Nothing brings together a neighborhood like Walmart. For a while there earlier this year, it looked like the smiling giant would find its first Boston home off Dudley Square in Roxbury. Several locals favored it; the neighborhood needed the retail--the only grocery store was/is the small Tropical Foods on Washington Street; and Walmart offered to negotiate size and scope.
Then, over the summer, a small, but loud group of activists turned against it. Local residents and neighboring retailers followed. Then the pols weighed in, including Mayor Thomas Menino: "Every place they’ve gone, the areas around them have lost jobs. You might gain jobs in the four walls of Walmart, but the surrounding neighborhoods lose out. So where’s the win?"
Last week, the plans were toast.
According to Jessica Fargen at The Boston Herald, other neighborhoods are already lining up to shout a preemptive no:
Some believe Walmart will never find a home in the Hub. “Politically, I don’t think it’s going to happen anywhere in Boston,” said a source familiar with the negotiations.
While Walmart has no announced plans to build in Boston, the demand is there, said Walmart spokesman Steve Restivo.
[C]ommunity leaders from South Boston to Allston said a Walmart would be met with protest.
A Walmart would be a “major cause for concern,” said Mary-Helen Nsangou, director of the Allston Brighton Community Development Corp.
South Boston may have the space for a Walmart grocery, but it wouldn’t be welcome, said Donna Brown, director of Southie’s neighborhood development corporation.
In the Shadow of Walmart [Phoenix]