Tuesday, May 5, 2009

My comment to Matt Munson's article on Wal-Mart and Ontario

Matt Munson's Inland Utopia blog has implemented captchas, which is a Norwegian word meaning "to capture all comments and send them into the void." This, or something else, rendered me unable to comment on this post. Excerpt:

Personally I am not against Wal-Mart doing business in our city, but it is the wrong part of Ontario for Wal-Mart to do business in....Imagine what Wal-Mart could of done if they built theirs next to the Sam’s Club in Ontario. The Super Center would be part of a commercial district where residents would not be offended that it would be there.

Here is what I wanted to say:

As a resident of northwest Ontario, I have to question a couple of implications in your post.

First, there's the idea that a Wal-Mart by Ontario Mills would give as much benefit to the city as a Wal-Mart in northwest Ontario. This, of course, assumes that the people in northwest Ontario would be happy driving several miles east - and frankly, if I have the choice between driving to a store in Ontario Mills or a store in Montclair (Costco), I'm going to drive to Montclair.

Second, there's the implication (via comparison with Las Vegas) that the Wal-Mart would invade a residential district. The residential district was invaded long ago. Even 20 years ago, the site was home to a grocery store (Giant, later Food 4 Less) AND a Target AND A Toys R Us. Those sites have been abandoned for several years because graffiti-ridden eyesores do so much good for the city. The area also hosts or has previously hosted a gas station, a video store, a locksmith, two fast food restaurants, and a convenience store.

If this is a residential neighborhood, then why didn't these same residents rise up in arms when the shopping center at 4th Street was expanded to include an Albertson's? If you check Cory Briggs' history, you'll soon figure out why he objects to some kinds of development and not others.

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