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Residents fighting against Wal-Mart store in Burbank

August 14, 2011 |  5:31 am

Residents are lining up to oppose having a Wal-Mart open at a shopping center in Burbank

Walmart has not officially announced it will open one of its stores on the site adjacent to the Empire Center that formerly housed the Great Indoors, which was acquired in June. Walmart officials, who have been meeting with elected officials, acknowledge the property is a prime location for a new store. 

Kat Olson, one of several residents who addressed the City Council on Tuesday, said a Walmart would increase traffic in the already congested area around the Empire Center. It would also cause parking problems, increase crime and drive out other retailers by lowering prices, she argued, reflecting a common refrain among Walmart detractors.

“I appreciate the potential impact in terms of tax revenue [from Walmart], but some things are more important than money,” Olson told the Burbank Leader.

In an interview, Walmart spokesman Steven Restivo said the concerns of residents where the retailer has moved before are nothing new and that the company looked forward to dispelling unfounded fears.

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--Mark Kellam, Times Community News.

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