Walmart market plans progress

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Walmart is coming to Northglenn — a move that will spark life into the Garland Center and bring 75 jobs to the city.

City and Walmart officials held an open house on March 5 to give residents a chance to learn more about the Garland Center’s redevelopment project. Site plans and building renderings were on display for residents, who glimpsed an upgraded 50-year-old Garland Center.

Walmart plans to build a 41,000-square-foot Neighborhood Market at the center. Officials expect construction to begin later this year with a completion in mid-2014.

Northglenn resident Valorie Levigne said the center had been an eye sore and is excited about plans to revitalize it.

“I can just walk there,” Levigne said.

Some residents expressed concerns about increased traffic on Garland Drive toward Grant Street. Garland Center sits next to a residential area which includes two schools, a park and a church.

There will be at least a 16 percent increase in traffic flow along Grant, according to Curtis Rowe, vice president and traffic engineer at Kimley-Horn and Associates. An additional lane will be constructed on Washington Street to help the flow of traffic during rush hour.

“Do we really need another Walmart?” said Jessie Burg who lives near the site. “There’s a King Soopers right down the way. I am worried about the retail value of my house.”

Joshua Phair, Walmart’s public affairs director, said it is the goal of Walmart to improve the site at every level, from better jobs to infrastructure and for the whole community. It will be an ongoing dialogue between Walmart officials, engineering firms and city officials on how to mediate any impacts the site generates, including traffic, he said.

Garland Center has a 95 percent vacancy rate, the businesses there will be relocated.