Walmart expansion set to begin next week

Walmart’s sizable upgrade and remodel at the Olympic Gateway Mall is expected to begin next week, Rachel Wall, senior manager of community affairs, said by email late Friday afternoon.

A “significant investment” is to be spent on the renovation, which will add 30,000 square feet to bring the the store’s final size to 150,000 square feet. Walmart says it will add 50 new jobs and 18 new Americans with Disabilities Act-designated parking stalls to increase the total amount of parking to 651 slots to comply with city standards as the store expands, Wall said.

“We are making a significant investment to upgrade and renovate the store, however, we do not comment on costs related to construction,” Wall added.

The expanded Walmart will offer its usual array of general merchandise, as well as “a full line of groceries, organic and natural selections in addition to local favorites,” she said. The pharmacy will offer a full range of products and services, she added.

A new facade, expanded layout, enhanced delivery and recycling areas will “improve the distribution of goods to the store,” Wall noted.

“During construction, there will be traffic flow impacts from time to time, and we thank our customers for their patience as we work to upgrade the store,” she said.

Construction is expected to continue through the summer of 2014.

The store will remain open during the remodel. Protective sheeting is set to go up Monday, Aberdeen Building & Code Compliance Director Bob Waite said on Thursday. City permits were ready for pickup by the contractor, Waite said.

The work should not interfere with the popular compass rose and walking trails along the banks of the Chehalis River, he added.