The approval for the final map and subdivision improvement agreement for the building of the Walmart Supercenter is tentatively scheduled to be before the Ceres City Council on Monday, Sept. 14.
“City Engineer (Daniel) Padilla and I are working with Walmart to get that at the next meeting,” said City Manager Tom Westbrook.
In April Director of Community Development/City Manager Tom Westbrook announced that the Walmart Corporation was securing bids.
Westbrook had hoped to place the final map and subdivision improvement agreement on a council agenda in April but the item was postponed because Walmart didn’t submit the required signatures because much of the work at headquarters in Bentonville, Arkansas is being done remotely.
The groundbreaking could take place within 60 days of the council’s final required action.
The 185,682-square-foot Supercenter will be the first building going up in the Mitchell Ranch Shopping Center, first proposed in 2007, at the northwest corner of Service and Mitchell roads. The project was held up for over a decades by an anti-Walmart group that dragged out things through the court system.
The shopping center includes plans for 10 other retail shops totaling 114,162 square feet, including three other major tenants and four smaller shops as well as a stand-alone retail building and two to three new restaurants.
The project was approved by the Ceres City Council in 2011 following a protracted fight through the environmental process and the Stanislaus County Superior Court led by Sherri Jacobson and attorney Bret Jolley. The center was first proposed in 2007 by the Regency Group. Those legal challenges were exhausted and Walmart was cleared to build. In March 2018 Walmart submitted building plans and filed an application for a building permit.
Walmart plans to close the existing store at Hatch and Mitchell roads once the Supercenter is open. During the approval process, the City Council sought assurances from the corporation that every effort would be made to re-tenant the building for other retail or recreational uses.