No deal to bring Wal-Mart to Lakeview neighborhood

Tue. December 14, 2010 4:13 PM by Brett Anthony

Chicago, IL - Reports last week that retailer Wal-Mart could open a store in Lakeview had some neighbors upset, but Alderman Tom Tunney says there's no deal on the table.

Crain's Chicago Business first reported that the big box retailer had signed an agreement to lease a 30,000-square-foot vacant space, formerly a PetSmart, at 2840 N. Broadway.

Tunney (44th) said when the news broke last week his office was flooded with calls.

Monday night, Tunney told a packed meeting of the South East Lake View Neighbors that a lease agreement has not been signed by Wal-Mart. The Alderman noted there a number of developers trying to do business in Lakeview, including a new Trader Joe's that will open in February.

"Wal-Mart has not executed a lease or a letter of intent with the developer to locate a store on the property known as Broadway at Surf," Maggie Sans, a Wal-Mart vice-president of public affairs and government relations, said in a statement posted on Tunney's web site.

Company officials say Wal-Mart is evaluating more than a dozen of locations across the city of Chicago that it hopes to open over the next 5 years. Groundbreaking on the new store in Chatham will be early next year.

Tunney, who is up for re-election, told Crain's that he's "totally neutral" on a Wal-Mart deal. His opponent, David Winner, has denounced a Wal-Mart deal saying it would add to the traffic congestion.

Wal-Mart has been at odds with the city for years engaging in battles with local unions and Chicago aldermen over employee wages and benefits.