Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Walmart Neighborghood Partnership Initiative

  In response to public pressure, city council concerns or whatever the reasons may be, Walmart announced it's Neighborhood Partnership Initiative on their DC Website this morning.  In this announcement, Walmart announced it's intention to not only provide the District with some 1,800 permanent jobs city wide, but also increasing the District's tax revenue by some $15 million while they also "identify and create charitable partnerships during this timeline worth $21 million in critical areas of unmet needs such as hunger relief, health and wellness, education and workforce development." The major construction projects they plan to start will also utilize DC based contractors and distributors for at least 35% of work, implement transportation demand management measures for each new store (Capital Bikeshare, bus shelters, bike racks, Smart Trip, electric car charging stations), as well as "create and fund a city wide workforce development program that provides training services for DC residents, with emphasis on programs that assist low income families, minorities, veterans, at-risk yourh and formerly incarcerated residents."  Along with the proposed workforce development program, Walmart plans to focus even more keenly on creating jobs in the communities surrounding their developments through the use of hiring centers located near each site, as well as job fairs and cooperation with CCDC and Community Groups.  Several of these items address many of the major concerns people have with the Mega Box Store, however they extent to which these are carried out and how much leverage the District has to ensure these happen will not be realized until much of the planned development in near or has been copmpleted,

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

An Unexpected Tenant: Walmart Surprise in Ft. Totten

  The quiet community is an often sought after, seldom attained dynamic in any major city...and the District is no different.  The communities surrounding Ft. Totten have been one of these rare species, and are now facing extinction straight in the face.  The announcement that Wamart is moving ahead with a bold plan to open six locations in the District, one of which will anchor the Ft. Totten Square Development, will certainly usher in a new community dynamic.  The often controversial box store giant's plan will add some 1,600 jobs in the district and create almost 600 construction jobs in the process.  The Ft. Totten location will occupy most of the first floor of the Ft. Totten Square project and sit below some 350 apartments along Riggs Rd, NE. 
  Much of the community seems split regarding the planned development, and this will surely fuel the  fire for both sides.  While the neighborhood will surely be faced with all manner of city planning and public safety issues, this announcement will surely add a turbo booster to the stagnent Ft. Totten Square project and help bloster not only jobs but also increase property values.  Regardless of the stance, this unexpected announcement  looks to be moving ahead...at what speed and where the speed bumps lie are still unknown.