Local businesses 'pushed out' for new Walmart

Local businesses 'pushed out' for new Walmart

CREATED Feb 1, 2012

Reporter: Stephani Ruiz

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Cindy Derosier said hair is her passion.

"I love my business. I've been doing hair since '74. And I have the best employees in town, they are so wonderful and they mean so much to me and this is what I love doing," Derosier said.

But she said when her small shop at Berkshire Village was thrown out by the big guys, it was expensive and emotional to fight for the business where she already invested everything she had.

"It's been a nightmare," Derosier said.

Derosier said after months of rumors, she received a letter from management- giving her 30 days to pack up and get out.

"They could have been very upfront and very forthcoming and probably save us a lot of emotional grief if it had just been in black and white," Derosier said. "But all these secrets, whispers, rumors."

And broken promises. Derosier said the company who owned her salon at Berkshire Village, JFK Properties, promised to take care of her. But when they realized her lease was up, those promises were thrown out as quickly as she was.

Nine On Your Side made several attempts to contact JFK Properties, but they did not return our phone calls. Walmart also ignored multiple requests for a phone interview, but did send an email confirming a store would go up at Berkshire Village.

Which for Derosier, is just salt in the wound.

"That's discouraging because they're just pushing all small businesses out. And that's not what our country was founded on," Derosier said.

Derosier did end up getting 60 days to pack up her salon and move to a nearby location. Today, business thrives at the salon she worked so hard to keep- but it came at a steep price tag.

She spent more than $70,000 to open up her salon in the new building. Meanwhile, she said she's still paying off nearly $40,000 on renovations to the now closed off building at Berkshire Village.

As for the new Walmart, no construction date has been set, but company reps tell 9 On Your Side the new store is expected to open in 2013.