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Walmart changes begin in West Linn

Interior renovations and parking lot improvements begin remodel
by:  VERN UYETAKE Construction has begun on the interior of the new Walmart neighborhood market – located in the former Bales market at 19133 Willamette Drive in the Robinwood Shopping Center on Highway 43. Changes – such as new shopping cart corrals, crosswalks, light poles – are also taking place outside.

The big yellow ball has started to roll at the new Walmart in West Linn.

According to city staff, building permits have been issued and construction has begun on the interior of the store. City staff said the square footage of the store will not increase.

Although most changes will be on the inside, Walmart plans to make some exterior changes to the location in the former Bales market at 19133 Willamette Drive in the Robinwood Shopping Center on Highway 43.

On Nov. 8, the company requested a pre-application conference with the city to discuss parking lot modifications. According to Assistant City Manager Chris Kerr, the changes include five shopping cart corrals, two new crosswalks, new light poles, a new pallet bin and realigning some parking spaces and drive aisles.

The pre-application conference will be held today at 1:30 p.m. at city hall. The agenda and applicant's submittal can be found at http://westlinnoregon.gov/planning/2011-12-15.

Walmart's Senior Director of Community Affairs Steven Restivo said the store should open in early 2013.

Walmart plans on opening one of its neighborhood markets, which is a scaled-down version of its 185,000-square-foot 'supercenter' stores.

The neighborhood stores are typically 42,000 square feet, selling approximately 29,000 items.

Walmart has 17 supercenters, 14 discount stores and one distribution center in Oregon.

The store will be a general grocery store with health and beauty products along with a full pharmacy.

The interior of the neighborhood markets all look similar in layout and design, but their exteriors reflect the community, according to Restivo.

The store will employee 75 to 100 people and hiring should begin by the end of summer or early fall 2012.