Wal-Mart may get supercenter

May 22, 2007 11:00 pm
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By Thea Skinner

Triplicate staff writer

Crescent City's Wal-Mart may be supersized within the next two years – adding at least 100 jobs to the area.

Wal-Mart has filed an application with the city's planning department to expand its existing store into a supercenter, said Jennifer Holder, a Seattle-based public affairs manager for Wal-Mart.

"The number one thing that drives the expansion is customers asking us to have larger grocery options," Holder said. "They are looking for greater convenience."

Such suggestions were made in the form of comments to Wal-Mart staff, Holder said.

"It is an opportunity to bring features that we used in other cities to Crescent City," she said.

The expanded store will be 165,000 square feet and include a supermarket and more shelf space sections for goods currently sold.

The design now proposed likely will change slightly as the company and city officials discuss the proposed expansion, she said. It also will be environmentally sensitive.

"All of our buildings are built above California green code standards," she said. "We are putting in daylight. We incorporate a lot of skylight and use daylight harvesting with a mixture of natural daylight and florescent lights."

The company captures and saves energy from various machines used in the store, she said.

As required by law, Wal-Mart will write an Environmental Impact report before construction can occur. Holder anticipates Wal-Mart will spend a year writing the report and another year to get it approved.

Wal-Mart's proposed expansion comes after the Local Transportation Commission approved funding for an environmental report that would analyze U.S. Hwy. 199 and State Hwy. 197 improvements. Currently, the roads can handle trucks of only a certain length.

"The highways will be addressed in the report," Holder said.

The environmental document will be presented at a Planning Commission meeting, said Will Caplinger, Crescent City planner and economic development specialist.

The turn-around time for the application normally takes a government about 45 days to review, Holder said.

The proposed Wal-Mart Supercenter will add more jobs to the city, Holder said.

"Generally when we add the grocery component, between 100 and 150 additional jobs are created," she said.

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