A new Wal-Mart Express is heading to Boystown with a second already planned for the River North neighborhood. The new store will reportedly be in the old Recycled Paper Greetings building at 3636 N. Broadway.
According to Crain's Chicago Business
, Wal-Mart has signed a lease and recently field a building permit for construction of the store on Broadway, just north of Addison. The location is about five blocks east of Wrigley Field
Alderman James Cappleman (46th), whose ward includes the 14,086-square-foot space, says he heard about the deal from residents at a community meeting last week and was first contacted by Wal-Mart on Tuesday afternoon, after Crain's initial inquiry.
"One of my concerns is I'm just now finding out about it," Cappleman said. "I've been very clear from the very beginning that I'm an alderman that works with the chambers and community organizations. We need to hear from any interested business very quickly so we can make decisions about what's best for this community."
This is the second confirmed Wal-Mart Express store on the north side as the big-box retailer continues to expand its franchise into larger urban cities, including Chicago and Los Angeles.
Wal-Mart faced strong opposition and vocal protests last year when it announced plans to open a location at 2840 N. Broadway, about a mile south of this new location. Critics claim the Bensonville, Ark.-based retailer hurts local stores and would change the character of the neighborhood.
A Loyola University/University of Illinois at Chicago study released last year
indicated Wal-Mart does not have the enhanced retail activity and employment opportunities that the company claims. The study surveyed the Wal-Mart location in Chicago's Austin neighborhood, which opened in 2006.
Wal-Mart calls the survey "flawed."