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2010-02-08
San Jose, CA. Wal-Mart Wants Dead Home Depot Expo Site in Silicon Valley Site

One company's demise is another company's opportunity. It looks like Wal-Mart knows the way to San Jose. There are already 8 Wal-Mart stores within 20 miles of San Jose, but the giant retailer wants to put a Wal-Mart supercenter on the site of a former Home Depot Expo Design Center. The existing Wal-Mart discount store on Story Road would likely shut down if Wal-Mart built a supercenter in the city. A group has formed to fight this Wal-Mart/Home Depot deal, and they submitted this report to Sprawl-Busters: "A City of San Jose employee revealed to residents that Home Depot and Wal-Mart are cutting a real estate deal to open a Wal-Mart SuperCenter at a former Home Depot Expo Center location at Highway 85 and Almaden Expressway. The official also hinted that the plan is broader than just one store: a number of Home Depot locations in the Bay Area might be a part of the deal, including additional locations in Silicon Valley and in Dublin, California, where Wal-Mart has approached the city planners about another former Expo site. Residents are angry with Home Depot because they would consider making such a radical change without consulting the community. Opponents have launched a website (www.nowalmart-homedepotdeal.com) and canvassed surrounding neighborhoods. These residents are concerned primarily about traffic and blight -- not to mention that the City of San Jose has failed to press Home Depot and Wal-Mart about the details of the deal. Under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), cities need to disclose details of major development projects regardless of pre-existing conditions or zoning. The Highway 85 and Almaden Expressway intersection is one of San Jose's busiest because it serves as the main traffic artery for residents of the densely-populated Almaden Valley. Currently, Best Buy is the only store in the shopping center. Traffic generated by Best Buy causes backups well over 100 yards from the street through the parking lot. All traffic is directed south toward the extremely busy intersection of Almaden Expressway and Blossom Hill Road. The recession has hit surrounding businesses very hard. There are many vacant stores, most significantly at the nearby Almaden Square, where Circuit City and Levitz Furniture have closed their doors. A new Wal-Mart SuperCenter on the opposite side of Highway 85 will make re-occupying Almaden Square nearly impossible, making blight a permanent part of the neighborhood."

What you can do: This Wal-Mart controversy seems to be just the beginning. The leaked information about a deal brewing between Home Depot and Wal-Mart is alarming for many communities. Home Depot has over 20 stores in the Silicon Valley and East Bay area. The San Jose store swap could be the first location in a new effort by Wal-Mart to expand in Northern California." Just about a year ago, Home Depot sawed off 7,000 jobs as it nailed the lid on its 34-store chain of Home Expo Design Centers -- a concept that never really took off. That left 34 'ghost boxes' on the market for other retailers to buy. In Phoenix, for example, a furniture chain store bought the empty Expo building. In San Jose, its Wal-Mart that wants in. But the move won't be without a fight. "Residents must stand-up to Home Depot and Wal-Mart!" the San Jose anti-Wal-Mart group says. "These two out-of-state corporate conglomerates are also pairing up on a deal in Dublin, California." Local residents are organizing citizens to contact their City Councilor to oppose this project. Readers should email San Jose City Councilmember Judy Chirco to tell her that Home Depot and Wal-Mart need to go public with their plans for this shopping center in her district. Chirco can be contacted at judy.chirco@sanjoseca.gov or 408-408-535-4909. You can also contact Home Depot's point person, Beverly Metz at beverly_metz@homedepot.com or 714-940-3569 to urge her to immediately disclose to the public the details of Home Depot's San Jose partnership with Wal-Mart. To add your name to the group of concerned residents, send an email to stopalmadenwalmart@gmail.com.










 
 
"Norman has become the guru of the anti-Wal-Mart movement" ~ 60 Minutes

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