Walmart finalizing plans for distribution center
BARSTOW • Company officials are busy finalizing plans for the proposed Walmart Distribution Center in Barstow now that legal action no longer stands in the way of the project’s construction.
The next process in the distribution center’s development is for Walmart officials to complete the final plans and submit them to city officials to secure a building permit, said Aaron Rios, a company spokesman. However a construction date and timeline hasn’t been set yet.
“It’s all the official stuff we have to submit for the city to review and say OK, you’re fine,” he said. “Then from there (Walmart will) hire a contractor and begin construction of the building.”
Walmart was able to continue the project’s development in December after it reached a settlement with the plaintiffs in two lawsuits against the city. The lawsuits were dismissed. One lawsuit, Hodges v. the City of Barstow, claimed that inadequate public notice was given for the final City Council hearing that approved the distribution center.
The second, Build Barstow Smart v. the City of Barstow, claimed that the project’s water supply, its affect on greenhouse gases, climate change and energy impacts weren’t studied adequately. The Briggs Law Corporation, an Upland firm that has a history of challenging Walmart projects in other cities, filed the lawsuits in August 2008.
The Barstow distribution center will serve all Southern California Walmarts with grocery stores, including stores in Victor Valley. There are currently 41 such stores.
“We will continue to provide our general merchandise goods regionally out of Apple Valley,” Rios said. “We’ll then be able to provide our grocery merchandise, which would include anything basically food-related, out of the Barstow distribution center.”
The distribution center will encompass 1.1 million square feet on 140 acres at the Barstow Industrial Park along Lenwood Road. The project is expected to create 500 full-time jobs. Walmart announced plans to build the $60 million in December 2005.
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