Sunday, August 5, 2012

Wal-Mart Desperados: Even Fred Rogers Wouldn't Want to Be Their Neighbor

Everyone it seems is piling on poor Wal-Mart-and the latest is the Observer that points out:

"Now, even Walmart’s staunchest backers seem to want nothing to do with the company. For starters, Related, along with their Willets partners the Wilpons, have disavowed any involvement with the company in building a Queens outpost."

In disavowing any dalliance with the retail giant the co-developers lapse into a comedic riff. In a prepared statement they tell us:

"There have been and will be no negotiations, they are simply not a part of our plan to build an enclosed retail and entertainment destination at Willets Point, that will bring much needed jobs and economic activity to the area and lead to the development of a new neighborhood."

Re-read that carefully. Notice that they say that there giant mall will, "...lead to the development of a new neighborhood." Gone is the rhapsodic paeans to the"next green neighborhood" that characterized the hoopla surrounding the city's promotion of the project in 2008-along with the living wage promise that suckered in so many in labor. This is one of the most outrageous bait and switches we have ever seen-and to allow the use of condemnation to make way for a Mets Mall is scandalous.

But the city's wariness and the developers' caution is well conceived because of the ability of WPU to keep this illegally promoted development from going forward: "The rejiggered project has already drawn criticism from a number of corners, does it really need more?"

As for Wal-Mart, things are not looking up. After being smacked down in Rego Park, Tottenville and Monsey New York over the last ten years it is at the point that its executives are forced into skulking around like child molesters at a playground. We'll give the Observer the last word:

"Still, if the rumors of Walmart’s “stealth” entreaties to Queens pols for political backing is true, it demonstrates just how desperate the firm’s situation has grown.

When the company turned up again two years ago, The Observer predicted it would attempt the same divide and conquer tactics it used to open a store in Chicago not long ago. But almost the entire political class, with the exception of the mayor, has vocally opposed Walmart. This includes every would-be mayoral candidate. It is now or never for the company, and even that may not be enough. That bouncing smiley face may never alight on our fair city