Wal-Mart Expands Neighborhood Concept in Bay Area

By Jon Peterson

Bentonville, Ark., -based Wal-Mart Stores Inc. continues to expand its locations in the San Francisco Bay Area for its Neighborhood Market concept. The company is now under construction in Vallejo and Pleasanton. A new lease for a store has been signed in Santa Clara, and the retailer is considering a site in San Jose.

Wal Mart Neighborhood Market The Registry retail real estateWal-Mart has already opened three Neighborhood Market Bay Area locations in San Ramon and San Jose, where there are two, according to Terranomics Retail Services. The opened stores range in size from not quite 38,000 square feet to just more than 50,000 square feet.

“The Vallejo and Pleasanton Wal-Mart Neighborhood Markets are under construction and expected to be open in the summer of 2013,” said Delia Garcia, director of communications for the retailer, in an email. The store in Vallejo is just under 53,000 square feet at 701 Sereno Drive in a former Mervyn’s department store location. The 32,500-square-foot Pleasanton property at 3112 Santa Rita Road is the home of a former Nob Hill grocery store.

Wal-Mart would not comment on any new activity in Santa Clara and San Jose, but a lease has been signed in Santa Clara for 45,000 square feet at 3255 Mission College Blvd. in the Mercado Center, said Mark Perlberger. Perlberger is owner of HalBear Enterprises, a Sacramento-based real estate consulting company that oversees the Mission College Land District, which owns the land beneath the shopping center. Wal-Mart replaces a former Micro Center computer and electronics store that vacated late last year.

The Mercado Center, which has high visibility from the heavily trafficked U.S. Highway 101, is 207,000 square feet over 24 acres, according to the Web site of Kier & Wright, a civil engineering firm that has offices in Santa Clara and Livermore. The retail property totals six buildings and its other major tenants are an AMC 20 Theatre, TJ Maxx and several restaurants. The center is owned by Bellevue, Wash., -based Lakha Investments. They declined comment.

Wal-Mart also is looking at another site in San Jose at 4080 Stevens Creek Blvd., a 45,000-square-foot space previously occupied by a Circuit City, according to two industry sources.

Wal-Mart has opened 16 neighborhood markets in California so far. The company is opening other Neighborhood Markets nationwide, including its latest, which opened earlier this month in West Hartford, Conn.

The store includes a “grab-and-go” section with rotisserie chicken, take-and-bake pizza and standard deli sides, according to a Wal-Mart news release. There is also a “site-to-store” operation that is a free service that allows customers to ship their online orders from www.walmart.com to any Wal-Mart for pickup. It also offers a “pay with cash” program for those shoppers who don’t use credit cards, which allows customers to order items online and pay for them with cash at pickup.

Photo courtesy of hamptonroads.com

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