Battle Ground to get Walmart at Scotton Way and 503

By Cami Joner, Columbian retail & real estate reporter

Published:

Updated: October 12, 2012, 5:18 PM

 

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. revealed Friday it plans to build a Battle Ground store as part of the Mill Creek Town Center retail complex on the northwest corner of Southwest Scotton Way and state Highway 503.

The 154,000-square-foot Walmart store will include a full-service grocery department, a pharmacy with drive-through service and a vision center. It will carry household merchandise, apparel, home goods, health and beauty aids, electronics, and it will feature a large outdoor garden center.

“The cat’s finally out of the bag,” said Robert Maul, Battle Ground’s community development director.

Maul said city planners did not “officially” know the name of the large retailer planned for the Mill Creek development.

“We’ve worked with PacLand for about a year,” he said, referring to the company that has developed numerous Walmart stores.

Maul said city officials also worked with the project’s other developers, CJ Dens Land Co. and T.J. Fontenette of Mill Creek Partnership. Maul expects crews to break ground on the store in May, shortly after road crews finish up work on the $4.8 million Southwest Scotton Way improvement project. The work extended the street west to provide access to the Mill Creek property and Southwest 20th Avenue.

Maul expects the center to open in 2014. Other tenants include Panda Express and Carl’s Jr. restaurants, among others that will join the south-facing Walmart.

“The store will create approximately 300 new jobs,” Walmart spokeswoman Rachel Wall wrote in an email on Friday.

Wal-Mart operates Clark County stores on Mill Plain Boulevard at Interstate 205, in Hazel Dell on Highway 99 and at Mill Plain and Southeast 192nd Avenue. The nation’s largest retailer, the company operates 10,300 Walmart-brand stores and last year reported sales revenue of $418 billion.

Walmarts come in a range of models, from SuperCenters to the company’s smaller, 42,000-square-foot Neighborhood Market. A Neighborhood Market — which is Walmart’s version of a grocery store — is on its way to Vancouver at the Vancouver Plaza shopping center. A redevelopment proposal calls for building a structure similar in size to Wal-Mart’s Neighborhood Market concept at the vacant Fred Meyer site at Fourth Plain and Grand boulevards. However, the company has declined to comment on whether it’s involved with that proposal.

Wal-Mart also is building a store in the Hayden Meadows shopping complex.

Battle Ground Mayor Lisa Walters called Wal-Mart’s proposal a victory for its potential to generate new sales tax revenue and jobs for the city.

“Any time you have a new business coming in, it’s a win for the community,” Walters said.

Wal-Mart’s written statement said full-time associates earn $13 per hour, about $4 higher than Washington’s minimum wage of $9.04 per hour, set to increase to $9.19 per hour on Jan. 1.

On a state level, Wal-Mart employs more than 18,000 Washington residents.

Wal-Mart’s planned Battle Ground store will likely do well at the busy intersection of state Highway 503 and Scotton Way, said Deborah Ewing, a broker and vice president with Eric Fuller & Associates commercial real estate firm.

“I expect it will meet or exceed their expectations,” she said.

Ewing also expects other grocery stores in Battle Ground will notice the competition.

“It will definitely impact the other grocery stores in town,” she said.