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Walmart plans fall opening in LO

Market will offer groceries, deli in Lake Grove
by: Vern Uyetake, This fall, Walmart will open its new neighborhood market in Lake Oswego at 17711 Jean Way, just off Boones Ferry Road in Lake Grove.

Walmart is coming to Lake Oswego a little sooner than expected.

On Monday, company representatives said the new Lake Oswego Walmart will open this fall, months ahead of the previously announced 2013 launch.

The city issued a building permit to the company last week, allowing it to make improvements. Officials said there will be no change to the overall footprint of the building, a former Wild Oats that has sat vacant for years.

Rachel Wall, senior manager community affairs for Walmart, confirmed construction is under way at the store at 17711 Jean Way, just off Boones Ferry Road in Lake Grove, where the company plans to open a neighborhood market. Neighborhood markets, about one-fifth the size of Walmart superstores, look a lot like traditional grocery stores. Typically they are about 42,000 square feet and employ up to 95 people.

'This one is a bit smaller,' Wall said, describing Lake Oswego's as 'a pretty small grocery store.'

'This is a convenient neighborhood market where people can access fresh produce and meats,' she said. The store will also include a deli.

The store will provide up to 65 permanent jobs. Hiring will begin late summer or early fall. In addition, Wall said, dozens of temporary construction workers have been hired to revamp the site.

Walmart now has about 200 neighborhood markets nationwide and plans to open 80 more by the end of this year. The first neighborhood market on the West Coast, in West Linn, will open this week. The second, in Beaverton, is set to open a week later.

When rumors first surfaced about the local Walmart store, Lake Oswego Economic Development Manager Jane Blackstone noted city code restricted some uses of the site. 'No one user of the retail building can occupy more than 26,500 square feet of the building,' she said.

The new Walmart's building is 34,370 square feet, and the company plans to set up grocery operations within the 26,500-square-foot limit. There is no plan to bring in tenants to use the remaining space; instead, Walmart representatives said, offices and storage will likely take up the rest of the site.

More information: Check out a video of an existing Walmart neighborhood market at bit.ly/JDosjN




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