'Urban Prototype' Walmart Set to Open Oct. 29
Walmart to feature neighborhood grocery set-up with smaller department store offerings
The closest Walmart to Washington, D.C., is about to be closer.
An 80,000 square foot Walmart Grocery and Pharmacy is set to open next month, near the intersection of Richmond Highway and North Kings Highway.
While another Walmart lives just a bit farther south on Richmond Highway, this location will be the first of its kind in the area—an "Urban Prototype Store," according to Walmart Stores Inc.
Under this kind of model, the store will implement a 'neighborhood' grocery concept, featuring local produce, and has reduced department store offerings.
In incorporating a white reflective roof and state-of-the-art, energy-efficient construction, this particular model features a significantly smaller carbon footprint, but it will not be enough to be certified under the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program.
Joining Walmart in the Kings Crossing Shopping Center will be a renovated 15,000 square foot Chuck E. Cheese's and 20,000 more square feet of undetermined retail space.
The Walmart is slated to open on October 29, 2010 with other retailers opening next spring. Additional shops and a new multi-use family building next door are also planned and could be completed sometime in 2011 or 2012.
JBG Rosenfeld Retail is in the processes of applying for the permits and re-zoning for the additional structures.
Residents next door at the Penn-Daw Terrace Trailer Park, view the renovation with mixed feelings. Regina Brown, a mother of four, wholeheartedly supports the idea.
"Why wouldn't I want a Walmart in my backyard?" she said "It's cheap and right there."
But neighbor Deshaun James is hesitant.
"Walmart? Why don't we rate a Trader Joe's or Wegmans? I don't want more trash in my 'hood," James said.
Some indivduals are split.
"Two Walmarts on Rte. 1 will just intensify the traffic trouble there," Belle Haven resident Alan Boy said. "I love to support small local businesses, but for a starving independent adult just out of college, Walmart may be the only way I can feed myself without going broke."
Walmart will affect nearby businesses both big and small. Its proximity has forced Target to renovate its store and add a new fresh food and produce department.
Small businesses across the street mostly carry products not found in the new Walmart, but Dollar Star employee Manuel Rodriguez is worried.
"We are too close," Rodriguez said. "Our sales are in jeopardy."
The construction comes as a part of The Southeast Fairfax Development Corporation's rejuvenation of the Richmond Highway area. The group's future plans include a potential Sam's Club at the old Multiplex site, 7940 Richmond Highway, a reconstructed BB&T Bank at 6618 Richmond Highway and a new Fort Belvoir Community Hospital.
Even without Walmart opening, traffic is expected to increase along the Richmond Highway corridor due to the growth at Fort Belvoir down the road.
As part of the Base Closure and Realignment Commission (BRAC), nearby Fort Belvoir, currently employing about 21,000, will see it's staff grow by about 22,000 by the end of 2011, according to JBG Rosenfeld Retail research.
Southeast Fairfax Development Corporation estimates that the current traffic flow of about 53,000 cars per day will significantly increase, and 7 million square feet of office space will be needed by 2015.