In everything from large cities to small towns across the country, people who care about the integrity of their neighborhoods and the health of their local economies seem to be constantly fending off Walmart expansion into areas where the company is neither wanted nor needed. It’s always gratifying when the natives are successful, as it now appears they have been in a part of town where I used to live.
I was out to dinner with my friends Sean and Jami Friday night. They live over near the old CU Health Sciences Center (a big redevelopment site now that the hospital and med school have moved out to the Anschutz campus in Aurora) and have been involved in the neighborhood organization resisting Walmart and the whore developer they’re working with. The neighborhood (polling showed opposition in excess of 90%-10%) were hopeful that they were on the right track, especially since council members Jeanne Robb and Mary Beth Susman announced that they would oppose public subsidies for the Walmart (the company’s strategy tends to go something like “we’ll come in and destroy your neighborhood, but only if you pay for it”), but nothing they said suggested that victory might be this close at hand.
So, congrats to the organizers and many thanks to Robb and Susman. East Denver is a very cool area and I’m hoping that what now emerges from the redevelopment process is something as organic and vibrant as my own West Highlands neighborhood.