Apple Way market hiring 65 positions before 2013 opening

by: JAIME VALDEZ - Walmart plans to open its third Beaverton-area Neighborhood Market at the former Haggen Food and Pharmacy store in Sexton Mountain.As one Walmart grocery store is well on its way to opening early next year, the process to locate a third store in the former Haggen store at 9055 S.W. Murray Blvd. has just begun.

Walmart officials have submitted a pre-application to the city of Beaverton to accommodate minor changes to the site for a proposed 61,000 square feet store in the Sexton Mountain neighborhood, the third grocery-oriented Neighborhood Market in Beaverton. The company opened its first Beaverton store of any kind in May at 17275 N.W. Cornell Road — hiring about 80 employees — and is on track to open a store at 8225 S.W. Apple Way in Raleigh Hills in early 2013.

Expected to open sometime in 2014, the Murray location will accommodate about 100 employees, said Rachel Wall, a Walmart spokeswoman, based in Los Angeles. The company plans to work closely with city officials to address traffic concerns and meet with community members as the project moves forward.

“The Murray Boulevard store will provide similar offerings to the other Beaverton Neighborhood Markets,” Wall said, adding the Cornell store and upcoming Apple Way store have struck a chord with local shoppers. “We’ve received tremendous feedback from Beaverton residents about our Neighborhood Markets. The Murray Boulevard location will allow us to better serve the community and improve access to healthy, affordable food options in Beaverton.”

After six years of operation, Haggen Food and Pharmacy closed its Sexton Mountain store in April 2011, a few months after the Bellingham, Wash.-based company closed its store at Tanasbourne. The Sexton Mountain store was built on a former landfill site, where planters in the parking lot provide ongoing methane ventilation for the packed and sealed material below the ground.

Don Mazziotti, the city’s Economic and Community Development director, said last spring that readings for methane gas measurements at the former landfill site were negligible.

For its 25,000-square-foot Apple Way store, which is nearing the final stages of renovations, Walmart has opened a hiring center to recruit about 65 part- and full-time positions at 9400 S.W. Beaverton-Hillsdale Highway, suite 200, about a mile away from the new store.

The Apple Way site was home to Zupan’s Market from 1973 until the local family-owned business closed in May 2009, leaving three Portland-area stores.

Despite some neighbors’ concerns about noise from after-hours operations at the store — which will be open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week — the city’s Planning Commission was satisfied with concessions Walmart made — such as limiting the size of delivery trucks and restricting trash compactor operations.

Overall, Beaverton planning officials have been agreeable to the Neighborhood Market plans as opposed to the 2006 proposal for a 152,000-square-foot “Marketside” center at Southwest Barnes Road and Cedar Hills Boulevard that Cedar Mill neighbors protested and city officials rejected.

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