Walmart is back with a new location for a proposed 24-hour general merchandise store in Caledonia.
The company announced its intentions Tuesday, in a press release that states it intends to present plans to the village for a store on the southeast corner of 4 Mile and Green Bay roads. Company officials anticipate the store will create 300 jobs, most of which are expected to be full-time.
Last year Walmart proposed an 115,000-square-foot neighborhood grocery store on the corner of Highway 31 and 4 Mile Road. Village residents strongly disapproved of that plan, and hundreds of residents attended a public meeting to tell Walmart officials that if they wanted to come to Caledonia, they should choose a different spot, preferably one closer to existing retail in the village.
Walmart has not yet contacted the Village Board, or held public meetings on the new proposal. Village President Ron Coutts said Tuesday that after what happened with the last Walmart proposal, he hopes residents could be involved early in the process. Walmart will host a neighborhood meeting to present the project and seek citizen input from 6 to 7:30 pm Oct. 17 at the North Park School Gym, 4748 Elizabeth St.
“I think it would be better for it to be up to the citizens to decide and tell the Village Board if they are in favor of the project,” Coutts said.
According to officials at Walmart, the new site was chosen in response to that feedback. But the company also plans to test the idea at a public meeting before submitting plans to the Village. If approved, the company hopes to start building in the spring and open in early 2014. The company plans to sell electronics, apparel, house wares, groceries and pharmacy services.
“We received a lot of community input, and our team took a fresh look at sites recommended by neighbors,” said Lisa B. Nelson, senior manager, public affairs and government relations for Walmart in Wisconsin. ”We’re excited to present a proposal that will generate new revenue for the village and expand affordable shopping opportunities for Caledonia residents.”
According to a press release, the store will be constructed in an “environmentally-friendly” way.