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Walmart moving closer to expanding Milwaukee-area presence

By Jan Basina

Get ready, Walmart is about to strike again.

UPDATE: Walmart Store Expansion Into Supercenter, 1362 W. Main St., Whitewater, Walworth County

Walmart Grocery Store Project, 5301 S. 76th St., Greendale, Milwaukee County

Last week came reports that Walmart is considering locating at three sites in the Milwaukee area.

And it sounds like the retail chain is one step closer to constructing a planned 100,000-square-foot grocery and retail store in South Milwaukee. Last week, the city’s Common Council agreed to sell a 3.5-acre site at 222 N. Chicago Ave. to shopping center developer, Gatlin Development Co. The site will be added to the 6.5 adjoining acres the Dickson, Tenn., developer already owns.

Walmart’s also been investigating the possibility of opening a store at the JC Penney Outlet Store at 10332 W. Silver Spring Drive in Milwaukee. The outlet store is set to close next month, and the Walmart developer is exploring options for the site.

Then there’s news of Walmart coming to Greendale. Reports are that the former headquarters of the United States Bowling Congress at 5301 S. 76th St. might be turned into one of Walmart’s neighborhood grocery marts. If it happens, the stand-alone grocery store would be the first in the state.

The 10.3-acre site is across from Southridge, which last week announced a $50 million-plus renovation for the largest shopping mall in the state.

While Walmart’s supercenters, with an average of 185,000 square feet of retail space, are still the stalwarts of its chain, the retailer has been experimenting with smaller venues. Most notably the Neighborhood Markets — smaller, convenient stores with a typical size of 42,000 square feet.

Marketside stores are Walmart’s newest venture. The pilot grocery stores, opened in 2008, currently only have locations are in Arizona, offering produce, meals and groceries.

These three projects are planned for the Milwaukee area, but don’t forget to watch JobTrac for more Walmart projects happening around the state.

Jan Basina is a data reporter at The Daily Reporter. She’s always on the lookout for new retailers around Milwaukee.

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