Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the big Bentonville, Ark.-based retail chain, is getting ready to expand its already substantial presence in the Inland Northwest.
It says it has started work on two large North Idaho storesone in Hayden and the other in Post Fallswhich will have a combined value of $25.5 million and together could employ as many as 600 people, and is seeking bids for a general contractor to construct one in Pullman, Wash. That would boost it to a total of 13 stores in seven Eastern Washington and North Idaho border counties. Wal-Mart also opened a store in Shoshone County in 2007.
Meanwhile, it also is constructing a large store in Kalispell, Mont., and the Montana Supreme Court recently upheld a zoning decision in Polson, Mont., that will allow a planned supercenter to proceed there. Those stores would be in addition to 12 stores and a Sam's Club warehouse outlet that it already operates in Montana.
All of the planned outlets are to be what Wal-Mart calls "supercenters," meaning they will include full grocery stores in addition to other wide-ranging merchandise.
Karianne Fallow, a Boise-based Wal-Mart spokeswoman, says the company this month obtained a permit to construct the $15.2 million, 200,000-square-foot store in Hayden. Last month, it obtained a permit in Post Falls to build the $10.3 million, 150,000-square-foot store there.
Ogden, Utah-based R&O Construction Co. is the general contractor on the Post Falls project, which is located at 6405 W. Pointe Parkway, near the big Cabela's Inc. sporting goods store in west Post Falls. R&O spokeswoman Barbara Taylor says the company has started foundation work there and has selected several Spokane-Coeur d'Alene area subcontractors for some of the work, including: Peck & Peck Excavating Inc., of Post Falls; Poe Asphalt Paving Inc., of Post Falls; Kilgore Architectural Products Inc., of Spokane; and River City Glass, of Spokane, says Barbara Taylor, R&O's spokeswoman.
Boise-based Engineered Structures Inc. (ESI) is the contractor on the Hayden project, which is located at 402 W. Honeysuckle, at the southwest corner of Honeysuckle Avenue and U.S. 95., about 3.5 miles north of Interstate 90, in Coeur d'Alene.
ESI representatives were unavailable for comment. ESI, which also was the contractor on two Spokane-area WinCo Foods Inc. projects, hired local subcontractors for some of that work.
Merriam, Kan.-based BRR Architects Inc. designed both Wal-Mart projects in Kootenai County.
Although Wal-Mart previously has indicated the stores will have 200 to 250 employees each, Fallow says that stores in the size range of those planned for Post Falls and Hayden have an average of 300 employees.
She says the projects will be completed in 10 months to a year.
Wal-Mart opened a 184,000-square-foot store at 3050 E. Mullan Avenue, in Post Falls, in 2002, about 8.5 miles east of the planned Pointe Parkway store. Wal-Mart's four Spokane County Stores are located at 15727 E. Broadway, in Spokane Valley; in the Shadle Center, at 2301 W. Wellesley; in the Cross Pointe Plaza, at 1221 S. Hayford on the West Plains; and near the Division Street "Y," at 9212 N. Colton.
In early 2007, the company nixed its plans to construct a store at 44th Avenue and Regal Street, on Spokane's South Hill, claiming signals from nearby radio towers would have interfered with its computer equipment.
Wal-Mart operates more than 3,500 stores in the U.S. It said in October that it expected 2009 growth in space will total 23 million square feet, and that it plans to add another 14 million square feet of floor space nationwide next year and 11 million square feet in 2011 through store expansions and new-store construction.
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