Wal-Mart submitted a rezoning application in preparation for the relocation and expansion of its store in Rexburg Nov. 21, said Rachel Walls, senior manager of communications for Wal-Mart.
“We are pleased to announce that [Thursday] we submitted an application to the City of Rexburg to rezone and utilize the plot at North 2nd East and East Moody Road to relocate our existing store and provide our customers and associates with a modern one-stop-shopping location to better serve the growing community,” Walls said.
McFerrin said that the application was received after hours on the 20th but was no actually reviewed until the 21st.
McFerrin said the application was reviewed by the city’s Geographic Information Systems Department, the Community Development Department, and the Public Works Department.
Mcferrin said that application is currently being reviewed by the city staff, and then planning and zoning committee will hold a public hearing for the application Dec. 19.
“The store will offer full-service grocery; vision center; tire and lube express center; drive-thru pharmacy; bakery; traditional general merchandise including apparel; and electronics within 185,000 square feet,” Walls said.
Walls said the new, larger location would not only provide promotion opportunities for current employees, but it would also provide additional jobs for 100 people, bringing the total to 300.
Walls said the planned store will take approximately 1.5-2 years to construct and could open sometime in 2016.
“Once the [new] store is fully transitioned and moved over, we anticipate marketing and selling the old location to make way for another business or retail use,” Walls said.
Walls said the current Wal-Mart location will remain open during the new store’s construction.
“We would still focus on serving our customers at the existing store, providing opportunities for our associates,” Walls said.
Scott Johnson, the director of economic development for Rexburg said that the official notice was released Wednesday at 5:20 p.m. but that city officials had been talking with Wal-Mart before the announcement.
“We have discussions with lots of people all the time, but we never know until something official happens,” Johnson said.
He said that as with other businesses interested in Rexburg he provided Wal-Mart with economic information to help them make plans.
“We usually give out a lot of information on demographics, on income levels, on lots of things.” Johnson said.
Johnson said Wal-Mart has been looking at Rexburg for a very long time.
Walls said that over the next year a plan for the new store will be created and reviewed by the city.
Mcferrin said that all plans and dates are tentative pending the city’s review of the rezoning the application.
Walls said that Wal-Mart is looking forward to working with the city, serving their Rexburg customers and providing new opportunities for their local employees.
Rylen Dean Stratford, a senior studying Biology said that the jobs that Wal-Mart will bring are sorely needed.
“They’re accepting so many new students but we aren’t getting any new jobs for students to sport themselves.” Stratford said.
Stratford said that at Jimmy John’s, where he works they receive many more applications than there are job openings.