Squashing efforts by neighborhood groups to defeat it, Wal-Mart has won two battles so far in 2013 to bring new stores to Lees Summit and Raytown.
By Yael T. Abouhalkah
The Kansas City Star
So is Waldo next?
Leaders battling the placement of a Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market at the old Bingham Middle School site say no.
They hope to get their say at a meeting held by the Kansas City Public Schools repurposing panel, at 5:30 p.m. June 13 at Keystone Church, 406 W. 74th St.
Wal-Mart wants to put a grocery store there that would be open at least 18 hours a day.
Opponents say the low-priced, low-wage store would be a negative influence so close to Waldo neighborhoods.
But if those critics are hoping some kind of anti-Wal-Mart fever will help their cause, they might need to rethink that strategy.
As I wrote earlier this year, Wal-Mart usually gets its way by wooing public officials with the potential of future tax revenues and wearing down its opponents.
Look what happened early Wednesday morning in Raytown.
The Board of Aldermen decided at 3 a.m. on a 6-4 vote to allow Wal-Mart to build a Neighborhood Market on a downtown green space. Supporters won by saying downtown needed a spark of development to give it a chance at a strong comeback after decades of no growth.
Opponents lost, even though they correctly pointed out that Wal-Mart will steamroll over some of the downtown beautification guidelines the city had approved a decade ago to try to make Raytowns downtown more beautiful, with a small-town feel.
And Waldo residents not happy to see a Wal-Mart come their way also better avoid looking at what happened a few months ago in Lees Summit.
The City Council approved construction of a Wal-Mart supercenter after development lawyers for the retailer said they would build a green store, with modern amenities.
Opponents in neighborhoods near the site complained that Wal-Mart would bring too much traffic and more crime to the area.
But in the end as they usually do elected officials sided with Wal-Mart.