Walmart faced much protest and opposition trying to open a store in New York City, but Crain’s found out that the mega-chain signed a lease on the Queens/Long Island border nearly two years ago. In August 2012, Walmart signed for 40,000 square feet at the Five Towns Retail Center, 253-01 Rockaway Boulevard. The Walmart site is actually located on the Long Island portion of the shopping center, supposedly in an effort to quiet those opposed to it opening in New York City. Still, it’s unclear if Walmart will open there at all. As a Walmart rep told Crain’s: “We don’t currently have a plan for the site. For these reasons, we are actively working to sublease the site.” A rep from the realty company that signed Walmart seems to believe they are still planning to open in the retail center.
If they do decide to open, the company will face protest from Queens pols. Councilman Donovan Richards, who represents Southeast Queens, stated he’d “make a big deal about it” considering the low wages and nonunion policy.
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