The biggest box is looking to penetrate the biggest market:


The renewed push by Wal-Mart comes five years after the retailer tried to open stores in Queens and Staten Island but faced furious opposition from community leaders and elected officials. But the retailer and its supporters, and even its opponents, say that the dynamics have changed and that the city has become more receptive to so-called big-box stores, like Target and Ikea. 

But perhaps the greatest difference is the economy. With the city's unemployment rate hovering around 9 percent, any project that promises jobs might find appeal. 

"This is a time when the economy is bad and a lot of my constituents are looking for jobs," said Darryl C. Towns, a state assemblyman whose Brooklyn district includes East New York, one area Wal-Mart is considering. "We have to begin to think out of the box and look at some different opportunities."

I did some reporting on this back in the day. I've never been convinced that Walmart in big cities was a particularly pernicious evil.

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