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Wal-Mart enters Portland area with property buys

Wal-Mart scooping up properties all over Portland area
By Oregon Small Business Association

Walmart has been prolifically purchasing properties in the Portland Metro area. Walmart plans to open as many as 17 of its smaller stores called Neighborhood Markets in the metro area where it has lacked a presence. While the retailer hasn’t officially announced its plans, Urban Works recently broke the news on its blog, saying that the first store will open along Highway 26 in the former Ashley Furniture store site at NW Cornell and 173rd in Beaverton.

Importantly, Walmart intends to fill the empty aisles left by other grocery stores that have vacated neighborhoods and store buildings perfect for one of its Neighborhood Markets. Using vacated store buildings rather than building new ones will allow Walmart to bypass the permitting and neighborhood approval processes that often slow or prevent willing stores from reaching resident consumers. Earlier this spring, The Oregonian reported that Walmart applied with the Portland Development Commission as part of the agency’s efforts to better serve tri-county communities whose residents don’t have access to nearby grocery stores.

According to Urban Works, Walmart already has deals for the following sites:

Raleigh Hills: Ex-Zupan’s@Beav.-Hillsdale Hwy & Apple Way
Lake Grove: Ex-Whole Foods @Boones Ferry Rd & Jean Rd.
West Linn: Ex-Lamb’s Thriftway @ Hwy 43 & Hidden Valley
Gresham: Ex-QFC @ 182nd & Powell
Gresham: Ex-Food 4 Less @ Powell & Burnside
Beaverton: Ex-Haggen’s @ SW Murray & 147th
Vancouver: Ex-Fred Meyer @ 4th Plain & Grand
Vancouver: Ex-Winco @ Hwy 500 & Thurston Way
Oregon City: Molalla Ave. & S. Beavercreek (land parcel)
Salmon Creek: 134th & I-5 (land parcel)
Tigard: SW Greenburg Rd. & Hwy 217
Oak Grove: Ex-G.I. Joe’s @ SE McLoughlin & Concord

As the Portland Development Commission has acknowledged, many local communities lack adequate access to convenient, fresh food markets – a deficiency Walmart’s expansion could help improve through the strategic growth of its Neighborhood Market.