Walmart is ready to expand | ParkRecord.com

Walmart is ready to expand

Patrick Parkinson, Of the Record staff

Oakley resident Teshia Larsen, who is pregnant with her sixth child, hopes Walmart at Kimball Junction begins selling groceries soon.

"That would be the most fantastic thing that ever happens," Larsen said when told Tuesday the store at 6545 N. Landmark Drive is transforming into a Walmart Supercenter.

Shopping for eight "is not a fun thing to do," Larsen said in an interview at the store.

"I’m from Utah County and I shop at Supercenters. I hate this Walmart because they don’t have as good of selection," Larsen said.

Customers ask about the expansion every day, said George Jockisch, an assistant manager at the Snyderville Basin Walmart.

The project, which will expand the store from roughly 72,000 to about 115,758 square-feet, could begin this fall, according to Jockisch.

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"Walmart is trying to open up the aisles and make them wider to be more customer friendly," Jockisch said. "Our store is smaller and that’s why we’re looking at the expansion. It will look nice and new and updated, perfect for Park City."

The store went through a "mini-remodel" last year, he explained.

The new project will increase the size of the store by nearly 60 percent.

Meanwhile, Summit County resident Diane Glaser said she will not grocery shop at Walmart when it expands.

"I will support the local businesses," Glaser said in an interview at Walmart Tuesday.

But Summit County resident Kathy Bolling said she will buy food at the expanded store.

"If the prices are right, I will shop here because money’s tight," Bolling said.

The project is appropriate in the Snyderville Basin’s commercial core, she said.

"They’ve already ruined Kimball Junction with all the development," Bolling said. "I’m not apathetic, but one more store?"

Walmart employee Paul Judd said customers often ask him if the store sells food.

"When they find out we don’t have food they leave," Judd said.

The project will also update the building’s façade, Summit County planner Kimber Gabryszak said.

Soon building officials in Summit County will likely issue a permit for the construction, she said.

"Everything is done except recording the final site plan," Gabryszak said in a telephone interview. "One of things we had to work through is they made some modifications to the landscape plan."

Construction could begin within two months.

"The store will continue to have a pharmacy, and in addition to carrying general merchandise, customers will find the added convenience of fresh produce, bakery, deli and groceries," Walmart spokeswoman Delia Garcia said in a prepared statement. "The store will be open and will continue to serve customers during the various construction phases Measures will be taken to cause minimal disruption and inconvenience to customers during this time."

Garcia said she expects crews to complete the improvements in fall 2010.