Just Say No To Walmart in East Denver

There is a meeting tomorrow (Tuesday 6/26) at 4pm to discuss a possible Walmart at 9th and Colorado Boulevard in Denver. 

I found out about this meeting while in Estes Park late last week, and as visitors from out of state overheard us discussing the issue, they shook their head, pulled me aside – told me it was a lost cause.

“You might be able to make it look better, but there is no stopping them.”

Well, in this case, we are talking about the redevelopment of the UCHSC area that was vacated for Fitzsimons because the Mayor of Denver at the time and the surrounding neighborhoods would not allow any further building in the vicinity.

We are also talking about neighborhoods full of bungalows and tudors from the 1930’s, with small yards, small streets and big traffic problems. If anyone has tried to drive on Colorado Boulevard lately – the only semi-large north/south street for miles, you know exactly what I am talking about.

In fact, the Sunflower Market that finally got approval for a vacated car dealership on Colfax and Monroe understands the fight you must put up to go into the area.

But wait, Trader Joe’s has also laid claim to the empty lot on 8th and Colorado. As much as I like Trader Joe’s, I wasn’t sure they would be able to get clearance, even given they are more of a cash and carry store.

We can’t seriously be considering a WALMART at 9th and Colorado, can we?

Apparently we are.

Or at least Atlanta-based developer Fuqua (formerly Sembler) is strongly pushing it.

The meeting tomorrow will be to “discuss further site development plans with particular focus and discussion of the potential large format retailer.”

We need your voice there.

Tuesday, June 26th at 4pm
Christ Church United Methodist
690 Colorado Blvd.

If you are on Facebook, share this event:
If you are on Twitter, use the #noDenWalmart hashtag.

As I have been pushing this issue, several people have asked why I dislike Walmart. I am honestly surprised I have to explain myself – I really thought their business practices were common knowledge. But trust me, those cheap prices come at a price.

First off, Walmart undercuts prices to drive out small business. Unfairly. Because as a huge company, they can take the hit until Mom & Pop has to shut their doors. Walmart has been sued and forced to raise their prices numerous times.

Secondly, they, as a policy, hire people for part-time just under benefits level so they do not have to pay for things like health insurance. So, a person can work 33 hours a week (for lower than average wages, I may add) and still not get medical coverage. And whose pockets does it come out of if that person gets seriously sick?

Would that be you and me, perhaps?

Is that extra few dollars off their cheap China-made products really worth that?

Then, back to the SPECIFIC issues with 9th and Colorado. 

I covered traffic. Traffic is insane. But there is also the tenor of the hood.

The neighborhood held up an apartment building (directly across the street) for over a year – traffic and aesthetics reasons. The developers had to make the complex about half its original size, move parking underground, change where the exits were to not impact traffic, and match the style of the design to the neighborhood.

And they were building on an empty parking lot.

After that, someone on Twitter called me out for having a “not in my backyard” mentality.

Yes. I. Do.


I moved to East Denver for the feel of the neighborhood. If I wanted to live next to a big box retailer, I would have decided to live elsewhere. I am not knocking other neighborhoods – there is good and bad, idiosyncrasies to all places.

But this location is not about Walmart.

It is about…
The Tattered Cover.
And Under The Umbrella.
And Zorba’s Greek Cafe.
And Wildflower Market.
And Heidi’s Deli.

And my kid’s school.
And the park.
And the heart of Denver.

This article has 20 comments

  1. Everyfann

    great post aimee. you go!

  2. Aimee Giese

    @Nathan – I forwarded to you as well, thinking you maybe still knew folks here that might want to attend. Thanks for the support!

  3. Anonymous

    I hope you can stop them. – m

  4. Kim @ This Belle Rocks

    I definitely understand your reasons for wanting to keep them out. Stores like that really belong on the sides of interstate highway frontage roads where there is already a ton of traffic and land is already cleared and space is already there.

    WalMart (before the Super WalMart stores came long) was my second job out of high school, and I loved that place. When Sam Walton was alive and running things, he did everything he could to keep more American-made products on shelves.

    And when I needed to work full time? I was given 35 hours per week, and my medical and dental coverage was very affordable. And my schedule was during the day during the week.

    I can’t help but think Mr. Walton must be literally spinning in his grave over what his greedy relatives and shareholders have done to his store.

    Of course, I’m working for another retailer now (one I like much better than the WalMart of today), and unfortunately, WalMart is not the only retailer to only hire “part time”. I hate that part of it, but what can I do?

    For what it’s worth, I hope WalMart gets shot down in your community.

  5. Aimee Giese

    @Kim, this is what I have also heard – that Sam Walton would be very upset at his legacy right now. So Sad.

    And I do know that other retailers pull similar tactics but nothing on this scale, and for better or worse, Walmart is one of the biggest employers, so their practices affect more people.

  6. Becky

    You go girl! Walmart is the devil and must be stopped!

    Cheering you on from Wisconsin!

  7. Nathan Grisham

    I’d totally be there… If we still lived in CO. They must be stopped. We all complain about the loss of American jobs, and then we run out to buy products made by overseas child labor in an effort to save a buck. I partly blame Walmart for that cycle, and of course for everything else you mentioned above.

    Good luck in driving them out!

  8. Dana

    Time to go to the mattresses! Fight to the death! Let us know how it goes!

  9. JennyMoose

    Wal-Borg is trying to assimilate us all. I hope your voice is heard and they stay away!

  10. Vicki

    “I moved to East Denver for the feel of the neighborhood. If I wanted to live next to a big box retailer, I would have decided to live elsewhere. I am not knocking other neighborhoods – there is good and bad, idiosyncrasies to all places.”

    Absolutely!!! This very thing is happening to our beloved old neighborhood in Ohio. 🙁 It sucks!

  11. Anonymous

    Thanks for posting about this. I now live in suburbia but I used to live near that area. Wal-mart will absolutely destroy that area and all the incredibly wonderful small businesses that are over there. The traffic there is already a mess I can’t imagine what it will be like if they are allowed in. I don’t see them adding value to the area only more people, more trash, more crime.

  12. Anonymous

    “Walmart is the devil and must be stopped!”

    Ever thought that you are the devil because you don’t want people that need jobs to have them? You hate Walmart regardless of where they put them. And I’ll bet you own no products from companies that build or source some or all of their products in China or some other foreign, cheap labor, country. Yeah, right. You’re all hypocrites.

  13. Rich Mackey

    I think your opinion is fair and well stated. A huge store in that location would be disaster for all the reasons you note.

    Good luck! Chicago held off Walmart for YEARS – there wasn’t one in the actual city limits of Chicago forever. Mostly over wage issues but also zoning/community impact. It CAN be done.

  14. Lisa

    Good Luck! We fought and defeated Wal-mart coming to our small town! You can do it!

  15. Nora A Burns

    Sorry to have missed the meeting – how did it go?

  16. Mama2Munchkin

    It can be done…while we have numerous Walmarts in my area, there was one neighborhood that fought back, and Walmart elected not to put a store there 🙂

  17. Anonymous

    Shut the fuck up you pompous bitch!

  18. Anonymous

    Hi Aimee! Thanks for posting this. I live 3 blocks from where this would be and I DO NOT WANT IT. Any idea where I can get one of the “no walmart” signs for my yard that I’ve seen popping up around the neighborhood?

  19. CC

    Good luck!

  20. Anonymous

    I live at 3rd and Holly St, got my yard sign today. You can get them at http://stopwalmartcolorado.com/.
    I can verify there is no burning need for low wage/no benefits jobs in Denver. Tax payer financed walmart? Have we all gone insane? I want the site to be developed by a socially responsible developer who will survey the neighborhood to find out what it is that we value most. I would like to see city council members and DURA reach out to potential developers and OFFER TIF financing and maybe other flexibilities to whomever is willing to develop the area into a unique, urban, socially responsible site. Let’s keep contacting our representatives, it’s out job to hold them accountable.
    Bottom line: NO WALMART.

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