Petition to stop VCU from building Walmart on campus nears 2500 signatures

by | Sep 4, 2014 | POLITICS

An online petition has sprung forth in the wake VCU announcing they will build a Walmart on campus.

An online petition has sprung forth in the wake VCU announcing they will build a Walmart on campus.

The petition, entitled “No Walmart on Grace Street,” has obtained, at the time this article was published, 2,389 signatures of its 2,500 signature goal.

The aim of the petition is to steer Walmart away from West Grace Street and VCU, fearing it could potentially steal revenue from other local businesses and adversely impact the Richmond community.

“VCU has made no secret about its intentions to acquire every inch of West Grace Street for development,” the petition says. “The 900 block whose theaters, music venues, restaurants and boutiques have served Richmonders as a cultural hub for years has slowly been eroded and chipped away by VCU development.”

The petition also says that there are already Walmarts “as close as five miles to campus,” either by way of car or other means.

The Walmart, which will be located on 912 West Grace Street, was announced August 6 via VCU’s website. The statement says the store will be much smaller than the average Walmart, measuring in at 4,100 sq. feet. In addition to the store, seven stories worth of classrooms and offices will fill out the rest of the building. The location will be the fifth store built in conjunction with Walmart’s campus-store initiative.

“The new store is a part of a Walmart pilot program, Walmart on Campus,” the statement says. “In which the company is opening smaller format Walmarts located on college campuses that offer quick and convenient shopping options.”

Walmart is leasing the space from the VCU Real Estate Foundation. The Foundation’s mission, according to its website, is “to accept, acquire, lease, sell or dispose, operate and/or manage property for the exclusive benefit of Virginia Commonwealth University and the Virginia BioTechnology Research Park Authority.”

VCU plans for the Walmart to open either later this year or early 2015.

Brad Kutner

Brad Kutner

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