So there’s supposed to be a new Wal-Mart Supercenter coming to Bend. The Bend.com story is here. It’ll be located at the northwest corner of the intersection of Highway 97 and Cooley Road, and is supposed to be a gargantuan 200,000 square feet in size.
I can’t say I’m thrilled. Why?
- Bend and Central Oregon already has more than enough box stores, including two Wal-Marts.
- Likewise, Bend already has plenty of grocery stores (for those who didn’t know, Wal-Mart Supercenters include groceries). Buying groceries from Wal-Mart seems way too sketchy to me.
- It will make a bad traffic situation at the north end of town 1000 times worse.
- It will always be crowded, making it too inconvenient for quick stops. Combined with traffic, this will make it far more trouble than it’s worth.
- It will be ugly. Remember the hooplah that surrounded the building of the driving range at the north end of town?
- That north end of 97 is already a stripmall, boxstore eyesore. I don’t even like going there (well, except for Food 4 Less, but even that’s not totally convenient).
- It will drive smaller local companies out of business. This will happen.
- While it will supposedly create 400 new jobs (according to what I heard on Z21 news), these will be barely minimum wage jobs (according to the Bend.com article). That can’t be good for people who need living wage jobs (especially in this area) or the local economy.
Now, I used to go to the Wal-Mart at the south end of town. It did the job, but I don’t get down there anymore. It served its purpose. But I really see no reason for a Supercenter to be built. None at all.