Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Is Walmart coming to Hackensack?

A protest in Utah against Wal-MartImage via Wikipedia
A 2005 protest in Utah tried to block a Walmart store.

Walmart has agreed to pay at least $15 million for about 20 acres of land on River Street in Hackensack, where the old headquarters of The Record and North Jersey Media Group await the wrecking ball, according to an anonymous source.

If Walmart builds a store there, it will join two other big-box retailers along the street, Costco Wholesale and Target, as well as Pep Boys. 

The land where Target built a store was sold for $10 million, the source said today, adding the Walmart deal could be worth as much as $20 million.

The deal is said to have been brokered by Jon F. Hanson, Chairman Malcolm A. "Mac" Borg's close friend. They co-own a personal jet.

A Walmart store on the land would be a change of use and require site-plan approval, a city building official said on Monday. He said nothing has been filed. 

The Bergen Evening Record Corp. is listed in tax records as owning three parcels of land at 150 River St., 80 River St. and 76 Bridge St., including the Heritage Restaurant. 

It's not known if the The New Jersey Naval Museum at 78 River St. and the submarine U.S.S. Ling are part of the property.

Bill Wertz, a spokesman for Wal-Mart Stores Inc., said in an e-mail the company hasn't signed an agreement to buy the River Street parcels. 

"Yes, we are interested in Hackensack, along with other communities" in New Jersey, Wertz said, adding that for competitive reasons, the company doesn't comment on rumors or discuss its plans "until we are ready to make a decision."

He said 20 acres -- the approximate size of the NJMG property -- is adequate for a Walmart store.

Walmart and the land-owning Borg family have something in common: a disdain for unions. Both Walmart and NJMG managers are known for treating workers poorly, though the retailer does it on a much larger scale.

Walmart may have low prices, but many consumers refuse to shop there because it mistreats employees. 

The landmark building on River Street has been emptied in recent months, with its contents hauled away in dumpsters. Its demolition is now rumored in city business circles.

Will there be any sign of more than 110 years of journalism tradition after the land is cleared and a huge store is built there? Only Publisher Stephen A. Borg can answer that.

See previous post on Tuesday's paper
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  1. To think that 'many consumers refuse to shop' at Walmart is ridiculous.

  2. Why is it ridiculous?

    I guess you don't know many drivers have been boycotting Exxon since the disastrous oil spill in Alaska and now boycott BP, as well.

    Many shoppers put principles above low prices.

    Think about it. The desire for low prices has destroyed the U.S. economy, and driven hundreds of manufacturers overseas, especially to China.

    Millions of Americans have lost their jobs so you can buy bargains at Walmart and other stores.

  3. If Walmart opens a store in Hackensack it will be a mob scene and a gold mine. It is a 'dog eat dog' world. I have a family to feed and clothe. Chris Christie can afford to shop at Whole Foods, not me. Walmart is the largest private employer in the U.S. Exxon made 11 billion dollars last quarter.

  4. Chris Christie can afford to shop at Whole Foods, but does he?

    You can't be blamed for trying to save money.

    I'm sure Walmart will be mobbed, but thousands more like me will be shopping at Costco and Target in protest.

    That property would only work for Walmart with a new Court Street Bridge, likely another access road to the parking lot.

  5. I worked for Malcom Borg and was treated very well. No union for me, thank you very much. Most Bergen Record employees would say the same, as many of them worked their for their entire lifetime

  6. I guess you're one of the lucky ones.

    In the newsroom, employees with 20 or 30 or more years of experience were given the boot, in one case with one week's notice. In advertising, a dozen salesman were let go.

    I'm sure they don't feel the same way as you do about union protection.

  7. m Borg and his family suck.


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