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Walmart needs to be held accountable for old store

Editor, Ceres Courier,

I live near the old Walmart building on Hatch and Mitchell. I recall reading an article in the Ceres Courier that stated that Walmart was supposed to have a replacement box store or other type of vendor within 18 months of vacating. It has now been that long plus a year and not only is the old building still empty but the parking lot is in disarray. It looks very bad and yet no one has seemed to hold Walmart accountable for this.

Will you please bring awareness to this?  Thank you.

Angela Konn,


(Editor’s note:  When Walmart proposed to build the Supercenter near the freeway and abandon its old building, the goal was to find new occupant with 18 months but most expected the building to go vacant for an indefinite period of time. While Walmart did dazzle the council with ideas that the building could accommodate potential businesses like Kohl’s, Petco, OSH, Ross, Pier 1 Imports, PetSmart, Sears, Lowe’s, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Hobby Lobby, Marshalls, Macy’s, Office Depot, Fry’s, Jo-Ann, BevMo!, Dillards, T.J. Maxx and Cost Plus World Market, apparently there has been no interest based on demographics and the state of the economy.

As a condition of approval when the city approved the new store in September 2011, Walmart agreed to a “Reuse Strategic Plan,” which called for Walmart to post a $25,000 maintenance bond to keep the building free of blight as well as incentives for the corporation to quickly find new uses for the old building.

Mike Lyions, the city attorney at the time said the city could not legally force Walmart to make the building available to direct competitors like Target, warehouse clubs, pharmacies and grocery stores (such as Raley’s, Food 4 Less, and Save Mart).