soon as this vote came out.

by NineInchNachos on 11/2/2011 @ 8:55am
did you Choose Your Own Adventure, wildceltic?


by NineInchNachos on 11/2/2011 @ 9:03am
"At the end of the day there was 3 true friends to stopping Walmart. Council members Mello, Fey & Walker were 3 solid votes to protect us, however it takes 5 to do anything in this city & the threat of a multi million dollar lawsuit by Walmart won the day. It's disappointing how tonights ordnance was brought forward. It never should have been brought forward by a substitute ordnance & amendments should have been brought from the dais for an up or down vote, not behind the scene as it was!"

by NineInchNachos on 11/2/2011 @ 9:05am
"A substitute Ordnance was brought forward which had all the nasty things rolled into one. So instead of amendments being brought forth for an up or down vote it created a situation that if you voted against the moratorium your voting to allow Walmart, if your voting for the moratorium your still voting to allow Walmart. Piss poor way to do it if you ask me!"

by Jesse on 11/2/2011 @ 9:08am
"the city council folded like a lawn chair when walmart developer threatened to sue for $5 million dollars.

Clear Channel is claiming $75 million... so is the council waiting till after the election to fold for them too ?" -- RR

The law doesn't apply to anyone with money. It's always been that way but this is so blatant.

So... calling all developers! You can now build in Tacoma and completely ignore the parking requirements! Just threaten to sue and you'll get everything you want!!!

Really though, what good is gov't if not for the law?

by NineInchNachos on 11/2/2011 @ 9:10am
no walmart facebook group chatter:

Q: So Walmart won?

A: NO, lets be clear. SEPA’s can be challenged and we need to continue the public shaming of Walmart! A fight at City hall was just one of many aspects we as a community need to battle. If we sit here and think this makes them win, then game over. Walmarts name needs to be dragged through the mud...which means people like us need to roll up our sleeves and get involved!


by JesseHillFan on 11/2/2011 @ 9:12am
I should sue the city of Tacoma say for $5 million too.
Any concocted reason should work.O.K. I might settle out of court for a measly $1 million.

by NineInchNachos on 11/2/2011 @ 9:14am
TNT coverage www.thenewstribune.com/2011/11/01/188907...

by Joel 413 on 11/2/2011 @ 9:16am
How come business can refuse to service customers but a city can't refuse to service a business?

by NineInchNachos on 11/2/2011 @ 9:30am
because corporations are people and government should be run more like a business ?

by MarkMonlux on 11/2/2011 @ 9:34am
There was one Wal-Mart location where the employees successfully voted to become a union. That Wal-Mart closed its doors the very next day.

by NineInchNachos on 11/2/2011 @ 9:35am
BE THERE www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=292441330...

by tacoma1 on 11/2/2011 @ 9:39am
I'm highly disappointed in the Mayor and David Boe.

Didn't this whole conversation start over a traffic revision request? A turn lane that the developer deemed essential to the project? Couldn't the city refuse the traffic revision if they truly oppose this project?

by fredo on 11/2/2011 @ 9:51am
Look at it this way tacoma1. Walmart selected a site that was served by various transit options. This increases the liklihood that people will commute by bus to do their shopping in that neighborhood. That's a good thing isn't it?

by NineInchNachos on 11/2/2011 @ 9:54am
they managed to create a legal spagetti that well vote for it / dont't vote for it... it didn't matter!

that is one for the history books

by tacoma1 on 11/2/2011 @ 9:55am
Which is exactly why a multi use facility would be better there.

by NineInchNachos on 11/2/2011 @ 9:58am
will a huge flat screen tv fit in the bike rack on front of a bus?

by NineInchNachos on 11/2/2011 @ 10:01am
whole thing stinks from the beginning. get green light for hospital mixed use BAIT then SWITCH at last second to secret option plan B that is revealed to be WALMART


by JesseHillFan on 11/2/2011 @ 10:05am
"will a huge flat screen tv fit in the bike rack on front of a bus"

It should as long as the height of it doesn't block the view of the driver.You might be able to get away with it perhaps if you tipped the bus driver an extra $5 or $10.Then again he might not want to risk his job by doing so.

by fredo on 11/2/2011 @ 10:15am
The elks didn't indicate that they wanted a WM. They just wanted to sell the property.

The utopians had years to buy this property and turn it into basket weaving, candle making, incense burning, conga drum playing, alternative therapy, holistic acupuncturing, lifestyle enhancing meditative, pole dancing, water gardening, free range transendental meditation multi use facility. But they couldn't get off their collective assess and make a plan.

by NineInchNachos on 11/2/2011 @ 10:29am
elks rejected the first walmart offer. the developer had to get sneaky. ROTTEN!

by troysworktable on 11/2/2011 @ 10:32am
I don't shop at Wal-mart. I don't shop at Amazon.com. I no longer shop at Costco due to the large tables to gather signatures for I-1183 just inside their front doors and being hassled by employees to sign. In fact, over the past couple of years, I have decided to purchase less and consume less. I use the library more. I am more selective of the books I buy and I buy them from local bookstores—King's Books and Tacoma Book Center. I buy my beer from an independent mom-and-pop bottle store—99 Bottles of Federal Way. I'm not going to shop at the big box retailers and the internet behemoths, but neither am I going to stop them from building or stop others from shopping at them.

by NineInchNachos on 11/2/2011 @ 10:48am
i like that.

also tacomafoodcoop.com/

by Nick on 11/2/2011 @ 10:49am
@panachronic I don't think this is so much a "left vs. right" thing as it is a "the enemy of my enemy is my friend" kind of thing.

While the reasons may not all be the same, there is some common ground in that many don't want another big box retailer at this location. For some it is because they hate Walmart with a passion. For others, they don't want the traffic. And yet more "others" simply want a more density-oriented development to go in here.

Personally I'm not a fan of Walmart (if it goes in, I'll probably never shop there). However, I'm also not a fan of un-evenhandedness when it comes to applying laws and zoning codes. If they follow all the rules, not liking Walmart is not a good enough reason to block development.

That being said, I do think there are some reasons here that *are* good enough reasons to block this development. Wanting a more urban style design being one of them. Wanting something that does not increase traffic to the degree that street revisions and an ocean of parking lots are required being another.

Yes, our zoning codes for this area are outdated. Yes, this blame can be set squarely on the council's shoulders. However, I'm also not willing to just let this happen simply on principle.

by Nick on 11/2/2011 @ 10:59am
But again, I think the answer here is not to focus on killing the Walmart plan. I think the approach needs to be more constructive. If we have the time and energy to stand out on a street corner with signs all day, why not spend that time making phone calls and researching other prospective buyers. Sure, not all of us are commercial real estate brokers, but that doesn't mean the best use of energy and effort is to stand around with a sign, or complain on Facebook.

If the Elks really don't care what goes in here, then it works both ways. Walmart is going to defend its business model with every dime it has. The Elks are only going to defend it as long as nothing better is on the table. Show them something better, and maybe they will bite? I'm sure contracts have been signed, but as long as money hasn't changed hands, contracts are nothing more than an obstacle around which to negotiate.

by troysworktable on 11/2/2011 @ 11:03am
I like what Nick has to say.

by NineInchNachos on 11/2/2011 @ 11:50am
ryan mello via facebook:

"I hope you can join us. There are still lots of opportunities to tell the City, Elks Club and Walmart we don't want our neighborhoods turned upside down. We want walkable, livable neighborhoods. We support our small, local businesses. We value good corporate citizens that pay a fair wage with health care benefits. We do not support Walmart ruining our City. Come join us please and get involved! This is not over."

by NineInchNachos on 11/2/2011 @ 11:57am
Neko Case cd's 5 for 1 dollar, bargain bin isle 666 , Elks Memorial Walmart in Central Tacoma


by Erik on 11/2/2011 @ 12:01pm
"But again, I think the answer here is not to focus on killing the Walmart plan."

Why not? It's not built yet.

by panachronic on 11/2/2011 @ 12:06pm
LOL! Oh please! Of course it's a left vs. right thing. And it couldn't possibly be more clear.

by fredo on 11/2/2011 @ 12:18pm
"WE don't want our neighborhoods turned upside down. WE want walkable, livable neighborhoods. WE support our small, local businesses. WE value good corporate citizens that pay a fair wage with health care benefits. WE do not support Walmart ruining our City." Ryan Mello

Who is this WE that Mello keeps referring to? Has he personally conducted a poll of all 200,000 Tacomans and determined that they all want this? Easy for him to sound the utopian trumpet, since he already has a good job with good benefits and rainbow flag he likes to fly on his pole.

by panachronic on 11/2/2011 @ 12:21pm
Dunno who "WE" is, Fredo. But, having followed Mello closely for the last year or so, I decided to vote for Will Baker.

by fredo on 11/2/2011 @ 12:35pm
Baker shares one important trait with Mello.

He's never been elected to the city council.

by NineInchNachos on 11/2/2011 @ 12:38pm

by NineInchNachos on 11/2/2011 @ 1:14pm
how many slaves work for you?

by tacoma1 on 11/2/2011 @ 1:15pm
I always wondered who would be crazy enough to vote for a crazy person. Now I know.

by NineInchNachos on 11/2/2011 @ 1:19pm
november 1st link www.cityoftacoma.org/Page.aspx?hid=9263 jesus wish I coulda been there. epic council failure

by NineInchNachos on 11/2/2011 @ 1:22pm
@tacoma1 - he's not crazy if he can stand trial for felony right?

by Nick on 11/2/2011 @ 1:41pm
"Why not? It's not built yet."

Perhaps not, but trying to push out a multinational corporation with massive resources is going to be a lot more difficult than convincing the Elks to sell to someone else. Perhaps the city could find some options within its power that would encourage an alternative buyer to come forward.

by NineInchNachos on 11/2/2011 @ 1:46pm
direct action gets the goods Nick.

by NineInchNachos on 11/2/2011 @ 1:53pm
ah! we DO have an EARTH LIBERATION FRONT bat signal!

by NineInchNachos on 11/2/2011 @ 2:15pm

things you can do... 
#occupyelkslodge protestwww.facebook.com/event.php?eid=292441330...

#occupytacoma rallywww.facebook.com/event.php?eid=280501715...

by JesseHillFan on 11/2/2011 @ 2:58pm
My plan to use Tacoma's secret weapon against Walmart.
Robert Jesse Hill.He will drive them crazy then they will leave.

by fredo on 11/2/2011 @ 3:14pm
Baker Vs. Mello

That's a tough one.

For this voter it comes down to this:

Potential failure Vs. Proven failure

by NineInchNachos on 11/2/2011 @ 3:16pm
Isn't Baker banned from Council Chambers for life? This is truly an exciting election!

by fredo on 11/2/2011 @ 3:17pm
Unless you are willing to survey the citizens of Tacoma, how do you know that the people here don't want a WalMart? I understand that a few people fervently believe Wal Mart is evil, but does that mean they speak for everybody in Tacoma?

by NineInchNachos on 11/2/2011 @ 3:28pm
pro-walmart folks had plenty of opportunity to stand before the council to give testimony. NOBODY except for Robert Hill and the Chamber of Commerce meat puppet appeared . ZERO 'real americans' ZERO 'joe sixpacs'

what's the deal yo?

by fredo on 11/2/2011 @ 3:41pm
Were the speakers at the council meeting an accurate cross representation of the citizens of Tacoma? It doesn't sound like it. Maybe they were just a bunch of anarchist infiltrators bussed in to give the appearance that everybody in Tacoma is stupid.

by NineInchNachos on 11/2/2011 @ 4:02pm
those people were my neighbors. How dare you!

by NineInchNachos on 11/2/2011 @ 4:08pm
from my inbox:

+ + +


I hope you understand the vote and how it didn't matter. I know your very vocal but I am hoping you can see that and help carry that message. People are not understanding this and think a yes vote was bad. When in reality it didn't matter. Going after our supporters like Ryan and Jake don't help as they can still help us as much as they can.

In fact a No vote is worst as a no vote would allow anything to go up anywhere!

Agent J

by tacoma1 on 11/2/2011 @ 4:18pm
If they disagree with fredo, they must be anarchists.

by fredo on 11/2/2011 @ 4:22pm
If the city wants to know what Tacomans think about pending legislation then they should hire a reputable firm like Gallup to design a survey. There's really no way to know if people who appear during a a public comment session are representative of the population or not. People who addess the council don't even have to live in Tacoma. And yes, if people disagree with me they could be and frequently are anarchists.

by NineInchNachos on 11/2/2011 @ 4:24pm
don't vote for anyone endorsed by Mike Lonergan.

by fredo on 11/2/2011 @ 4:33pm
Lonergans postion on WalMart carried the day.

mellos position on WalMart....well the last time we saw it it was circling the toilet bowl.

by panachronic on 11/2/2011 @ 4:57pm
"Potential failure Vs. Proven failure"

See? It really isn't such a tough call, is it?

by KevinFreitas on 11/2/2011 @ 10:55pm
@fredo: I'd wager, professional polling aside, any one council member who's take his/her role seriously (of which I think we have many) they easily talk/poll more Tacomans than any one of us everyday by being in contact and hearing from the citizens the represent. Besides, were the City to hire Gallup and spend precious money on such a poll would you not still complain about that?

It'll be interesting to see where this goes but I want a more walkable community and hope that raising my voice in this matter will help convince our City leaders and, dare I say it, even Walmart to do what they can to join our community rather that invade it.

by fredo on 11/3/2011 @ 12:15am
We have an activist city council Kevin, which is always pushing their socialist points of view on all the citizens.

Two years ago they passed an agenda item in expression of their displeasure with the State of Arizona, EVEN THOUGH the News Tribune ran a poll which found that 90% of the respondents didn't want the city to be involved with that issue.

All the prejudicial comments about WalMart are just another example of this activism. While, I'm sure they are happy to have people like you respond positively to their activist agenda, they aren't speaking for ALL the people in Tacoma when they slander businesses. Lot's of people like the WalMarts just the way they are. Live and let live.

by KevinFreitas on 11/3/2011 @ 6:51am
Back on topic, what would make a Walmart acceptable in that Central Tacoma location? Would you have them create a mix-use center or take up a smaller footprint?
I'm thinking of how the Safeway in Proctor and the MultiCare power facility (remember the smokestacks?) were changed because the public got involved. What kind of positive effect can we have to help Walmart be a better neighbor here in Tacoma because we speak up?

by fredo on 11/3/2011 @ 7:11am
I think the Wal Mart sign looks stupid. Those big plastic letters practically scream out "look at this stupid sign." I would get some Tacoma artists to compete to make a new sign for Wal mart that had a little more cache, maybe a giant smiley face that looked just a little sinister.

by JesseHillFan on 11/3/2011 @ 7:49am
Adding a Walmart there seems predatory against other retailers in the area.It will probably affect Target and Fred Meyer (19th and Stevens) who might have to lay off employees if their sales are badly affected.
I don't like that location because the traffic there is already congested.This will really gridlock the area more.Who wants more motor vehicles making traffic worse?
If there were no other big retailers nearby and the traffic was much less I might have a different opinion.

by fredo on 11/3/2011 @ 7:58am
JesseHill Fan:

When starbucks opens a new coffee shop they probably have a negative effect on existing coffee shops in the neighborhood. The existing coffee shops may even have to lay off some of their employees. So you would be opposed to starbucks opening any new coffee shops too, am I correct?

by Joel 413 on 11/3/2011 @ 7:58am
If we have to accept the inevitable, then the traffic in that area needs to be changed. I've seen it happen time and again when a big box store moved into an area that they are required to make the necessary traffic improvements. Male WalMart fix the pattern.

Also, I think TopFoods is the most vulnerable of grocers in teh vacinity. Personally, I plan on avoiding WalMart as I always have. I can count on one hand the number of times I have been in one, and those times are because I was in rural Georgia and had no other options (as the local choices were all out of business)

Sadly, I think the socio-economic makeup of central and hilltop support the need for a WalMart. I would think if you were to poll people around the area you'd find that the "No's" would be north of S12th Street, and the "Yeses" would be everywhere else.

I don't like the way WalMart has gone about the permitting process, and I don't like the way they conduct their business. I do think this will have an impact on the community in a negative way and it will take Tacoma even longer to dig out. Big box vacancies look bad and draw ne'r do wells to the tempting empty space.

Protests on the corner show displeasure but do they make a difference? Is the Downtown IGA suffering from the labor council picketers?

by NineInchNachos on 11/3/2011 @ 8:14am
protesting on sunday is meant to mind fuck the elks members as that is their oldfart council meeting or something. It will be good performance art photo opportunity.

practice your heston! "GOD DAMN YOU! YOU BLEW IT UP! DAMN YOU ALL TO HELL!"

by fredo on 11/3/2011 @ 8:16am
The city website claims that we want a diversity of different businesses, but in practice, a bunch of the leaders want to have LESS economic diversity. Mello and the rest of his pro-union activists are entitled to their personal opinons, however the policy of the city is to invite diversity into our economy. The city manager should instruct the city to change it's mission statement and it's strategic policies or instruct the council members to keep their opinions to themselves.

by Joel 413 on 11/3/2011 @ 8:19am
"When starbucks opens a new coffee shop they probably have a negative effect on existing coffee shops in the neighborhood. The existing coffee shops may even have to lay off some of their employees. So you would be opposed to starbucks opening any new coffee shops too, am I correct?" - fredo

This is really only a problem in the Seattle area. In most other places in the country and/or world, they are the only game in town and are usually heralded when they move in.

Plus Starbucks is a Fortune 500 top company to work for, they offer full benefits to all their employees. Empower their employees to make decisions at the register (Do what's right and fair to both the company and the customer) and pay reasonable wages and offer professional development.

It's apples to oranges.

by NineInchNachos on 11/3/2011 @ 8:25am
one thing we DO NOT have is a socialist activist council. We have an OBAMA council... they make the right sounds and get people fired up with hope, but at crunch time, they give away everything and end up more republican than actual republicans*.

* - not to say this title actually means anything anymore.

by fredo on 11/3/2011 @ 8:26am
Let's have a local economy that's so oppressive to business developers that only the richest, most litigious, business owners dare open a business here. The WalMart experience is really a text book example of what happens when you elect a bunch of utopians to conduct the business of your city. Enjoy your council, voters.

by NineInchNachos on 11/3/2011 @ 8:27am
we do not have a strong mayor form of government.

we do not have a city manager form of government.

we have a city attorney form of government.

by fredo on 11/3/2011 @ 8:37am
I couldn't get anywhere with my starbucks analogy, so lets try this:

A chicken fast food restaurant is planning to open in Tacoma. It will pay low wages and few benefits and will probably take business away from other chicken fast food restaurants. Some people may lose their jobs because of the new restaurant, but some other people might get low wages there.

Except for the scale of the operation, how is that any different than the WalMart situation?

by tacoma1 on 11/3/2011 @ 8:39am
The obvious difference is scale, walkability, and negative traffic impacts to the surrounding neighborhoods. But we've already covered all that and since you already live in a well scaled, walkable neighborhood, with reasonable traffic, you don't seem to care what happens to Tacomans living a mile or 2 away.

Btw, I'm thinking that, based in the avg age of current elks members, and the rapidly declining membership, that instead of bldg a new clubhouse, they should strongly consider bldg a mausoleum instead. It would certainly spare them from the next inevitable move when their membership count gets down to single digits.

by fredo on 11/3/2011 @ 8:42am
A lot of Elks haters on this thread. It's shameful really. The Elks Clubs host huge Christmas Parties for poor kids every year. You haters really should show up at the party this year dressed like scrooges that you are.

by Joel 413 on 11/3/2011 @ 8:46am
@fredo - you are missing the point. WalMart has a well documented history and track record of aggressively entering a market and purposely driving other businesses out. The net effect on the local economy is negative. They have plenty of capital in their coifers to sustain business, and yes, people will shop there. WalMart is a prime example of 'If you build it they will come."

However, this line of conversation is not the point of the thread. The point of the thread is what next. Even if we aren't able prevent WalMart from coming to Tacoma, how can we turn this into a positive experience for the city? Infrastructure/traffic improvements in the 23rd and Union area. Additional development of the land more than just the Giant WalMart Box.. (i.e. additional retail space on the land.) How to deal with the eventual closing of other businesses (Top Food, Fred Meyer, M st Safeway?).

by NineInchNachos on 11/3/2011 @ 8:51am
fredo just plays dumb so everybody else has to do the intelectual heavy lifting. Don't fall for it!

by NineInchNachos on 11/3/2011 @ 8:56am
Christmas is a dangerous commie/christian tradition that teaches children if they're obedient to the system they'll get free chinese plastic crap from a magic bearded white man.

STOP THE MADNESS! Children must learn there is no god and their blind obedience is destroying the planet. Poor kids should rise up, united and crush the system!

by NineInchNachos on 11/3/2011 @ 9:02am
yes virginia there is a santa claus... he lives in the concept of '5 finger discount' (shoplifting)

by tacoma1 on 11/3/2011 @ 9:04am
Personally, if Walmart does go in, Mayor Strickland looses my vote.

by NineInchNachos on 11/3/2011 @ 9:12am
Mayor Strickland lost my vote with the whole 'cross walk signs are more distracting than clear channel digital billboards'


by fredo on 11/3/2011 @ 9:13am
Joel, could you please provide a link to the Walmart document that shows that they are "purposely driving other businesses out."

Interesting that you see a huge difference between a Fortune 500 company that pays part time workers a little more than minimum wage to make coffee and a Fortune 500 company that pays part time workers a little more than minimum wage to sell discounted goods. I personally don't see much distinction.

by NineInchNachos on 11/3/2011 @ 9:38am
back on topic. has everyone taken the survey?


direct link: www.trippumbachsurveys.com/Tacoma

here are my utopian thoughts:

give the north park plaza to the military. build a walmart on top… on top of the walmart build a NWDC where the prisoners will be the workers of the walmart. On top of the NWDC build an army Barracks. The military folks can guard the slave walmart employees and put down any slave revolts. they can spend their federal paychecks in the walmart. also the weekly volcano can open an office in the parkinggarage-walmart-detentioncenter-armybarracks to help everyone get drunk and fornicate.

the end.

by fredo on 11/3/2011 @ 9:43am
Kevin asked "what's next"

The next thing we should do is make sure our planning and permitting processes and our city charter are all in conformance with the city mission and strategic plan. Businesses will either find our city a market they wish to enter or not. It's not up the council members to wage a vendetta against businesses they don't personally like. When you take the oath of office you don't suddenly get to engage in subversive behavior or present your deviant views as city policy.

Citizens can vote with their dollars. If you don't like a particular business then stop spending your money there. What could be simpler?

by fredo on 11/3/2011 @ 9:46am
the people who work at WM for $10 are slaves, the people who work at starbucks for $12 aren't slaves. Panachronic called it right, the laughs just won't stop coming from feedtacoma's utopian leftists.

by panachronic on 11/3/2011 @ 9:54am
"Plus Starbucks is a Fortune 500 top company to work for, they offer full benefits to all their employees. Empower their employees to make decisions at the register (Do what's right and fair to both the company and the customer) and pay reasonable wages and offer professional development.

It's apples to oranges."

Apples to oranges? It seems to me the major difference is that you like Starbucks, for whatever reason, but you dislike Walmart. So you blow by the relevant parts of the comparison, and key in on the areas where you think you can score points.

The truth is, Walmart pays better wages and benefits than Target. So where is the outrage against Target?

"Sadly, I think the socio-economic makeup of central and hilltop support the need for a WalMart. I would think if you were to poll people around the area you'd find that the "No's" would be north of S12th Street, and the "Yeses" would be everywhere else. "

I agree with this. What we see going on here is people who live in the north end are opposing something that isn't even going to be built in their neighborhood, and that would primarily benefit the neighborhood where it will be built. It makes about as much sense as people from Hilltop picketing outside Queen Anne Thriftway because their prices are too high.

"The obvious difference is scale, walkability, and negative traffic impacts to the surrounding neighborhoods. "

There isn't a single residence within a quarter mile of the site, and there are very few within three-quarters of a mile. It's surrounded by shopping centers, a hospital, medical offices, a freeway, and a private school that buses in it's students from all over the county. NOBODY walks in the area now, building a Walmart will not affect this one iota, and there is nothing we could build there that will change this. The "walkability" argument is specious nonsense.

Look folks, it's OK to just come out and say that you harbor irrational fear and hatred of Walmart. But when you try to make yourselves look logical about it, you just wind up beclowning yourselves.

by NineInchNachos on 11/3/2011 @ 10:07am
repeal the minimum wage laws so they can be proper slaves!

by The Jinxmedic on 11/3/2011 @ 10:11am
Hmmm.... if the employers offered dormitories and canteens as part of the employment package, you might actually get some takers. At least China does that...

by Joel 413 on 11/3/2011 @ 10:12am
@fredo 9:43am - Yes, I whole heartily agree. There was time to prevent this in the past, but they didn't. So, we move forward for what the mission and strategic plan of the city is and get the engine in tune.

@panachronic - Target v. Walmart is probably a very fair comparison and I will admit hyprocracy here. So the argument here would be, we already have one... do we need another directly across the street?

"Walk-ability" - I'm with you here, that is not a walk-able area at all. can it be more walk-able to encourage walkers? Not very likely.

Irrational fear and hatred? No, but the WalMart tale is told over and over again, year after year and town-to-town (citations coming fredo, might not be until later tonight or tomorrow though)
Now... there are definitely different WalMart stores too. While I can count the number of WalMart Stores I have been in on one hand, the store in Lakewood, WA and the store in Plymouth Meeting, PA are not the same at the store in Dahlonega, GA. The store in GA would have been on par with the recently renovated Tacoma target. The produce looked inviting, the store was clean and not overstocked. There was hardwood floors in the grocery section, an inviting waiting area with couches and chairs in the Pharmacy. My impression of the Lakewood Store, and the store in PA were more of a Home Dept style, crammed in overstocked, not very clean or inviting. What kind of store is the Tacoma store going to be?

by NineInchNachos on 11/3/2011 @ 10:15am
hurray for forced labor!

by fredo on 11/3/2011 @ 10:22am
Wal Mart pays approximately the same low wages and benefits as practically every other similar store in town. Nobody is forcing anyone to work any of these places. People who prefer to spend their time at home on the computer bad mouthing the American marketplace can continue. They will not be forced to work.

by NineInchNachos on 11/3/2011 @ 10:28am
yeah here. look at the supply chain, all those goods come from forced labor in 3rd world countries. you're fooling yourself if you think they can just walk away from their jobs in those countries.

but that utopian thinking right? just like those damn abolitionist utopians.

wake up!

slaveryfootprint.org (i know you love links)

by fredo on 11/3/2011 @ 10:39am
the chinese made products are in every store in town and I'll bet there are a hundred of them in your very household. don't try to villify one merchant or hold yourself up as an example of an enlightened citizen. Had you signed a pledge to become a super reconciliator when it was offered I might be more inclined to your position.

by NineInchNachos on 11/3/2011 @ 10:53am
my vilifying is 'company blind'


by fredo on 11/3/2011 @ 11:27am
I know you are really concerned with this slavery footprint thing RR. Why don't you open up a little factory in China and put some of the poor people to work at family wages and give them benefits and pensions and so forth? Nobody would stop you. You would probably get some favorable press too. This would be the enlightened approach to the slavery problem.

by NineInchNachos on 11/3/2011 @ 11:36am
there you go again, pretending to be mentally handicapped. doesn't it get old fredo? What if someday the descendants of your children google you and end up thinking: "Wow my great grandaddy was a dumb dumb"

There is no way they'd know the truth with the data footprint legacy you're creating.

by NineInchNachos on 11/3/2011 @ 11:49am
RR: Man, space shuttles suck

Fredo: nobody is stopping you from designing and building your own space shuttle program. Entitlement blah blah

RR: That's dumb

by KevinFreitas on 11/3/2011 @ 11:50am
There are residences near there just across Union, Cedar, and 19th. Well within a quarter mile. I disagree though this can't become a more walkable neighborhood especially since this will be a large development that can effect the surrounding streetscape significantly. I want to encourage the developers to design toward these goals rather than just stamp out their usual parking lot/building plans. It's happened elsewhere in town (Proctor Safeway, MultiCare power plant) so let's make sure it happens here.

@fredo @panachronic: You're both absolutely welcome here but your name-calling is not. Left, right, center, black, white, whatever -- all perspectives are welcome here at FeedTacoma and your guys' are appreciated here just the same as anyone else's.

by NineInchNachos on 11/3/2011 @ 12:02pm
"There are residences near there" yeah HFW world HQ aka ME

by scout on 11/3/2011 @ 12:10pm
Kevin, regarding your comment - @fredo @panachronic: You're both absolutely welcome here but your name-calling is not. Left, right, center, black, white, whatever -- all perspectives are welcome here at FeedTacoma -

Seriously? I read this whole thread and question how you came up with panachronic "name calling". However you obviously left out NineinchNachos, Fredo's nemesis. NIN name calls on a regular basis on all Feed Tacoma blogs. Looks like you are calling out people that disagree with your personal viewpoint - just my opinion

by fredo on 11/3/2011 @ 12:16pm
Kevin, if you're going to moderate your own thread at least have the courtesy to apply your standards to all the posters.

I didn't see any more name calling by fredo or panachronic then I saw from nachos and tacoma1. If I recall their postings were laced with references to people who are "mentally handicapped" "crazy" "cursed old rotten elks" and "oldfarts."

It doesn't seem fair to only call out the posters whose POV you disagree with.

by The Jinxmedic on 11/3/2011 @ 12:18pm
Ha ha ha! Scout is right on the NiN name-calling thing.

But we love NiN anyways, if only for his local color...

(wait- please don't misconstrue that as a racist comment...)

by NineInchNachos on 11/3/2011 @ 12:19pm
That is a lie! anyone who doesn't agree with me is a neo nazi turner diaries reading super nazi.

by NineInchNachos on 11/3/2011 @ 12:20pm
I demand a link-as-proof for proof of these accusations from known terrorists.

by panachronic on 11/3/2011 @ 12:24pm
Name calling? I really don't think so. Show us where, Kevin.

I don't think it's 'name-calling' to point out inconsistencies and logical fallacies in somebody's arguments. Nor is it 'name-calling' to point out the source of such faulty thinking.

If using a pejorative description of somebody's placement on the political spectrum is suddenly verboten here, Fredo and I are hardly the people you should single out.

It happens to be my perspective that a Walmart store will make Tacoma a better place, and that the Elks site is a superb location for it. I hope it's OK to say that, since all perspectives are welcome.

by NineInchNachos on 11/3/2011 @ 12:28pm
look you guys. there is a reason i've been drawing cartoons for so long and not been killed or sued.

look at my language.

I said fredo is apparently 'pretending to be mentally handicapt'
i'm not saying he IS mentally handicapt

Kevin has finesse and can obviously pick up on these legal subtleties....

by fredo on 11/3/2011 @ 12:35pm
My bad.

When I said that Ryan Mello was a utopian who claims he speaks for all Tacomans, I meant to say that Ryan Mello pretends to be a utopian who claims to speak for all Tacomans.

Again, apologies for not making that clear.

by NineInchNachos on 11/3/2011 @ 12:40pm
see now you can't be sued.

by NineInchNachos on 11/3/2011 @ 12:41pm
what happens thought when you call somebody a name but the other person takes it as a compliment and vice versa ?

can we do some kind of arbitration process?

by NineInchNachos on 11/3/2011 @ 12:50pm
BREAKING: Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber of Commerce political agenda survey.


please no name calling!

by The Jinxmedic on 11/3/2011 @ 1:44pm
That would be no "alleged" name calling to you, buster...

by NineInchNachos on 11/3/2011 @ 1:48pm
... and don't call me buster.

by Joel 413 on 11/3/2011 @ 2:21pm
The digression... the dirgression....

@panachronic I think he was referring to your comment from

11/2/2011 7:24am "...Tacoma lefties.."

But hey, I resemble that remark. Carry on ;)

by KevinFreitas on 11/3/2011 @ 2:28pm
Point taken. Criticism withdrawn. This is why I don't like moderating. I kinda' suck at it. ;)
But I do like vaguely staying on topic. So here's what I've heard so far as next steps go:

  • protest the Elks
  • find other ways to stop the development re: traffic revisions
  • have City, TNT take a poll to help guide the city-wide conversation/viewpoint
My other idea would be for the neighborhood groups to get together lists of what they'd like to see the Walmart developer do to be good neighbors both to the City Council and developer. Likewise summarize those thoughts in letters to the editor.

by tacoma1 on 11/3/2011 @ 5:02pm
If the city council could actually grow a pair, they should be able to require Walmart to build us lots of sidewalks, and plant enough large trees that it looks like a city park, not a friggin Wally world. And I'm sick and tired of developers putting the street trees between the sidewalk and their building. Street trees belong between the street and sidewalk for an actual physical barrier between cars that weigh 2 tons and wally world customers that only weigh 1/2 a ton. Properly placed street trees also help immensely with traffic calming by creating visual frIction. And that neighborhood is gonna need lots of traffic calming that Wally needs to pay for, not Tacoma tax payers.

by The Jinxmedic on 11/3/2011 @ 5:06pm
Like Tacoma1 said.

by NineInchNachos on 11/3/2011 @ 5:11pm
carbon credits too right?

by tacoma1 on 11/3/2011 @ 5:14pm
Sometimes I wish Laurie Jenkins was on the city council. A llittle more testosterone wouldnt kill any of em.

by fredo on 11/3/2011 @ 5:22pm
agree with you tacoma1. the council should hold walmart to any design standard that other similar developments would be expected to create. I don't think they should be required to go beyond what's required. But don't give them a certificate of occupancy until the improvements are in.

There is going to be more traffic but if the people are coming to spend money the city is making approximately 3 cents on every dollar spent in direct taxes and more on the property, b&o and other related taxes.

As they say in business: "paper on the floor means money in the drawer."

by tacoma1 on 11/3/2011 @ 5:33pm
Wally is an uninvited, and unwelcome dinner guest with a huge appetite and bad table manners. I say extract our pound of flesh now if the dirty bastard insists on staying. Once he's here, you know that he'll use every tax dodge possible. Wally's not coming here to help anyone but himself.

by fredo on 11/3/2011 @ 6:24pm
tacoma1 wrote: "Wally is an uninvited and unwelcome dinner guest...a dirty bastard"

oops, tacoma1 i think you just started name calling again.

by tacoma1 on 11/3/2011 @ 6:48pm
My statements about Wally are IMHO of course. And not about any specific or actual Wally. As a matter of fact, Wally's name was changed to a fictitious Wally that just resembles the actual Wally that we are all talking about.

by NineInchNachos on 11/3/2011 @ 7:40pm
corporations are people - they have feelings too

by KevinFreitas on 11/3/2011 @ 9:02pm
Via the TNT: Walmart would be wise to take neighbors into consideration

by Brewkowski on 11/4/2011 @ 2:12am
@panachronic you're irrational love for Walmart is hilarious. Thanks for the laughs!

by panachronic on 11/4/2011 @ 9:18am
Walmart seems to bring out the irrational in all of us. The TNT is definitely not immune.

Here is the TNT on January 27, 2011:

"State lawmakers should heed the public’s will and continue requiring that public notices run in local newspapers."

Then, along comes Walmart, and now that public notice by publication thingy suddenly seems so outdated and inconvenient:

"Walmart’s application did point out an unfortunate loophole in the city charter, which prevented the moratorium from going into effect immediately after the City Council vote. Having to wait for two more days because of the official publication requirement is an invitation for stealth developers to hurry up and submit applications.

Closing that loophole at the earliest opportunity would be a good idea."


by fredo on 11/4/2011 @ 9:28am
The strategic goal for the city of Tacoma is to have a diverse economic base. If you don't believe this then go to the city web site and click on 2011-2012 Budget.

It's too bad that Councilman Ryan Mello and his cadre of WalMart haters never studied the strategic goals of the city or never embraced them. It's especially ironic that Mello wants everyone to go out of their way to embrace an alternative lifestyle which many people find offensive, yet he is the first one to try to prevent alternative businesses from trying their luck in Tacoma.

by fredo on 11/4/2011 @ 9:30am
flash back to 1885, Mello would have been leading the mob to run the Chinese out of Tacoma. After all they were a non-unionized affiliation of low income earners just trying to get by in Tacoma. Sound familiar?

by Joel 413 on 11/4/2011 @ 10:02am
OK fredo you asked for documentation:

Here is the website of a PBS documentary, StoreWars, looking into WalMart and it's business practices, it seems non-biased, and they look at the story from many different angles. The takeaways I see here:

* The average take-home pay for an associate is less than $250/wk

* 1/3 of employees are scheduled less than 28 hours a week making them ineligible for benefits

* "...the majority of employees' children [qualify] for free lunch at school. When closely examined, this amounts to a form of corporate welfare, as the taxpayer subsidizes the low salaries."

Here is an article from FastCompany talking about how WalMart deals with it's vendors. Demanding that they sell to them at lower prices, dictating the content magazines and music albums, etc.

Essentially though, what I see on both of these sites, is the same argument we are having here. So I don' t think after reading either of these articles you'll change your mind, you'll look at the pro's of WalMart listed in the articles and say "See, that's what I was saying"

And to be fair, here is an article from the Boston Globe discussing the differences between Target and WalMart.

To use a cybersecurity term to describe the difference between the two: WalMart has a larger attack surface.

by fredo on 11/4/2011 @ 10:17am
Joel, thanks for the posting. You previously claimed that WalMart "purposely drives other businesses out" and I challenged that.

Could you just copy and paste your evidence into the dialogue box? I don't have all day to search for a needle in a haystack.

by Joel 413 on 11/4/2011 @ 10:19am
How about you do it and show me where it says they don't do that?

by Joel 413 on 11/4/2011 @ 10:32am
Seriously though, after looking at this and digging deeper following fredo's line of questioning there are many local companies that fall in the same category of questionable practices towards other businesses and employees. Starbucks and Amazon are also aggressive companies. I think being in the coffee mecca of the USA we don't see the impact as much with Starbucks because we do have other options and we do support our local coffee houses, because there is a market for it, which isn't the case most other places.

Amazon is also another one that has changed the landscape of their market sector. Look what happened to Borders, Waldenbooks and all the other book stores that used to be around. Amazon has even changed the way that College Bookstores order, usually bringing in less than the required number of books because students find them on Amazon for less. That or the bookstores now sell at Amazon prices (at least for texts, I've seen).

So, is our anger at Wal-Mart misplaced? I don' t think so, but perhaps we need to be thinking about how we respond to other businesses as well. My attitude isn't that we don't need Wal-Mart. My attitude is that we don't need ANOTHER business that has been charged with unfair business practices when we've got enough of those already. Let's keep this one out, then go after the others to clean up their act.

by fredo on 11/4/2011 @ 10:34am
I'm going to suggest you read all the books in the Library of Congress. It says right in there that Walmart "doesn't purposely drive businesses out."

You made a claim. I'm just asking you to own it.

by NineInchNachos on 11/4/2011 @ 10:35am

by Joel 413 on 11/4/2011 @ 10:42am
Come on fredo, do better than that. I've given you 4 citations now for various talking points from this thread. I've even gone down the road of what about Starbucks? (I didn't go down the chicken shack route, but there is an Ezell's opening on 15th and MLK, so maybe we can see how that effects the other chicken shops in Hilltop)

I think I may have to concede the "purposely driving businesses out" point, but here is from teh PBS story I posted above:

"Wal-Mart stores are often the size of four or five football fields - huge in scale compared to many of the small communities that they neighbor. Criticized for deserting stores that under-perform, Wal-Mart has left behind more than 25 million square feet of unoccupied space across the country (May, 2000). The company claims it tries to sell these properties, but the only potential buyers are other big retailers, and Wal-Mart will not sell real estate to its competitors. In one Kentucky town, an empty Wal-Mart was torn down at the taxpayers' expense."


"...that's part of the Wal-Mart saturation strategy. They place their stores so close together that they become their own competition. Once everybody else is wiped out, then they're free to thin out their stores. Wal-Mart has 390 empty stores on the market today. This is a company that has changed stores as casually as you and I change shoes."

Lakewood, Federal Way. ... Tacoma?

by fredo on 11/4/2011 @ 10:49am
When the directors of a large company sit around their board room and make plans to expand into a new market they will typically talk about market share. They want an estimate of how much business they can expect to generate if they invest x-amout of capital. They will look at the marketplace they intend to enter and make some projections based on past experience.

If Starbucks is going to enter a market they may wish to put in 20 coffee stands in a city that already has 50 stands for example. The market probably can't afford to support 70 stands so some stands are going to close. Maybe some of the starbucks stands will fail but the board members hope that any failures will be the pre existing stands. I doubt if the board ever will say they want to open their 20 stands for the "purpose of drving others out." They want to carve out a share, referred to as a market share, for their brand which will provide an acceptable return on investment for their capital.

This is how the market system works.

by NineInchNachos on 11/4/2011 @ 10:49am
Walmart never puts mom and pops out of business and bush never authorized torture either.

get your factz straight !

by NineInchNachos on 11/4/2011 @ 10:51am
fredo could win an award if TLT ever puts on a play about RainMan, the fredo he such a good actor !

by Joel 413 on 11/4/2011 @ 10:55am
@fredo Yes, I don't think Wal-Mart adds any additional diversity to our current Market that Target and Kroger (aka: Fred Meyer/QFC) doesn't already provide. The only thing that it adds is a business that has aggressive practices to keep down their prices, which forces their suppliers to make a decision "Do I change my business values so that I can sell my product through the largest retailer in the world, reducing my product quality and outsource my manufacturing to another country to save costs," or "Do I keep my head high and continue the quality that attracted Wal-Mart in the first place, charging them what is necessary and have them NOT sell my stuff because I won't sell it to them at the price that they want (which would cause my business to lose money)"

by fredo on 11/4/2011 @ 10:58am
When 7-11 stores decides to close one of their convenience stores they will typically offer to sell it only to buyers who agree not to put in a convenience store. That's why the old 7-11s around Tacoma always have alternative businesses. Look at the montessori school on N. 34th and Proctor and the Photo studio on N. 45th and Pearl. I looked at both these properties and was told neither could be used for a convenience store. How is the Wal Mart property disposal strategy any different?

by NineInchNachos on 11/4/2011 @ 11:01am
gah. Ad Hominem attack... I will report myself to Kevin. Sorry Fredo.

by NineInchNachos on 11/4/2011 @ 11:02am
9 9 9 that's all you guys need to know.

by Joel 413 on 11/4/2011 @ 11:04am
It's not a different strategy, but it's a different footprint. a 7-11 building is much smaller than a Wal-Mart.

What business is going to buy a 200,000 box store that's not retail? LA Fitness, a Movie Chain, or a non-denominational community church.

Huh.. Life Center /is/ next door... maybe there's something to this. Maybe Life Center wants a new building in 15 years, and it will be cheaper to buy the empty Wal-Mart instead of new construction?!

What is your response going to be on the thread when a Wal-Mart has sat empty for 10-years and the city condemns it and wants to spend your tax dollars to tear it down?

by fredo on 11/4/2011 @ 11:09am
I don't need 10 years to respond. I'll respond right now. The city could pass a law that says unoccupied commercial buildings must be torn down after a vacancy of x-number of years. But this might unintentially result in historic buildings like OCH to be torn down. It's hard to have a law which is both business specific and legally enforcable. David Boe just pointed that out on Wednesday.

by Joel 413 on 11/4/2011 @ 11:14am
Personally I think if they were to close a store it would be in the one in UP/Lakewood. The one in Central Tacoma would be their baby in the heart of the city.

Besides, Wal-Mart is the largest retailer in the world, it has a computer network system larger then the US Military, it has the largest fleet of distribution trucks in the world. It is the second largest employer in the US, after the federal government. Talk about "too big to fail"

by scout on 11/4/2011 @ 11:23am
Speaking of markets and employment - sorry going off on a tangent here - but where do you guys work that you can get away with blogging all the time on your employers dime? I want to work there!

by Joel 413 on 11/4/2011 @ 11:24am
On planning laws: It is difficult, if you don't want to pay/deal with something you let it sit and make the city take care of it. There's a web that can be woven to take these things into consideration. And I think the city needs to look at it's strategy and what it wants. It needs to decide what kind of town it wants to be, what's worth keeping and when something is no longer in the best interest of the city to keep around. You need to make your laws reflect that, you need to make your processes reflect that.

But as part of your strategy you also need to think about what kind of business you want to attract. How do you differentiate between Wal-Mart and Target? On paper, they both have the same pros and cons, but in the public mind they are night and day. You can't say in a law Wal-mart is bad, but Target is OK because their products and stores are "flashier".

There is work to be done yes, and I hope everyone on this thread has filled out the business survey RR listed above, and the one the city posted about the City Manager a month or so ago.

by Joel 413 on 11/4/2011 @ 11:27am
@scout - I am a data analyst. I have a lot of hurry up and wait time. I also type 100+ wpm.

by scout on 11/4/2011 @ 11:29am
@Joel - Cool and very impressive

by NineInchNachos on 11/4/2011 @ 11:31am
scout makes a good point. What is it that you do Fredo? On Tribnet i've put together that you are 'Tree_Guy" are you a lumberjack?

by fredo on 11/4/2011 @ 11:31am
Agree with most of what you say in your 11:24 posting joel.

Of course, Tacoma has a mission statement and a set of strategic goals. The problem is that the goals conflict with the personal opinions of some of the council members. The goal is diversity but the members don't really wish to embrace diversity, they want to embrace conformity. This is where the rub is.

scout: can't answer now, gotta make it look like i'm working.

by Joel 413 on 11/4/2011 @ 11:42am
@scout having dual monitors helps too ;)

by panachronic on 11/4/2011 @ 11:46am
OK, so the central argument is now "What if they close the store and leave behind a vacant building"?


by Joel 413 on 11/4/2011 @ 11:50am
No the central argument is now, how does Wal-Mart add diversity to Tacoma's market? How is adding Wal-Mart different than having Target or Fred Meyer?

As fredo pointed out the directors of a large company look at market share. What is the net impact of a Wal-Mart on the ecomony of Tacoma in job created, taxes generated, and impact to the community?

by panachronic on 11/4/2011 @ 12:08pm
Joel, I'm going to ignore the facial absurdity of the question "How does Walmart add diversity?", and focus instead on the question's implications.

Can you point to any locations that Target or Fred Meyer has been forced to shut down because of competition from Walmart?

Are we trying to pretend that Tacoma's Target and Fred Meyer stores don't export their corporate profits to places outside of Tacoma?

As we calculate the proposed Walmart store's net impact, is it not informative to consider the current economic idleness of the store's future location?

Does the much-feared traffic this store is purportedly going to attract indicate something other than new economic activity that wasn't happening before the store was built?

by Joel 413 on 11/4/2011 @ 12:18pm
Panachronic -

1) The question is not absurd. I asked How does it add diversity that Target and Fred Meyer haven't added?

2) In Tacoma, no. Elsewhere, do your own research, it's out there.

3) I don't know about the others but I am not, and I specifically said so in my post at 10:32 this morning.

4) Well, the Elks plan to build yet another new clubhouse across the street at Allenmore Golf Club. So, we could potentially have another derelict Elks Club on our hands if Wal-Mart doesn't purchase it. But yes, this question does need to be taken into consideration when calculating net-impact.

5) The traffic pattern into Tacoma Central is abysmal as it is and needs to be corrected anyway, adding more retail to that intersection in any form will require new traffic patterns, even if it is just a redistribution of cars from Tacoma Central to Wal-Mart. But should Fred Meyer go out of business, there's the additional traffic from that as well.

by troysworktable on 11/4/2011 @ 1:09pm
"Amazon is also another one that has changed the landscape of their market sector. Look what happened to Borders, Waldenbooks and all the other book stores that used to be around. Amazon has even changed the way that College Bookstores order, usually bringing in less than the required number of books because students find them on Amazon for less. That or the bookstores now sell at Amazon prices (at least for texts, I've seen)."
–Joel 413, on 11/4/2011 @ 10:32 a.m.

Yes, Amazon is changing the face of bookselling, but it isn't doing it singlehandedly. I worked in the retail book industry for 16 years. I watched Barnes & Noble gobble up B.Dalton and eventually close most of those stores. I watched Borders gobble up Waldenbooks before itself being gobbled up and then spit back out by K-mart. Borders then started closing Waldenbooks to try and keep pace with B&N (and its B.Dalton closures). The small independent stationery chain of stores I worked for (J.K. Gill) was mismanaged by upper management as they began to panic with the advent of the office supply big-box stores and big-box booksellers (OfficeMax, Office Depot, B&N, Borders), and then subsequently folded. I eventually ended up in B&N store management.

I watched Borders mismanaged by upper management, similar to the way J.K. Gill was. They even turned the running of their website over to Amazon.com for a number of years. Amazon drug its feet with the Border's site as they and B&N grew both grew online (and B&N increased its physical locations). Borders was also late to the e-reader game, and then jumped in with someone's else's product—Kobo.

So, Borders helped to kill their own company off by poor business decisions.

The book industry is in turmoil for many reasons, only one of which is Amazon using books as a loss leader to gain an internet foothold in every industry. But it is not the only internet company that is spreading into other areas. Other companies operating similar to Amazon are Apple, Microsoft, Google.

E-readers won't kill off bookstores, but they will cull many of them, leaving behind the most innovative and spry of the bunch. Hopefully, local independents, such as King's Books will survive. It appears that with its new ownership, it will. sweet pea is remodeling and bringing more new books into the mix.

I'm not trying to justify Amazon in any way. I personally don't buy books (or anything else) from them. I try to support local and independents whenever I can, which is sometimes tough to do. As @fredo points out, it's hard to avoid foreign-made products. But one can still attempt to buy local, buy independent, and buy "made in America" goods. One can also try to consume and purchase less, although that is also difficult as we are bombarded with advertising 24/7.

by Nick on 11/4/2011 @ 4:04pm
"You made a claim. I'm just asking you to own it."

Fredo, may I propose that documentation sourced from WalMart not be the sole source of proof needed to support Joel's claim (or any claim about WalMart's practices for that matter)? I appreciate your efforts to hold people accountable for their claims, but not all actions or efforts taken by an organization will be self-documented. Particularly if that effort or strategy is unpopular.

I would suggest that evidence of a claim also be sufficient. Not an individual's observation of a single incident (or speculation), but credible statistical data, outcomes of legal procedures, examples of multiple related incidents, etc.

by fredo on 11/4/2011 @ 4:38pm
joel said the company "purposely drove businesses out"

Purposeful means intentional. If there's a way to show intent I'd be happy to look at it. I don't know how you could infer someones intent from statistical data or legal proceedings, but maybe it's possible. Joel never provided any source for his claim. I don't think heresay or gossip from prejudicial sources is the same as proof.


Nick, what if, as luck would have it, you find a document signed by Sam Walton himself that contains the statement "It is my business plan to drive every other business out of business." What would that mean? It's not against the law to have an aggressive business plan. Every sector of the US economy has an aggressive market leader. Look at Budweiser, Amazon, Ford Motor, Apple, Tyson Foods, Dole, etc. These companies didn't get on top by knitting yarn cupcakes for their competitors

by NineInchNachos on 11/4/2011 @ 5:07pm
you guys are falling for his tea-party-borat schtick...

not me.

by Joel 413 on 11/4/2011 @ 5:14pm
Fredo you are asking for causation v. Correlation. I'm not A lawyer, but you could look at sales and business records of an area before and after a WM store opens, and you could also look at a saturation policy of Walmart to gain as much foothold as possible in a market space and have good correlation that Wal-mart drives businesses out.

I don't want it in this market space.

by fredo on 11/4/2011 @ 5:54pm
Businesses try to gain market share at their competitors expense all the time. It seems like your diatribe isn't aimed so much at Wal Mart as it is at the capitalist system. I'll bet the business you work at put some other business out of operation at some time in the past. How can you live with yourself?

by Joel 413 on 11/4/2011 @ 6:43pm
It is quite possible that the business I work for has put some other business out of operation, but let me tell you a little bit about my place of work.

In Fiscal Year 2008-2009 (Which is 7/1/2008 - 6/30/2009) my employer generated a total economic impact of $9.1 billion in the state of Washington.

In that same time it paid $618.1 million in taxes to the state including sales, property and business tax.

Now, my place of work happens to receive some state funding, and for every $1 the state invested in my employer it returned $1.48 in tax revenue. And for every $1 the state invested in my employer it returned $22.56 to the state economy.

Of that $618MM, $14MM of it impacts Tacoma's economy.

From 1999-2009 my employer generated 29,243 job in the state of Washington either directly or indirectly.

In 2008-2009 my employer supported 22,626 high-quality jobs either through direct hires or through indirect positions such as suppliers and vendors, equipment managers, contractors and laborers, etc.

In its history my employer has created over 250 companies directly from innovations it has created. In FY08-09 alone, it entered into 220 commercialization agreements. It is #1 in it's sector for ROI on it's research investment dollar.

My employer has educated 8 Medal of Honor recipients.
My employer has eradicated Small pox.
My employer discovered Dialysis.
My employer discovered how to quickly and rapidly use proteins to generate vaccines.
My employer works hand in hand with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to find a way to rid the world Malaria.
My employer is trying to cure cancer
My employer designed two spacecraft sent to Mars that were only supposed to function for 90 days. One of them is still running 2766 days later.

My employer is 150 years old, and was founded when only 250 white people lived in Seattle.

My Employer is the University of Washington.

Don't you dare compare it to Wal-Mart.

by fredo on 11/4/2011 @ 7:13pm

Maybe if the taxpayers would underwrite the local WalMart store they could pay decent wages.

by Joel 413 on 11/4/2011 @ 7:26pm
There. fredo you just proved that you aren't reading any of the posts I've made today. At least you aren't digesting them. Because I quoted an article in my very first post this morning at 10:02 that spoke directly to this:

* "...the majority of employees' children [qualify] for free lunch at school. When closely examined, this amounts to a form of corporate welfare, as the taxpayer subsidizes the low salaries."

Since you don't care enough to be fully engaged in the conversation, but choose to act an an incendiary and devil's advocate, I no longer need to thoughtfully respond to your comments on the matter.

by fredo on 11/4/2011 @ 7:48pm
So you are saying that Walmart employees are the only employees of any private sector business who get any welfare benefits? That's really hard to believe. Nobody at Target, Fred Meyer, or Boeing would qualify for welfare?

How about at the University of Washington. Are there any employees there that get any welfare benefits? You seem to be so focused on your hatred for Walmart Joel, that you can't even step back and get the big picture.

If you wish to discontinue your comments I certainly respect your decision. But remember this, it's no good to be a hater.

by troysworktable on 11/8/2011 @ 10:21pm
Dispatch from the future over at Post Defiance:


by troysworktable on 11/9/2011 @ 6:59am
Meanwhile in Bizarro World:


(Wal-Mart Plans Ambitious Expansion Into Medical Care)

by NineInchNachos on 11/9/2011 @ 9:02am
that blew my mind on NPR too

by tacoma1 on 11/10/2011 @ 5:11am
Thank you Wally for the realty spam.

by fredo on 11/10/2011 @ 6:44am
Why don't all you WalMart haters try being more constructive?

There is a large supply of money in the market place available at the lowest interest rates of all time. There is a huge supply of available workers who want family wage jobs, and there are shoppers who want to support businesses run by the 99% rather than the 1%, people would rather purchase american or local goods just like you have said, there are vast areas of property at historic low prices that need green development and thoughtful pedestrian oriented design. What prevents you from launching this development and bringing WalMart to it's knees in the marketplace.

It's better to light a light than curse the darkness.

by Joel 413 on 11/10/2011 @ 7:31am
@fredo - exactly, and I think that was Kevin's original question when this thread started.

by fredo on 11/10/2011 @ 7:38am
Kevin's original posting was asking for ways to either continue blocking the WM development or to saddle them with some restrictions.

My recent posting was asking to people to ignore WM and develop the type of businesses they always dream about somebody else building

It takes no more effort to build something for yourself than it does to tear down something someone else has.

by JesseHillFan on 11/10/2011 @ 8:10am
I say go ahead and let them build (take the risk).
By 2014 the National economy will have completely collapsed by then due to spiraling out of control government spending, a monstrosity of a National Debt and a worthless U.S. Dollar well not exactly as the currency has a burn value for heating needs (both for warmth and cooking).The empty building could be used by homeless squatters (and there will be numerous legions of them)

by NineInchNachos on 11/10/2011 @ 8:15am
I love the post defiance article.

Also picked myself up a NO WALMART yardsign !

by low bar on 11/10/2011 @ 9:34am
rahe's wannabe jonathan swift take on the walmart issue is def a fun read, but i'd rather sit down with some batdorf & bronson and try to figure out bill clinton's new book.

i wonder if france had a similar economic climate shorty before heads began to roll down the revolution square. Ah revenge was so much easier when your country only had a hand full of millionaires.


by troysworktable on 11/10/2011 @ 9:36am
"Kevin's original posting was asking for ways to either continue blocking the WM development or to saddle them with some restrictions."

"My recent posting was asking to people to ignore WM and develop the type of businesses they always dream about somebody else building."

—fredo (in comment)


"If you don't want to see Walmart in Tacoma, how do you plan to fight back?"

—Kevin (in original blog post)


@fredo: Both of your statements in your comment are true, until you go back and look at Kevin's last line.* I think it allows for exactly the answer that you gave, and also leaves it wide open for any response—positive or negative from your vantage point.

*And then they are both still true, although the first is nuanced.

by troysworktable on 11/10/2011 @ 9:38am
I know some people who have tried to get loans, both for personal mortgages and business starts, that haven't received them. These are people who likely would have received them prior to the Great Recession. If the banks were less tight-fisted with their money and started lending, then we would have more business, which would in turn increase jobs and decrease unemployment.

by fredo on 11/10/2011 @ 12:02pm
What prevents people from starting their own bank and loaning the money out to people that are good credit risks but can't get loans at conventional banks?

by NineInchNachos on 11/10/2011 @ 12:13pm
I'm taking fredo's advice and starting my own store



by low bar on 11/10/2011 @ 12:20pm
banks aren't tight fisted when they get a good business plan. but how do banks know good business plans when they are run by privileged idiots of generational inherited wealth laziness. the men that built this country were some inventive hard working dudes, unfortunately all their silver spoon offspring are running the country their great grand parents built into the ground:)

by fredo on 11/10/2011 @ 12:30pm
Warren Buffet didn't inherit wealth, he started poor. His first business was to buy a pin ball machine and he talked a store in the neighborhood into letting him place it for half the revenue.

Let's quit pretending that the only way to get ahead in this country is to inherit wealth. This is what lazy people say so they don't have to stop playing their xbox's and puffing their "medical" marijuana.

by low bar on 11/10/2011 @ 12:50pm
Buffet is a badass. But he was also born in the 1930's. The MBAs currently destroying America were all born in the 1970's and 80's and their video game is wall street. Thanks.

by NineInchNachos on 11/10/2011 @ 12:54pm
fredo's answer: CARGO CULT WARREN BUFFET !

by low bar on 11/10/2011 @ 9:43pm
and if only merryjane was truly medical and taxable...it's seems the only legal drug is money. US trez should just start printing money on Tops. but yeah then there is that whole thing with China then thinking we will default because we got high, because we got high, because we got highhhhhhhhhhh

by panachronic on 11/11/2011 @ 5:59am
"fredo's answer: CARGO CULT WARREN BUFFET !"

OK, Sam Walton, then.

by NineInchNachos on 11/11/2011 @ 7:51am
Sam Walton is spinning in his grave to such a degree that if one could hook an electric dynamo to his skeleton one could power a city grid.

by NineInchNachos on 11/11/2011 @ 8:31am
meanwhile: tacomastories.com/2011/11/11/5-question-...

by fredo on 11/11/2011 @ 8:42am
Five questions for Justin Leighton (from RRs link)

"5. Just so we’re not just bashing big corporations, what are some big corporations you believe have a positive impact on the community and why?"

No answer except he mentioned the Tacoma Food Co-op. When the interviewer asked for the names of Big Corporations I doubt if he had the Tacoma Food Co-op in mind. The left is just anti-everything.

by NineInchNachos on 11/11/2011 @ 8:50am
its hard to think of a positive big corporation after this...


I DARE anyone to take a listen.

by NineInchNachos on 11/11/2011 @ 8:51am
seriously, join the food Coop

by fredo on 11/11/2011 @ 8:55am
The interviewer asked for names of some "BIG CORPORATIONS and the interviewee mentioned the Tacoma Food Coop. Maybe the interviewee doesn't know what a big corporation is or he isn't a good listener.

by NineInchNachos on 11/11/2011 @ 9:00am
is there such a thing? What if all BIG CORPORATIONS are evil? Name 1 non-evil big corporation. they don't exist!

by NineInchNachos on 11/11/2011 @ 9:02am
Boeing? evil
Microsoft? come on... evil
Starbucks? Evil.
Halliburton... duh evil.


there is no such thing as a big corporation having a positive impact on a community.

by fredo on 11/11/2011 @ 9:07am
OK, let's go with let's go with the wonderful example of the Tacoma Co-op.

How many full time jobs does this business create?
How much do these jobs pay?
What benefits are available to the employees of the Co-op?
Are any of the employees of the Co-op eligible for any government benefits?

You seem to agree with Justin that the Co-op is a good example of the type of corporation that Tacoma should be seeking instead of WalMart. So please answer these questions so that we can make an informed comparison.

by NineInchNachos on 11/11/2011 @ 9:07am
you need to do a bunch of work to answer that question.

1. How do you define a 'big corporation'?
2. What does a 'positive impact' mean?
3. What do you mean by 'a community' ?

by NineInchNachos on 11/11/2011 @ 9:15am
I think it would be more fun for you to name a positive impacting BIG CORPORATION and then I can tell you all the reasons it is evil.

by fredo on 11/11/2011 @ 9:44am
Just to get this discussion moving let's say a big corporation is one who's stock is listed on one of the stock exchanges.That would be thousands of corporations so you have lots to pick from.

But if you and Justin want to defend your choice of Tacoma Food Coop as the sort of business that would be better than WalMart please do so. Start by describing the salary and benefit structure of the organization. That's something you have relentlessly complained about with regard to WalMart.

Let's compare.

by fredo on 11/11/2011 @ 9:49am
Corporations which wish to locate in Tacoma, and are properly zoned to operate, and which bring employment opportunities are the type of corporations which would have a positive impact. I can't specify any particular company. I'll just mention a few examples: Starbucks, Tacoma Screw, Kroger Stores, Tacoma Boys, Kings Books, Lincoln Hardware, Best Buy. I could go on.

by low bar on 11/11/2011 @ 10:40am
that looks like a consumer based economy as in buy a bunch of shit from china economy and not a research and development plus manufacturing economy which china has. china is going to pass us up by 2017 and everybody knows it. Americans shouldn't be working at a fucking Best Buy. It's fucking humiliating to see. Give them back their rights, their unions, their manufacturing jobs. I just bought a vintage part for my 76 blazer. It came in the original packaging and said made in the USA. Flint MI. And I fucking marveled at it. Like a museum relic. I thought about all the proud hands it pass through. I thought about all the kids it sent to college. I'd rather volunteer at a COOP and work for food then degrade myself working at Chinamart for fucking minimum wage and no bennies. At least I'd know the food I was taking home was healthy and grown with pride.

If coperations are people, then people are coperations and should pay no tax as well. Imagine all the fucking credit cards they could finally pay off if they took the same non-taxable corporate income. And you'd know that lower class and middle class family would use that to pay them off because unlike corporations, they take pride in paying their bills.

shit you wanna fill a few trillion dollar recession hole you do it by giving people more money to pay their fucking mortgage. 2012 stimulus: minimum wage goes up to 16hr and income tax goes down to zero. Economy fixed. But then who's going to pay for bullets, gunpowder and diesel in Afghanistan? Hell, just let the homegrown militias loose over there.

by NineInchNachos on 11/11/2011 @ 11:20am
UNIONIZE THE WORLD! boingboing.net/2011/11/10/minimum-wage-h...

by fredo on 11/11/2011 @ 11:49am
Still waiting for that information on the employee pay and benefits that are waiting for people who choose to work at the highly recommended Tacoma Food Coop instead the evil Walmart.

RR, you could really advance the cause of anti- WalMart hysteria by providing us with this simple information.

by NineInchNachos on 11/11/2011 @ 11:52am
earth to fredo, the cooperative is volunteer driven. You know that, I know that so stop acting like a MFing dumb dumb.

NOW how is this for a minimum wage topic redirect: www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions...

(bye bye walmart low low prices? )

by panachronic on 11/11/2011 @ 12:25pm
What? RR is shilling for an organization that actually pays less than Walmart???

How can this be?

by NineInchNachos on 11/11/2011 @ 12:35pm
it is a labor of love.. . just like how you guys labor without pay while pretending to be mentally handicapped.

by fredo on 11/11/2011 @ 12:37pm
RR, how about displaying some integrity and telling your boss that from now on you don't want a paycheck or benefits, that you would prefer it if he paid you in granola and beans? I don't know how you can accept a paycheck like those poor tortured souls that are employed like slaves at Walmart. Your situation really calls out for immediate attention.

by fredo on 11/11/2011 @ 12:40pm
I for one can hardly wait for RR's world order to begin taking root. I'd love to see the day when we can pay our utility bills and property taxes by dropping off a pickup load of beets.

by NineInchNachos on 11/11/2011 @ 12:42pm
I volunteer every Tacomic Tuesday forcefully into the collective mind stream of success positive thinking. I learned that from positive chi man. Don't talk to me about INT3GRITY!

by fredo on 11/11/2011 @ 12:42pm
RR, you portray yourself as the paragon of enlightened thinking, yet you continually violate Kevin's request to refrain from name calling on this thread. What's up with that?

by NineInchNachos on 11/11/2011 @ 12:45pm
I don't give a god damn what anyone says. how about that?

by NineInchNachos on 11/11/2011 @ 12:50pm
I KNOW you guys are smarter than that. I know what you're trying to do... the socratic method where you pretend ignorance and lead the other person to conclude that they are just as ignorant. but i dunno... all you guys know how to do is the pretend to be ignorant part and here is no follow through with the other half. WTF you guys. this isn't the TNT thread.

by fredo on 11/11/2011 @ 1:00pm
No need to get angry, if you think businesses which pay nothing and depend on volunteer labor are the future of Tacoma, I'm OK with that, but please stop demonizing other businesses which actually prefer to pay cash money for people to come to work. Since you work for a business that pays cash money for labor your postings are coming off a bit...insincere.

by NineInchNachos on 11/11/2011 @ 1:05pm
they don't compare. stop trying to say what I think.

by fredo on 11/11/2011 @ 1:13pm
You placed a link in a previous comment to an interview which lionized the Tacoma Food Coop as the best business in town, much better than WalMart. Now you say the organizations don't compare. Why put up the link in the first place if that's how you feel?

by low bar on 11/11/2011 @ 1:17pm
i look at those tents around the lake in oly and i see pride. it's raining like a bitch today and yet certain souls have the fucking balls to unionize, band together, and behave like real americans. who gives a flying fuck if walmart pays a wage and the coop doesn't. the point it that when push comes to shove, some of us know what the fuck has to be done and aren't afraid to question the status quo behind a walmart greeter's smile. you could work on the definitions all day long to prove a point but....end of the day some of us can flex real america attitudes and some of us like to just apologize for the status quo. i think if you at least aren't one of those apologetic fucks, you can count yourself as not being a port of the problem.

by NineInchNachos on 11/11/2011 @ 1:22pm
it is my opinion that Tacoma Food Coop is one good alternative to shopping at walmart. everything else you derive from my placing a link is a product of your troubled mind.

by fredo on 11/11/2011 @ 1:39pm
RR-You say that the Coop and the Walmart are alternatives. Those are your words.

How can Tacomans enjoy these alternatives and make choices for themselves as long as you anti-WM activists try to derail the local store?

I note that Walmart ISN'T picketing the coop store or any other store in town, nor have they said anything disparaging about any existing business.

Nobody is preventing the cooperative business model from taking root and nobody is preventing the family wage business model from taking root. These models of organization are available to anyone who wishes to employ them.

Sorry if impartiality and fairness are the products of my troubled mind. It's hard for me to be a hater.

by NineInchNachos on 11/11/2011 @ 1:47pm
you right fredo. I take back everything. USA! USA!

by low bar on 11/11/2011 @ 1:51pm
the WM model is creepy and the COOP model isn't, it's just a little annoying. But I think I can put up with having to listen to the tom waits while I weigh out my sprouted COOP almonds, and given the alternative, most educated americans would too. i guarantee you do a study on the shit a WM sells everyday, you'll see most of it went to the undereducated. Fredo you say people are making choices, but you know damn well stupid people make stupid choices. The stupid choice is Walmart. Either working there or buying there. You look like a palsy faced idiot walking out of targets and walmarts. Derailing a fucking walmart is the same thing as helping americans less blessed with IQ to not bath in a fucking water treatment facility turd tank.

by NineInchNachos on 11/11/2011 @ 2:00pm
no no. Fredo is right. all his pretending to be dumb and 'gotcha' commenting convinced me that we need a walmart down the street from my house.

by NineInchNachos on 11/11/2011 @ 2:01pm
I don't know how he does it... he's like the Colombo of comments.

by low bar on 11/11/2011 @ 2:07pm

by NineInchNachos on 11/11/2011 @ 2:10pm
You are wrong Jason, Americans need to be free to choose to take a turd bath if they want to. Your utopian vision of a turd bathless society is exactly what is driving this country into the turd bath.

by low bar on 11/11/2011 @ 2:13pm

by fredo on 11/11/2011 @ 2:18pm
I'm not suggesting that anyone spend their money at Walmart. I've only been inside a Walmart 2 or 3 times in my life.

I'm only asking for fairness. RR said he favors alternatives for shoppers. Well I agree. Let's have alternatives. If the intellectuals wish to shop at a coop, great, If rich people want to shop at Metropoitan Mkt., great. If stupid people want to shop at Walmart, great. If you want alternatives, then stop spewing hate, that doesn't lead to alternatives.

by NineInchNachos on 11/11/2011 @ 2:21pm
hate. what is that concept? I have no idea.

by low bar on 11/11/2011 @ 2:21pm
needs more definition fredo when one alternative clearly makes other alternatives go out of business. that's monopoly bullshit, not alternative bullshit. here in america we play fair. intellectualism really has nothing to do with it so good point. its about fairness and a mf walmart monopoly moving into your town is clearly unfucking fair.

by NineInchNachos on 11/11/2011 @ 2:24pm
what is. this thing Monopoly? I don't know what that is.

by fredo on 11/11/2011 @ 2:38pm
There are Walmarts all over the Portland area right across from other businesses including grocery stores. There's a big Walmart in Yelm and since it opened there are lots more businesses all over yelm. I think this idea that a new WM makes all the other businesses close is BS. It's just an urban legend that serves the purpose of haters.

by NineInchNachos on 11/11/2011 @ 2:43pm
OK got it. urban legend. What about the traffic?

by fredo on 11/11/2011 @ 3:00pm
is a traffic jam in front of Walmart more annoying then a traffic jam in front of costco or Target? A traffic jam is a traffic jam. Are we going to start closing down businesses which are associated with traffic jams?

by NineInchNachos on 11/11/2011 @ 3:09pm
it depends. is the traffic jam happening in front of a walmart/target/costco next to RR Anderson's house?

by fredo on 11/11/2011 @ 3:10pm
i dunno, did you purchase a home in the vicinity of a commercial area where commercial activity might be foreseen?

by NineInchNachos on 11/11/2011 @ 3:11pm
is it true that the value of your home goes down when a clear channel billboard OR walmart moves in the neighborhood?

by NineInchNachos on 11/11/2011 @ 3:15pm
I bought a house next to a sleepy golfcourse and a sleepy elks lodge and sleepy library. But looking back, should have anticipated that when the Elks membership voted NO on the prospect of selling out to walmart the first time that the developer would get sneaky and hide the buyer on a secret alternative plan b to purchase the elks property. CURSE MYSELF!

by NineInchNachos on 11/11/2011 @ 3:30pm
today the sleepy library is closed and will probably soon be sold off... the sleepy elks will be a walmart and the sleepy golf course will soon FEEL THE TERROR OF MY PUMPKIN-CHUNKIN' MORTAR FIRE. pumpkin cannon

by fredo on 11/11/2011 @ 3:32pm
according to the minutes of the library board, the city closed the library so they would be able to fund the reconciliation park improvements. so you should be happy about the closure.

by panachronic on 11/11/2011 @ 3:33pm
RR, you do realize they took out a street car line to make room for that golf course, right?

And it's a darn good thing, too, because the street car line used to cross the Elk's site. If it was still there, it would have screwed up everything.

by NineInchNachos on 11/11/2011 @ 3:39pm
yes, Mr. Panachronic, hindsight is 20/20.

Hey kids, if anyone tries to swindle you out of your electric railroad... KILLLL!

by low bar on 11/11/2011 @ 5:02pm
if small business could brand and present like WM, WM would go the fuck out of business. Portland can afford to be infected with WM's because Portland businesses owners have an eye for branding. A shitbird strip mall that sprouts up next to a WM isn't my idea of a healthy WM business satellite. But I do agree that a business that is good at branding and presentation is good for an economic environment. I just don't think Tacoma in it's current state needs to slip even further into an anywhere USA climate when it's got almost zero progressive models around town to offset the fucking mediocrity of the consumer landscape. Until I see more fresh and easy's, and trader joes and tacoma boys stocking and selling items other than food and items clearly produced in the USA, I standing by the opinion that WM ultimately is an abomination feeding off the impoverished. Innovation and fair competition is synonymous with the American experience if you ask me. I mean, I bet those business reefs beside a WM probably provide similar benefits to their workers, no? I mean, if WM can get away with corn holing it's workers, then why should a small neighboring business owner not do the same?

by fredo on 11/11/2011 @ 5:51pm
going to have to learn to live with other businesses in town than the ones you prefer. Councilman David Boe explained the other day that the city cannot legislate business specific provisions into the city code. If you purchase commercial property in Tacoma you have the same right to enjoy the use of your property as you see fit just as any other business does. If Tacomans don't want to use the store then after a year or two it will probably be abandoned, then the WM haters can post some gleeful comments. Haven't heard any reports of WM corn holing it's workers. Is that true or is that just a colorful rant?

by low bar on 11/11/2011 @ 5:57pm
i'm just rolling back the prices on my rants.

by fredo on 11/11/2011 @ 6:01pm
heh :)

by JesseHillFan on 11/13/2011 @ 4:30pm
From a couple of days ago.

by Nick on 11/14/2011 @ 11:39am
Interesting, so the city effectively increased the cost of building a WalMart at this location by $500k.

by Nick on 11/14/2011 @ 11:40am
Also interesting that there is at least one other party interested in this property.

by Erik on 11/23/2011 @ 1:41pm
"On December 7, 2011 at 5:00 p.m. the Planning Commission will be holding a public hearing regarding proposed changes to the City’s Zoning Code relative to large scale retail uses. The hearing will be held in the City Council Chambers on the 1st Floor of the Tacoma Municipal Building (747 Market Street). Please see the attached public notice.

The proposed code changes were developed in response to the emergency moratorium adopted by the City Council on August 30, 2011 (Ordinance No. 28014), which was retained and modified by the City Council on November 1, 2011 (Substitute Ordinance No. 28027). The revised moratorium ordinance called for the Commission to focus its short review on a citywide approach to addressing the size of large retail establishments, and doing so within the 6-month timeframe of the moratorium, which will expire on February 29, 2012.

In summary, the code changes being considered by the Planning Commission would:

· Within the C-2, CCX, UCX, UCX-TD, and CIX zoning districts, a conditional use permit would be required for retail uses that exceed 45,000 square feet.

· Within the portions of the M-1 and M-2 zoning districts where these uses are allowed (outside of the South Tacoma Manufacturing/Industrial Center), a conditional use permit would be required for retail uses that exceed 65,000 square feet.

· Within the RCX zoning district, commercial uses would be limited to 30,000 square feet per business, or 45,000 square feet for grocery stores.

· Specific conditional use permit decision criteria would be created for large scale retail uses, with an enhanced focus on ensuring projects are designed to be compatible with the Comprehensive Plan policies for the area (particularly in Mixed-Use Centers), mitigating potential impacts to the surrounding area, and ensuring the feasibility of future building reuse.

· Conditional use permits for large scale retail uses would require a pre-application community meeting, a public hearing, and be subject to approval by the Hearing Examiner.

You are invited to come and testify at the hearing or provide written comments using the return address below no later than 5:00 pm on Friday, December 9, 2011, or by facsimile at (253) 591-2002 or via e-mail at planning@cityoftacoma.org.

If you have additional questions please feel free to contact Brian Boudet, Urban Planner, at (253) 573-2389.

Additional information, including the complete text of the proposed amendments and other background information, is available from the Community and Economic Development Department at the address below, and on the Planning Division website (www.cityoftacoma.org/planning - click on “Large Scale Retail Moratorium”)

Please feel free to share this notification with anyone who may be interested.


Tacoma Planning Commission

747 Market Street – Room 1036

Tacoma, WA 98402


by KevinFreitas on 11/23/2011 @ 6:17pm
Thanks for the update Erik!

by fredo on 11/23/2011 @ 6:19pm
These arbitrary size limitations for commercial businesses are absurd. What if Pottery Barn, I Magnin, Nordstroms or IKEA wanted to build a 200,000 sq. ft. superstore right here in Tacoma? You mean we're going to turn that down?

by JesseHillFan on 11/23/2011 @ 6:47pm
I agree with Fredo.Also I approve anything even 100 story Manhattan type skyscrapers build in the North End of Tacoma.That's fine by me.Yes in everyone's back yard.

by fredo on 11/23/2011 @ 8:16pm
100 story office building would probably represent 20,000 family wage or better jobs for Tacoma and surrounding property values would soar. They can put that in my backyard tomorrow.


Although I have another home on the web I thought it might be nice to lead by example a bit and put this blog system up to the test myself.

So far, so good... Funny how I build web tools for other people that are far better than the one's I have setup over on KFnet.


Hey Clear Channel, Clean Up Your Crap!

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