Walmart comes to Wallingford

The Walmart Corporation announced an agreement today to purchase the building and grounds of Wallingford’s Good Shepherd Center (4649 Sunnyside Avenue N) along with the adjoining Meridian Park. They plan to open their 5,783rd store there, the first inside Seattle city limits. In addition to their standard electronics, music, furniture, toys and home accessories, the “supercenter” will also featureĀ  produce, baked goods, a deli and other grocery items.

Initial neighborhood reactions were mixed. Ron Waldman, head of the Meridian School, presently housed at the Good Shepherd Center, sees both benefits and drawbacks.

“Obviously, the loss of our existing school facilities to Walmart is going to be difficult for the children to understand,” he said, but went on explain that the Walmart Corporation has made certain concessions to mitigate the impact. “They’ve agreed to let us hold classes in the ‘Children’s’ section of the store, so that’s something. And with their rock bottom prices on top toys for boys, we should be able to provide all-day entertainment.”

“They’ve also donated 100 new Speak-and-Spells,” he added. “We feel those should round out the curriculum fairly well.”

Some local business owners took a more defiant reaction to the news, despite the obvious threat to livelihood.

Shana, store manager at Wallingford’s Archie McPhee, felt that the threat to McPhee’s famously unusual product line would be minimal. “Walmart? Do they carry Bacon Band-Aids and Nacho Lip Balm? I don’t think so!”

When told that Walmart does, in fact, carry Bacon Band-Aids (Aisle 84) and Nacho Lip Balm (by check stand 19), she declined further comment.

Kathleen Cromp, director of the Wallingford Senior Center, another Good Shepherd Center tenant, took a more positive view of the changes.

“We’ve been struggling to find a suitable gathering place for seniors in our area,” she explained. “In fact, many seniors are having trouble simply maintaining a place to live. With the addition of Walmart to our neighborhood, we anticipate moving our offices to a Winnebago in the parking lot, where many Wallingford seniors will be living in RVs, anyway.”

“I hear they have great prices on prescriptions,” she added.

(Update: Yes, yes, we admit it. This was an April Fool’s prank. It’s a testament to the character of Wallingford that we horrified so many! Wal*Mart indeed!)

  1. Caleb said,

    Well played, Wallingford. Jaw was on the floor for the first three grafs till I realized what day it was.

    Thu, April 1 at 1:50 am
  2. joe momma said,

    : |

    Thu, April 1 at 6:30 am
  3. Heidi said,

    Haha. Nice!

    Thu, April 1 at 7:42 am
  4. DOUG. said,

    Any truth to the rumor that our neighborhood will be rebranded as “Wal*Lingford”?

    Thu, April 1 at 7:44 am
  5. Carrie said,

    Love it Doug! Wal-Mart puts the WAL in WAL-lingford…. made my day!

    Thu, April 1 at 8:27 am
  6. Wallingford Mom said,

    My heart sank! LOL… so glad this is a prank!

    Thu, April 1 at 8:30 am
  7. iyqtoo said,

    Good one, Jordan! I like it!!

    Thu, April 1 at 8:30 am
  8. Chris W. said,

    Mantra I said over & over on the bus this am: I will not be pranked today. I will not be pranked today. I will not be pranked today.

    Thu, April 1 at 9:05 am
  9. Jacqui said,

    Heart… stopped… but love it! Maybe our new Wal*Mart overlords will pay for the fireworks display.

    Thu, April 1 at 9:31 am
  10. Stephanie said,

    I HOPE this is a joke… I almost cried!

    Thu, April 1 at 9:35 am
  11. Pen C said,

    Awesome April fools joke! Was a little worried at first…

    Thu, April 1 at 10:31 am
  12. Patty said,

    Is this an April Fools Joke? If not it’s the worst possible news I’ve ever heard. I grew up in that neighborhood, and this is going to destroy it. Very sad day.

    Thu, April 1 at 10:42 am
  13. Randy said,

    When are you going to call out “April Fools”? Do it quick….pleasssssse

    Thu, April 1 at 10:43 am
  14. iyqtoo said,

    The Good Shepherd building is designated an historic structure. Historic Seattle, the managers, aren’t even allowed to mess with the perimeter hedges that used to hide encampments. Getting ANYTHING done in there takes an eternity of process–how long did it take to put the chapel back in use?? Great joke, though!

    Thu, April 1 at 11:56 am
  15. Erica Doctor said,

    Love it. Good one!

    Thu, April 1 at 12:05 pm
  16. SeattleAlan said,

    That was a good one!

    Thu, April 1 at 12:46 pm
  17. Catmom said,

    This is NOT a funny April Fool’s joke. I got excited when I heard it and had to go online to read it … and it’s a joke? Not funny. Everything in Seattle is expensive except Walmart.

    Thu, April 1 at 1:23 pm
  18. aprilfolls said,

    Why does this have to be an April Fools? They need one for the shoreline, ballard, etc neighboorhood to where they do not need to go to MarysVille just to get to a super Walmart.
    This April Fools sucks

    Thu, April 1 at 1:31 pm
  19. aprilfolls said,

    They really need to get a Super Walmart in the seattle limits SOON!!!

    Thu, April 1 at 1:32 pm
  20. aprilfolls said,

    Yeah see- I told alot of people and they are upset now, because they were all really excited to have a close Walmart- but look our dreams CRUSHED!

    Thu, April 1 at 1:53 pm
  21. Michele said,

    Ok, I feel like a fool. I totally fell for it.

    Thu, April 1 at 1:57 pm
  22. Shoppin the Hood said,

    Catmom and aprilfolls: If you want to shop at Walmart, move nearer to one. The chain has been a retail virus everywhere it lands. Seattle does NOT need a Walmart.

    This is one of the better spoofs I’ve seen today! Thanks.

    Thu, April 1 at 1:59 pm
  23. Smart Enough to Know Better said,

    Will the people who are complaining that this is not a funny joke do a little research to find out just how poorly Walmart treats their employees in the US and abroad? How their arrival shuts down small mom and pop businesses…among other atrocities to numerous to list.

    Thu, April 1 at 2:00 pm
  24. Shoppin the Hood said,

    Oh wait…I just realized that Catmom and aprilfolls are part of the spoof. April Fools!

    Thu, April 1 at 2:04 pm
  25. Julian said,


    In related news, the new WA state liquor store will introduce an innovative “walk-through” window so that the urban gentlemen from East of I-5 can grab-and-go on their way to your front yard.

    Thu, April 1 at 2:26 pm
  26. Liz said,

    Good one! Had me going for a minute there. :)

    Thu, April 1 at 4:01 pm
  27. Andy said,

    You all realize that the reason that the Good Shepherd Center and Meridian Park were preserved and protected in the first place is that there was a proposal in the early 70’s to demolish the building and develop the property with a shopping center!

    Thu, April 1 at 4:13 pm
  28. Marty said,

    I’ve been depressed recently about the passage of the health care bill and all the negative reactions to it. I thought, at first, ahhh… so it goes. But fortunately, I realized before too long, what day it is. Now I’ve had a good laugh and feel just fine. Thanks!

    Thu, April 1 at 5:35 pm
  29. Suich said,

    I hate April Fool’s Day more than any day, EVER!

    Thu, April 1 at 5:45 pm
  30. Jenn said,

    OH MY GOD! This is better than the starbucks prank!

    Thu, April 1 at 6:01 pm
  31. Ffej said,

    Kudos, Wallyhood! You’re tied with the “canned Unicorn” ad over at ThinkGeek for best April Fool’s prank.

    Thu, April 1 at 7:24 pm
  32. Kelley said,

    Holy carp! Adrenaline spiked and I was getting ready to Twitter up a full-on chain-ourselves-to-the-swingsets flash mob protest until I caught on. Well played, Wallyhood!!

    Thu, April 1 at 7:31 pm
  33. Jeanette said,

    But seriously, it’s actually Costco that’s made a proposal.

    Thu, April 1 at 8:10 pm
  34. Sue said,

    Is this an April Fools joke?

    Thu, April 1 at 8:16 pm
  35. Janey said,

    Oh, I’m so glad most of us still have a sense of humor! I’m on the alert, having survived a US Airways flight this afternoon where, after we landed at Sea Tac, After we landed and were taxiing toward the terminal, the co-pilot came on the radio and said, “Welcome to Seattle. The pilot has just informed me that there has been a security breach at Sea Tac. They’re going to let us pull up to the gate, but before we can get off, they’ll need to get everyone out of the terminal so they can go through security again. This usually takes about an hour.” And just as we were all groaning and turning to our neighbors to say “Oh my god!”, he said, “And, by the way — April Fools!”

    I love this day!

    Thu, April 1 at 8:28 pm
  36. Janey said,

    And, Andy, thanks for your history! Hard to imagine how different this neighborhood would be today if the Good Shepherd Center were a shopping center!

    Thu, April 1 at 8:34 pm
  37. Wallyhood said,

    @Andy: I guess truth can be stranger than fiction. Thank G-d it’s only an April Fool’s joke.

    @All: Yes, it is an April Fool’s Joke. However, the article we published last year on this day is TOTALLY TRUE:

    Thu, April 1 at 8:39 pm
  38. Mimi said,

    I guess this is not a joke!!!!!!! I can’t believe the city did this! Must be APRIL FOOLS JOKE!!!!!!!!What happens to the lofts people are renting? In shock!!!!

    Thu, April 1 at 9:50 pm
  39. John Scott Tynes said,

    Oh Wallyhood, you scamp.

    Fri, April 2 at 12:54 am
  40. Anonymous said,

    I completely fell for it!!! I was near tears here with my mouth wide open about to weep for Wallingford and America lol!!!! Thank GOD this was a joke!!!!! *breathing now*

    Fri, April 2 at 11:56 am
  41. Burks said,

    Good one! Those stores are located on the outskirts of most cities so it was hard to believe.

    Sun, April 4 at 8:51 am
  42. Mke said,

    Told Barbara that they also bought an entire block at 37% over property value to build a four story packing garage……she wants to move!

    Sun, April 4 at 6:26 pm
  43. ailurophile said,

    holy crap, batman! i was about to choke a bitch when i read this. wal-mart? my dear old dad would be super pumped about this. me? no. i’m with the chain-ourselves-to-the-swings-notion.

    whew! long live wallingford!

    Tue, April 6 at 1:14 am
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