A Wal-mart Neighborhood Market wants to move into Waldo, which is comprised mostly of small, tight-knit communities and small businesses. There are many reasons why Waldonians would not want to see a 24/7 Grocery Mart move into the neighborhood but the most obvious fact is that Wal-mart is a corporate-owned box store which is completely contradictory to the types of businesses Waldo is trying to attract.
The Waldo community has been thriving for over 100 years. The strength of this community comes from the people that have chosen to live in our walkable neighborhoods, shop at locally-owned businesses, and get involved with local issues.
That strength is matched by the commitment of the business owners who are also personally and professionally invested in the community.
The Waldo shopping area dates back to the late 1800's; the Brookside shopping area was built in 1920. Both continue as healthy retail districts showcasing sustainable building scale, timeless amenities, and structures capable of repeated reuse as retail, professional, living, and entertainment spaces.
Conversely, the modern, anchored shopping center and large box store formats have failed repeatedly during that same time span; the cost of which is born by the tax-paying residents left with urban decay and blighted neighborhoods.
If you care about the Waldo community, if you cherish the sense of community and togetherness that you feel when you tell someone about it, then please take the time to sign the petition and let the School Board know how you feel.
I support the Waldo neighborhood and its residents, and I support the locally owned businesses and business owners who are personally and professionally invested in the community.
I ask that you consider both the short-term financial benefits of the property sale and the long-term impacts to the community. Large box stores and huge parking lots do not match the character of the surrounding area and often become eyesores after the original business moves out, lowering property values and draining tax revenues that support our schools, streets, and basic services.
While it is understood that the shuttered school buildings need to be repurposed to avoid becoming eyesores themselves, finding the right use for each property should be more important than just selling the buildings.
In this case, a Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market is not the right use for the Bingham property. I ask that you reject the Wal-Mart proposal and continue to seek an appropriate, neighborhood-friendly option for the repurposing of Bingham Middle School; one that is respectful of the neighborhood history and community fabric of South Kansas City and brings ownership committed to the future of the Waldo and Brookside area.