Wally World’s Unwelcoming

May 23, 2012 at 1:20pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Ooooh, this is going to stir up a hornet’s nest.

Walmart has announced plans to build a smallish 125,000 square foot Supercenter at South 27th and Grainger Parkway, just north of 27th and Yankee Hill. Neighbors aren’t going to be happy. Not only is this Walmart we’re talking about, it’s a Walmart mere blocks from Wilderness Ridge and other upper-middle- to upper-class neighborhoods. The LJS comments are already bubbling with disgust.

Love Walmart or hate ‘em, they know what they’re doing. And there’s no stopping this store—the land is zoned B-2, exactly like the land on which Super Target sits a mile away at 40th and Yankee Hill. No doubt many neighbors will be surprised by that. I sure was. The property, after all, is surrounded on three sides by relatively low-density residential areas. That seems an odd place to zone for a “big box” store.

Still, we all knew a Walmart was coming to that general area eventually. They were hot-to-trot for the development at Highway 77 and Warlick Blvd. that never materialized and you knew they weren’t going to give up. I figured they’d opt for something closer to Saltillo Road and the mythical South Beltway, but what do I know?

Out of all of this, you know what gets me most? The fact that 27th and Yankee Hill is about to become a traffic mess. When I was growing up, 27th and Yankee Hill was way out in the boonies. Heck, 27th and Pine Lake was way out in the boonies. Remember The Acreage out on Saltillo Road? That place was waaaaay the heck out there. These days Saltillo Road is a short hop from Lincoln proper.

This place is growing up so quickly.

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The Comments

Fletch May 23, 2012 at 3:22pm

Again, this will date me. When I started college in 1985, 27th and Old Cheney were each 2-lane roads at that intersection, and marked with stop SIGNS. No lights. I can’t get into details, but I also somehow ended up with a “Lincoln City Limit” sign, and it came from south 40th Street approximately where the south Misty’s now sits.

I think the Walmart comments and furor at the LJS are kind of funny. Much is made of this is where all the rich folk be livin’ - but it’s not a lot different than the 87th and Highway 2 location being next to Heritage Lakes (yes, there’s a larger buffer, but still large expensive houses nearby). There’s also a Shopko - by no means carrying the elite status of a Target store - that backs right up to the Ridge and Ridge Point.

I also call BS on most of the people that proclaim they don’t shop there. It’s the world’s largest retailer (by a long ways) because no one shops there.

Is Super Target nicer and more pretty? Hell yes. But if you really compare prices, Walmart beats them on most items. I shop at both, but if I can get something at Wally World, I will. Maybe that makes me cheap (I prefer “frugal”), but it’s about the closest store to me, and I can get anything from food to personal care to clothes and toys for my kids. All in one place.

I think the new location will do just fine. I’m curious how long Shopko can keep 2 stores open on S. 27th Street once the new neighbor rolls in.

meatball May 23, 2012 at 4:01pm

Surprised me, too. I sure didn’t think the space remaining there after the bank went in was big enough for a Walmart—even a small Walmart.

I don’t get the anti-Walmart crowd. If you don’t like the place, don’t shop there. People claim they don’t like the Walmart Way; they don’t like their foreign-made products; they don’t like all the part-time workers without benefits; blah, blah, blah. Most of it’s just unfounded silliness. Heck, ask all those part-time employees without benefits—I’ll bet most are darn grateful to have a job.

We live near 27th & Pine Lake. We prefer Target, but shop Walmart when we’re near one. Walmart almost always beats Target on price, but it’s hard to justify driving out to 87th St. to save a buck or two. Now, Walmart will be an option nearer to us than SuperTarget. It will be interesting to see how our shopping habits change.

It will be interesting to see what happens with Shopko. It will be interesting to see if anything comes to fruition near the Kohl’s, as Matt O. reported in Bizz Buzz about the requested plan changes there.

One of the LJS commenters claimed that the area around 27th & Yankee Hill already was full of traffic. No. It’s not. But adding the new Walmart plus maybe another new national big box retailer near Kohl’s certainly could change that. It will be interesting, indeed.

Just Thinkin May 23, 2012 at 4:48pm

I don’t understand the complaints about traffic. South 27th Street is already four lanes with plenty of room to widen to six. Same goes for Yankee Hill east of 27th Street. Did those residents think the city would put in major four lane roads with expansion room for just residential traffic? West of S. 27th Street, there is also plenty of room to widen Yankee Hill to allow for commercial development. If people don’t like Wal-Mart’s business practices, don’t shop there. People like to complain about Wal-Mart, but their parking lots are full. They must be doing something right.

George May 23, 2012 at 4:48pm

Now if only Star Tran would get with it and set up bus lines to cover these new areas.  We are moving to the south of town and 2 of the 3 areas that we are looking at don’t have bus lines running to them.  My husband has had the benefit of being able to take the bus to his job downtown, and for the last 8 years have been able to live with just one car.  Once we move, that most likely won’t be an option :(

JT May 24, 2012 at 1:01pm

A lot of people don’t like Walmart becauase it seems like they are constantly doing stuff like this:

The $24 million in illicit payments that Wal-Mart has been accused of making in Mexico amount to roughly two hours

Kim May 26, 2012 at 7:11pm

Folks need to check the zoning in any location before the buy/build. Or just look at the site….clearly with the 4-lanes, the car dealerships, etc. this was zoned for retail.

I don’t really care if they put a Walmart there as no matter where they build one, I’m not going to shop there. I don’t head for that area of town much anyway, even though I live in what used to be south Lincoln (Bishop Heights). I am ancient (at 57, I don’t actually deserve to still be alive) but when I was a kid, Pioneers Blvd was kind of the edge of town, and Highway 2 was certainly the border. The Knolls was built starting in the mid-1960s, and it was a country drive to get to the Country Club.

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