Three years after Pacific Market closed in the Mountain Shadows Plaza shopping center amid the controversy over Walmart's plans to expand its existing Redwood Drive store into a so-called Superstore, the retail mammoth said this week that it's opening one of its grocery/pharmacy-centric "Neighborhood Market" stores in the former Pacific space.
Walmart officials said the market is set to open in the fall of 2014 in the center on the corner of Golf Course Drive and Country Club Drive. Walmart plans to hire 65 people to staff the store, a mix of full- and part-time positions, they said.
“The community has long needed a grocery option again in Mountain Shadows Plaza,” Rohnert Park Mayor Pam Stafford said in a statement. “With the Neighborhood Market as an anchor store, the current businesses will better thrive and families in Rohnert Park can once again shop right in their own neighborhood.”
The 33,000-square-foot space anchors the shopping center which includes more than 20 other businesses which offer products or services that are complementary to a grocery anchor tenant.
“We are thrilled to have a Neighborhood Market in this location,” said Yolanda Ramirez, owner of Straw Hat Pizza. “We are glad to see the Plaza secure a business that will bring new customers to the entire shopping center.”
Walmart officials said the company's Neighborhood Market format "offers quick and convenient shopping, with a full grocery department including organic and natural selections. The store will feature prepared food options, fresh-baked breads, self-serve deli, fresh bakery products, health and beauty aids, pet supplies and household goods, while "the pharmacy offers a full range of products and services."
“We serve thousands of customers each month at our current store and we see Rohnert Park as a great fit for both the expansion of our current store and the new Neighborhood Market,” Walmart Market Manager James Groh said in a statement.
Wal-Mart officials said the retailer still plans to move ahead with the expansion, which was approved by the Rohnert Park City Council but was dealt a setback when opponents won a lawsuit challenging the project’s environmental report.
”Not only will there be over 150 new jobs available with both the store expansion and the new Neighborhood Market, but community members will be able to choose where to shop for fresh produce and essentials at prices they can afford and expect," Groh added.
The first Walmart Neighborhood Market opened in 1998, and today there are approximately 250 Walmart Neighborhood Market stores nationwide. There are three Neighborhood Markets in the area including one in Vallejo and two in Vacaville.