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Walmart store inching closer

Site preparation continues for a proposed Walmart on Alderbridge Way near Garden City. - Martin van den Hemel photo
Site preparation continues for a proposed Walmart on Alderbridge Way near Garden City.
— image credit: Martin van den Hemel photo

American retail giant Walmart’s bid to open an outlet in Richmond is inching ever closer.

City spokesperson Ted Townsend said the city has now received Walmart’s rezoning application and city staff are working closely with the developer, SmartCentres.

Commuters may have noticed that the site, on Alderbridge Way, between Garden City and No. 4 roads, has recently been covered with a massive pile of sand, and red rezoning application signs have been erected.

Townsend noted that the preliminary fill work doesn’t require rezoning. A number of issues have been identified in the application and SmartCentres will have to address them before the application is presented to the city’s planning committee, he said.

Alan Lee, director of engineering at SmartCentres, said there’s no timetable set for the opening of the new store.

“It really depends on how quickly we get through the city process, so we don’t have a projected timing at this point. We’d like to do it as quickly as possible, but obviously things take time. There are a number of fairly complex issues that we need to work through with the city.”

Among those issues are parking and traffic, he said.

Lee said current plans call for the shopping centre to include other retail businesses, and it will be designed to fit in well with the surrounding West Cambie neighbourhood, which has seen lots of new multi-family residential development added in recent years.

According to preliminary drawings, the proposal calls for a number of separate buildings surrounded by parking stalls. At least two new roads would connect Alderbridge Way and Alexandra Road.

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