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This time Walmart is filling a need

There isn't the uproar from local residents about the prospect of a smaller Walmart going into the empty QFC building on the southeast corner of 182nd Avenue and Powell Boulevard.

The prospect of an operating business livening up a long-dead property is one reason.

Of course, since Walmart is proposing a much smaller footprint, essentially the same size as the QFC, there isn't as much concern about traffic on that already stretched intersection.

Walmart's Neighborhood Market concept - meaning stores in the 40,000-square-foot range offering groceries, deli foods and bakery items, pet and household supplies, plus paper goods - shouldn't draw the crowds envisioned when they proposed building a super center on the site nearly seven years ago.

There will still be some people against the idea of a Gresham Walmart, more because of issues with the parent company and long-standing complaints about employee wages, evidence of anti-union practices and the impact on neighboring businesses.

It could be argued that having a weed infested and crumbling structure next to your business is a much worse prospect than an operating retail store.

The issues many have with the world's single largest private employer can't be used to deny the company the right to locate in Gresham. The only reason Walmart failed with its proposed 220,000-square-foot store last time was the traffic problems it would have brought to that troubled intersection.

Now that the company is planning to use the existing footprint, there is no reason to deny the application.

Gresham residents should be happy to see a healthy business in a neglected, long-empty spot, and those that oppose what they feel Walmart stands for should take their business somewhere else.