Monday, July 11, 2011

Burbank Residents Mobilize Against Walmart

>No Wal Mart in Burbank

Reports that Walmart may move into Burbank has not sit well with several locals -- some of whom have rallied against the store via the new No Walmart in Burbank Facebook page.

Walmart is believed to be interested in taking over The Great Indoor's big box site next to the Empire Center. (Sears, which owns The Great Indoors, is closing both of the chain's stores in the L.A. area.)

According to the Glendale News-Press, Walmart hasn't officially announced its plans, but Burbank says it has little authority to prevent the store from moving in next door to Best Buy and Target.

The 12-acre site, purchased last month by Walmart Real Estate Business Trust, is zoned for commercial use. Changing that zoning would require a mutual agreement between the city and property owner, said Joy Forbes, Burbank deputy city manager.

Walmart would simply need to pull a few permits for a project to proceed, she added.

Walmart representatives have declined to say what they’re planning for the space, and it is unclear whether the company will seek to build a supercenter or a smaller store.

“They could use the whole site or break out the site with different tenant spaces,” Forbes said. “We have no idea.”

The Empire Center is already home to several big-box stores,” such as Target, Best Buy and Marshalls.
Adds Forbes: “Our biggest concern is to make sure [Walmart] doesn’t compete with other existing businesses which are also doing their part to generate revenues,” she said. “But competition is good.”

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