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Wal-Mart has submitted plans for Neighborhood Market stores at three sites: 
1320 S. Glenstone Ave.
3150 W. Republic Road
545 W. El Camino Alto Drive
Wal-Mart has submitted plans for Neighborhood Market stores at three sites:
  1. 1320 S. Glenstone Ave.
  2. 3150 W. Republic Road
  3. 545 W. El Camino Alto Drive

Wal-Mart picks James River Commons for third Neighborhood Market

Posted online
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. in the last three months has filed plans for three Neighborhood Markets in Springfield.

On Aug. 4, Wal-Mart officials submitted plans to the city’s building development services to construct a $1.6 million Neighborhood Market at 545 W. El Camino Alto Drive. The store would be located across from Sam’s Club, the anchor tenant of the eight-acre James River Commons southwest of Campbell Avenue and James River Freeway.

In June, Bentonville-based Wal-Mart filed plans for two smaller, grocery-focused versions of the Supercenter model – at 3150 W. Republic Road and 1320 S. Glenstone Ave.

Springfield City Councilman Scott Bailes said at a July council meeting that Walmart planned to bring as many as six of the Neighborhood Markets to town. Wal-Mart representatives would neither confirm nor deny those intentions.

According to plans on file with the city, Union-based general contractor Cochran is slated to design and build the 40,601-square-foot James River Commons market.

Stu Stenger, a development partner in James River Commons, said he was unaware that Wal-Mart had filed plans, and he declined to comment, citing ongoing lease negotiations with Wal-Mart officials.

Calls to Cochran officials were not returned. Wal-Mart spokesman Jason Wetzel did not return calls for comment by press time.

Councilman Bailes was one of two council members who voted against a pair of bills to pave the way for a Walmart Neighborhood Market at 3150 W. Republic Road at the July 11 meeting.

The property owner, First Team Ventures LLC, sought annexation of roughly 11 acres at the site and requested rezoning to a retail district. Councilman Tom Bieker also voted against the rezoning and annexation measures that were approved 7-2.

Both councilmen expressed concern about the impact these markets could have on locally owned competing business.

“I’m not opposed to Wal-Mart. I’m opposed to Wal-Mart killing local business. And I’m opposed to the city giving them special financing and tax benefits. If they are going to build next to Sam’s, they’re going to be in a (Community Improvement District) zone,” Bailes said.

Matt Schaefer, a senior planner with the city, confirmed the James River Commons site would fall within a CID, and under state statutes, businesses within that district could collect an extra 1 percent in sales taxes that could later be dispersed to help cover the cost of improvements within the district.

“Again, there’s a leg up on our local companies,” Bailes said.

Neighbors who have opposed plans for a Wal-Mart store near the intersection of East Sunshine Street and South Blackman Road for nearly 20 years should prepare for another dog fight, Bailes said in July, because the global retailer has indicated plans to build a Neighborhood Market at the site. No such plans were on record with the city as of Aug. 30, and Bailes said he is not aware of any movement on potential plans for an East Sunshine location or any other unnamed sites.

On Springfield Business Journal’s list of the area’s largest engineering firms published in the Sept. 5 issue, Anderson Engineering Inc. names a Walmart Neighborhood Market on East Sunshine as a notable project. A call to Anderson President Neil Brady was not returned by press time.

Wal-Mart Spokesman Dan Morales previously confirmed the company’s intentions to build a Neighborhood Market at 3150 W. Republic Road. He said approximately 90 people would be hired for that 42,000-square-foot store.

Calls to Morales for additional comment were not returned by press time.

Wal-Mart Stores submitted plans to Springfield Building Development Services for the $1.7 million West Republic Road market June 15. On June 22, plans for the $1.6 million South Glenstone Avenue site were presented to the city. Building permits have not been issued, according to Chris Straw, director of Springfield Building and Development Services.[[In-content Ad]]

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