Thursday, February 2, 2012
Walmart going into Whole Foods on Greenville Ave makes one grocery too many
Going in across the street from the new Trader Joe's.
DALLAS The fate of the old Whole Foods space on Greenville Avenue has been revealed: According to Unfair Park it will become home to a Walmart, a possibility that's been rumored nearly ever since the store closed in 2009.
The disposition of that space has been one of the more frequently asked questions at Pegasus News, but property owner Mitch Rasansky was cagey about the new tenant. People fantasized about having a Trader Joe's take over the space, viewing it as the perfect, eccentric, slightly hippie-ish replacement that would not only sell food but also fit into the Lower Greenville mindset.
But then Trader Joe's signed up for the space across the street that was formerly the Arcadia Theater.
Given the relatively small footprint of the old Whole Foods, this WalMart will likely be a Neighborhood Market, exactly like the one 2.5 miles away on 75 at Hall Street. Which brings us to the question of why we need a Walmart, of all things, in that space. There are at least a dozen markets nearby -- from the Sunflower Market on Henderson, and Fiesta Mart on Ross, to the transplanted Whole Foods in Lakewood, to the Kroger at Greenville & Mockingbird, to the Target at 75 & Haskell, to the Albertsons at Lemmon & McKinney. It's just such an obnoxious thing for Walmart to do, especially when it could truly serve a community by moving closer to downtown or even in downtown.
Of course, Whole Foods isn't anywhere near what it used to be, and Lower Greenville has changed, too. Whole Foods just buckled to Monsanto, dropping its opposition to the commercialization of genetically engineered crops such as Monsanto's bee-killing "Roundup Ready" alfalfa -- prompting Organic Consumers.org to petition Whole Foods to adopt Truth-in-Labeling practices that identify which produce it sells is genetically modified. (President Obama just gave Monsanto permission to plant GE Roundup-resistance alfalfa on millions of acres and recently appointed Michael Taylor, a former VP and lobbyist for Monsanto, to be senior advisor to the commissioner at the FDA -- an appointment that's prompted a petition that 188,425 people have signed in protest.)
But there was something special about the relationship that the original Whole Foods had with the neighborhood -- something that Walmart seems unlikely to duplicate.
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