Yael T. Abouhalkah

Wal-Mart wins in Raytown, Lee’s Summit; is Waldo next?

Squashing efforts by neighborhood groups to defeat it, Wal-Mart has won two battles so far in 2013 to bring new stores to Lee’s Summit and Raytown.

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 Raytown’s 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 Lee’s 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.