Walmart will close a store in Latham Farms and open a bigger, better store nearby at the new Shoppes at Latham Circle development, currently underway.
The company announced today it would open a new Supercenter at the site, making it the second major tenant planned for the revitalized plaza.
“We’ve been waiting for Walmart to make this announcement,” said Mark Hebert, vice president of development with Grossman Development Group, the Boston developer overseeing the project. “The anchor tenant is the most significant piece of the puzzle. So for them to come forward now is a big deal, not just for Walmart but for other potential tenants who were waiting to see who would announce.”
Walmart will occupy 180,000 square feet at the Shoppes and will offer a full line of groceries — something its existing store at Latham Farms did not offer.
“Our customers have long been asking us to add groceries to our store because they want more affordable shopping choices,” said Walmart spokesman William C. Wertz in an email. “We can serve customers much better with an expanded store at the new site. This is a good project for the company and community, and we hope our participation will help ensure the success of a major redevelopment project.”
The move is expected to create 85 new jobs, with 200 employees from the existing Latham store planning to relocate to the bigger store. The old store will close once the new store opens.
That could happen in about a year, said Hebert.
“We’re looking to break ground and start construction in the next 30 days,” he said. “Walmart’s portion and some surrounding site work will start and should be about a year’s worth of construction.”
Latham Circle Mall opened in 1957, but saw a steady decline in recent years. Grossman Development Group’s plan was to revive the dying mall by demolishing it and building a brand new open-air plaza with an entertainment venue, grocer, restaurant and retailers. Demolition began in March 2013, around the same time that Dick’s Sporting Goods filed paperwork with the town of Colonie to open a 52,000-square-foot store at the new plaza.
Reach Gazette reporter Bethany Bump at 395-3107 or firstname.lastname@example.org.