Positives of new Walmart outweigh the negatives
To the editor,
Like my fellow Berkshire residents, I have been thinking about the idea of placing a new Walmart on the old GE property. My knee-jerk reaction was no! However, upon reflection, I am thinking, why not?
Here are the reasons I now favor the idea. The present condition of the site is scabrous, not likely to entice businesses to locate there. The company looking to develop the site is willing to do remediation that the city cannot afford to do.
It puts a supermarket in reach of people who need it. It is more central than Walmart's present location, and will draw more people to the Morningside area, which should benefit the existing businesses and perhaps cause others to set up shop in the neighborhood.
We know the negatives about Walmart, but there are positives. Yes, their clothing and many other products are made overseas, but go to other stores — both competitors and more upscale establishments — and check comparable merchandise. You will find that they also carry many things made abroad. I recently bought some clothing online. It was not made in this country. It was twice as expensive as Walmart's, and of no better quality.
At least jobs at Walmart and the other businesses the company is planning for will go to people from Pittsfield and Berkshire County. The area needs these jobs. I see this as a seedbed opportunity. If there are viable business entities developed there, it might very well encourage more business growth in the neighborhood and that would be a great plus for our area.
Barbara Roberts, Pittsfield