Walmart grocery coming to food desert
KANSAS CITY, Kan. — A Kansas City, Kan., neighborhood long-suffering without a grocery store may soon have two. County commissioners for the Unified Government will consider approving tax incentives to help build a Walmart Neighborhood Market Thursday night.
The Walmart is the largest component of a retail complex known as La Plaza Argentine. It’ll include a McDonalds, a gas station and some other retail but the focus is on the Walmart grocery store, which most neighbors believe the area desperately needs. Mickey’s surplus is one of the only storefronts that doesn’t sit empty.
Longtime employee Doris McMillan welcomes the addition of a Walmart Neighborhood Market.
“They have to do something for this community because, like I said, this community is almost gone,” she said.
The last neighborhood grocery store left nearly ten years ago and for residents like Joe Lopez, who doesn’t have a car, a store within walking and biking distance would be a blessing, “I think it’s an excellent, excellent idea, everyone in the area would just love it. It keeps us from going too far away and it kind of keeps the money here in our area at the same time.”
Plus residents in the the largely hispanic neighborhood like Cececlia Morales believe Walmart will sell items that specifically target the customer base, “The Walmarts do cater to the hispanic communities in their other stores and we see that they will do it here also.”
Long a food desert, the Argentine neighborhood will soon have two grocery options if the Walmart goes through. Save-A-Lot is building a new store that’s scheduled to open in Mid-November
The store will be just 3 blocks away from the Walmart but residents aren’t worried the two stores will cannibalize each other.
“You’re going to have people that want to go to Walmart for the fresh fruit and you’re going to have other people wanting to go to Sav-A-Lot for the discount,” says Doris McMillan.
If the Board of Commissioners approves $3.6 million dollars in tax incentives tonight, the La Plaza Argentine with the Walmart Neighborhood Market will open in the Spring of 2014.