NO WalMart PLEASE!

By
Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Executive Realty

I live in Harrisburg, NC, a small town just outside of Charlotte. We have about 7000 households at this time, and just about everyone who lives here loves the idea of knowing people at the grocery store or the local Chinese place or at church.

We don't currently have a lot of shopping here-a few locally owned businesses and the like.  But we're okay with that, since we're less than 10 minutes from Concord Mills mall and roughly 20 minutes to ANYTHING you might want to purchase. 

Wal-Mart has been trying to establish a presence here.  They bought a parcel of land on Highway 49, our main thoroughfare in town, and a firestorm started to fight them. 

  • Looks like Wal-Mart would bring an additional 40000 cars a day to an already busy road. 
  • The parcel of land backs up to a residential housing development. 
  • We don't have full-time police officers in our town
  • Two of the stores that have big crime problems are within 15 miles of Harrisburg and Wal-Mart will close those stores when this one opens
  • Wal-Mart pays employees an average of $9.71 per hour with no benefits.

The town council and mayor wanted to approve the rezoning request, citing the addition to the tax base and the jobs Wal-Mart would add. They didn't want to hear the fact-that our average house price of $175,000 isn't something that can purchased by someone working for $9.71 per hour...so where will the workers come from?   Not Harrisburg-so where's the benefit?  They didn't want to hear the fact that the additional tax revenue would be offset by the loss of local businesses or the added expense of increased crime (which is well documented at just about any Wal-Mart nationwide).  They didn't want to hear the truth that the housing prices in the neighboring area would suffer by proximity to a 24-hour store that caters to a low-middle income demographic.

Until our town leaders take the time to study the difference between the approaches of Wal-Mart and Target, they will never understand how much damage they can cause.  Why is Target better?  As a company, they pay a living wage and offer benefits-resulting in less employee turnover and fewer problems.  Their employees, by virtue of making more, spend more in the local economy.  Target goes after a middle-upper income demographic-which like it or not, means less crime and theft. 

The Wal-Mart rezoning was temporarily defeated.  But Lowe's Home Improvement has been approved.  Even though there are 4 home warehouse type stores within a 6 mile radius.

And the saddest thing about the situation is that now that Lowe's has been approved, Wal-Mart is likely going to sue the town for not passing the rezoning request.  What a sad world when he who has the most expensive lawyers and the deepest pockets, wins.

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Location:
North Carolina Cabarrus County Harrisburg
Tags:
walmart
rezoning

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Rainmaker
396,950
Eric Bouler
Listening to your Needs
Gardner Realtors, Licensed in La.
Wal-mart is not the cause of crime. If you let one build you should let all build. What does Lowes pay per hour? target pays a living wage which is? This sounds like class war fare with little merits for a legal case? Maybe we couls ship you some of our poor so you can help them out to have a better life.
October 27, 2006 09:40 AM
Rainmaker
362,075
Leigh Brown
Broker/Owner - Charlotte NC
RE/MAX Executive Realty
It's not class warfare-it's a case for not needing a WalMart every 2 miles.  We have 2 Wal-Marts within 5 minutes of our community-why do we need another one?  We have 1 Target 15 minutes away so it makes more sense to add that particular store.  A lot of studies have been done to show the differences in how the two different discount retailers affect communities.  It's factual that Wal-Mart stores result in increased crime, Target stores don't have the same effect.  I didn't want Lowe's either, since I like the two independent hardware stores we already have in town.  My point was that by letting Lowe's in, our town council has opened the gates to allow any of the big box stores into town.
October 27, 2006 09:46 AM
Rainer
262,564
Ginger Sala
Wilmington NC Real Estate & Relocation~
Wilkinson & Associates, Wilmington NC

Our neighborhhood was spared Wal Mart, after a big fight.

There is one about 3 miles down the road, but our area that they were targeting is more residential.

They purchased the land, but then they pulled out for intrastructure reasons, so they said. We are relieved!

October 27, 2006 11:03 PM
Anonymous
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Rainmaker
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Leigh Brown

Broker/Owner - Charlotte NC
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