Given that there is only one Wal-Mart currently active in Baltimore, and only one "in development" (with the Canton Wal-Mart little more than a rumor at this point) we felt it safe to conclude that this contractor was either referring to the failing Port Covington Wal-Mart or the soon-to-be developed 25th St. Station Wal-Mart.
We also thought it was unlikely Wal-Mart would be investing in a failing location, so we figured the Baltimore, MD Wal-Mart the painting contractor was referring to was most likely Remington's 25th St. Station.
In our haste, we also credited the awarding of the contract to the developer of the project, not the big box retailer itself upon whose participation the project depends, according to sources. From the perspective of most residents, it doesn't matter if it is the devleoper or the big box retailer who is awarding out-of-state contracts. That's a hair for developer Rick Walker and his representatives to split.
After several attempts at calling the paint contractor last week, the Shank was unable to get a live person on the phone. Finally, today the Shank was able to speak to a representative of the contractor who said he could not confirm which Baltimore Wal-Mart his company would be painting.
Regardless of which Wal-Mart it is, this means very little to Baltimoreans who thought a project like the 25th St. Station Wal-Mart/Lowes would mean more jobs than just big box corporate retail employment.
If the developer has awarded contracts to out-of-state businesses, he is violating his promise to communities.
If the Wal-Mart is awarding its own contracts to out-of-state businesses, it reveals exactly the sorts of problems bringing large box, out-of-state, corporate formula retail in to the city causes - no jobs (and it should, in no way, let those responsible for this type of development off the hook).
And if this is actually a contract for the Port Covington Wal-Mart, then this also illustrates how jobs down the line could be sent to out of state business interests instead of city contractors.
Unfortunately, we fear the difficulty the Shank has had (coupled with the lack of interest mainstream media has had) in this issue means there will be very little contract monitoring and leverage for holding developers accountable for the promise of construction jobs made to the community.