Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the giant Bentonville, Ark.-based retail chain, is looking to expand its store in the Spokane Valley into a supercenter store that would carry groceries, in addition to its typical mix of general merchandise.
Wal-Mart already has entered into an agreement with two investor groups to buy more than eight acres of land just east of that store, which is located at 15727 E. Broadway, says David Black, CEO of Tomlinson Black Commercial Inc., of Spokane. That acreage is owned jointly by Black Enterprises LP, of which Black is general partner, and West Coast Centers East Spokane LP, a partnership made up of three California investors, including developer Harry Newman, Black says.
Amy Hill, a Wal-Mart spokeswoman in Reno, Nev., says, We are in very preliminary, but very serious, considerations about expanding that store, but were talking two to three years down the road before it would actually happen.
If a decision were made to go ahead with the project, Hill says the work would take about nine months to complete and would involve remodeling the 135,000-square-foot store in addition to expanding it. She says that since the potential project still is in the preliminary stages, its unclear how much square footage would be added to the store. She adds, though, that about one-third of the expanded building would be devoted to groceries. Some Wal-Mart supercenter stores have as much as 210,000 square feet of retail space, the company says.
Jeff Forry, a senior building technician in the permit center at Spokane Countys Building and Code Enforcement division, says Wal-Mart engineers spoke with a plans examiner at the county about a possible expansion a couple of months ago, but the retail chain hasnt submitted plans for the project.
Forry says the expansion would be fairly substantial, although he couldnt recall the exact square-footage figures involved. Its rumored that the expansion would include about 60,000 square feet of space.
Wal-Mart, which opened its Spokane Valley store in June 1997, would have to provide one extra parking spot for every 200 square feet of floor space that it added to its store, Forry says. That means if the expansion were 60,000 square feet in size, the chain would have to provide an additional 300 parking spaces.
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