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Is Whole Foods the New Wal-Mart?

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The upscale grocer has come under fire from Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn over a disagreement involving a proposed store on Fauntleroy Way. Whole Foods executives would like to open a store in a new development that would be built on a city-owned parcel of land. But McGinn has asked the Seattle Department of Transportation, which ostensibly has the authority to approve or deny the project, to turn Whole Foods down, according to MYNorthwest.com.

The reason? He believes that bringing Whole Foods into the area will drive wages down for all supermaret workers. Whole Foods executives argue that at $16.15 an hour, its workers earn more than Seattl'e "living wage." McGinn counters that the chain's employees also have to pay more for benefits.

"When we give away a piece of public property, we are allowed to look at the public benefits," McGinn told KIRO Radio. 

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Elaine Misonzhnik

Senior associate editor Elaine Misonzhnik has been writing for National Real Estate Investor since June 2006 and has covered commercial real estate for more than 12 years. She first became...
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