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Walmart Plans In Sherman Heights Under Fire

Aired 4/20/12 on KPBS News.

Community, union and political leaders rallied outside the Farmer's Market Building in Sherman Heights today to bring attention to their battle to keep Walmart from tearing the structure down.

— Community, union and political leaders rallied outside the Farmer's Market Building in Sherman Heights today to bring attention to their battle to keep Walmart from tearing the structure down.

Walmart wants to build a small new grocery store at the site of the iconic building near downtown San Diego.

The store is welcome, but community leaders said not at the expense of a building that has served the neighborhood for years.

Assemblyman Ben Hueso speaks at a rally outside the Sherman Height Farmer's Market Building.
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Above: Assemblyman Ben Hueso speaks at a rally outside the Sherman Height Farmer's Market Building.

Walmart officials have talked with local leaders, but haven't met with residents. The company talked about being sensitive to the community, but won't commit to a specific course of action, said Christian Ramirez, a community leader.

"We've asked them to put that in writing, so sign a legally binding document, to make sure that Walmart was going to honor their word. We woke up one day and the walls are gone," Ramierez said.

Union leader Lorena Gonzales battled Walmart before and she lives in the neighborhood.

"We want an additional grocery store, but not at the cost at which Walmart is asking us to accept it," she said.

Walmart officials said they have talked to the stakeholders and the company looks forward to serving the community. On Monday, a judge will hear a request to stop demolition at the site.

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