Re: Walmart and residential property values
Personal experience - not mine, but my parents are having one built a couple of miles away. There is going to be a neighborhood of lower-cost housing in the immediate vicinity of the Wal-Mart to accomodate the job influx. However, the already established (higher value) neighborhoods in the immediate area are already seeing a drop in housing values as the expected traffic is going to be terrible. Extra stoplights are already in, causing congestion - and the WM isn't even open yet.
If you can get a few miles away, you are probably going to see a rise in property values. If you'll have to drive very close to it to enter the neighborhood, you'll probably see the values remain flat, possibly even drop in the short term. Long term, they'll probably rebound. The problem from what I've seen with the WMs is that they don't attract other shops, as they try to do everything. If you instead had some more specialized shops going in (clothing stores, electronics, etc), they would attract OTHER specialized shops (for different categories) - which, despite the increased traffic, generally promotes a rise in property values.
Of course, this is all without any kind of data to support my claims.
If the only tool you have in your toolbox is a hammer, soon everything starts to look like a nail.