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Plans for Wal-Mart in Burbank stir debate

September 20, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
There's a big debate in Burbank over controversial plans for a new Wal-Mart store at the Empire Center.

"Stymie it, sidle it, throttle it, stop it any which way you can," one man said at a public meeting on Tuesday.

The indoors of what was once The Great Indoors are empty at Burbank's Empire Center. Wal-Mart bought the property, and it said a store will open by sometime next year.

The city council said it can't legally stop it, because the deal is done.

"You can't disregard the positive benefits of sales tax revenue [and] jobs creation," said Burbank Deputy City Manager Joy Forbes.

The area is already known for traffic and plenty of other big-box store options, such as Best Buy, Marshalls and Target.

"There's nothing I can't get at Target. I come to target for that reason, so Wal-Mart is not my store," said Julian Gray of Glendale.

Others expressed concern for small businesses in the area.

"I know there are a lot of mom and pop shops who are probably upset that they're coming in, and I support small businesses," said one shopper.

Others said they'll be shopping there if the price is right.


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