A story in this morning’s T-S lifts the curtain on an undisclosed retailer preparing to take over the old Gottschalk’s store in the Bayshore Mall. A lot of hand-wringing in the story — is it Wal-Mart? Is it not Wal-Mart? No one’s saying.

This very scenario has been a long-standing fear of big box opponents. The dying Bayshore Mall is already zoned for mass retail; if Wal-Mart wished, it could saunter right in without needing any kind of special zoning change. Unlike with the landmark 1999 Wal-Mart fight, city government would be pretty much sidelined.

Well, we’re betting that this is, in fact, exactly what’s going down. A perspicacious LoCO reader notes that the architect cited in the T-S story — the Dallas-based Shade O’Quinn — is certainly no stranger to Wal-Mart.

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