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Walmart distribution center construction delayed until 2012

BARSTOW • The construction date for the Walmart distribution center has been delayed until 2012 because of economic and legal problems that are causing delays in building new Walmart Supercenters, city staff announced at the Monday City Council meeting.

The Walmart distribution center would serve all of the Supercenters in the Southern California region and would create about 500 full-time jobs.

“(It’s) dissappointing to say the least,” said community and economic development director Ron Rector at the meeting. “The project has not been cancelled — only delayed.”

Many new Walmart sites have been the focus of lawsuits or protests throughout the area. In Apple Valley, Walmart is planning to put a proposed 24-hour Supercenter on the ballot so voters can decide for themselves if they want to approve the construction of the new store.
Calls to Walmart about the proposed distribution center were not returned Tuesday.

The proposed distribution center in Barstow faced two different lawsuits, but both lawsuits were dismissed last year. The envronmental impact report has been completed for the distribution center and the city is essentially waiting for Walmart to let them know when they are ready to build, said Rector.

Rector said Tuesday that the civil permitting — including sewers, underground utilities, roads and grading — for the distribution center was 99 percent complete. He said the remainder of the civil paperwork needed for the project could be completed in about a day, and further building permitting would only take about a month to finish.

The  proposed distribution center will be located at the Barstow Industrial Park along Lenwood Road. The 1.1-million-square-feet center will be situated on 140 acres of land. Walmart announced plans to build the $60 million project in December 2005.

Another project in the works for Walmart is turning the current Barstow Walmart into a Supercenter with a grocery store. Rector said he suspects that further lawsuits will also delay that project once the corporation begins the environmental permitting process.

Contact the writer:
(760) 256-4122 or kjonas@desertdispatch.com


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