Vertical construction on the Walmart Supercenter off Victory Drive in south Columbus is about to get underway.
Chattanooga, Tenn.-based DBS Corp. has pulled two city building permits, valued at a combined $3.9 million, on the project that has an official address of 1544 Benning Drive.
Square footage for that piece of the development is 21,000 square feet and 4,616 square feet, which is the additional non-Walmart retail space and gas station that is planned for the property that once was home to Baker High School.
Dubbed "Victory Square," Jack Martin, who is working to fill the extra space for Atlanta-based development company Bright-Meyers, has not disclosed what types of retailers will land there. Typically, there's a mix of apparel, food and service tenants, such as a hair salon or nail studio.
Bentonville, Ark.-based Walmart spokeswoman Amanda Henneberg recently laid out the general timeline for construction of the 158,583-square-foot supercenter and two additional Walmart Neighborhood Market supermarkets coming to the area. No permits have been taken out on the two grocery stores.
The supercenter and a 41,983-square-foot neighborhood market on Manchester Expressway both will be rising from the ground this summer, with completion in the summer of 2016. The market and additional retail space with a gas station is being built on eight acres across from Columbus Technical College, where Daniel Middle School once stood. Crews recently completed tearing the building down, but have not hauled away all of the debris.
Construction on a 42,000-square-foot neighborhood market planned on Blackmon Road, near the intersection of J.R. Allen Parkway, is projected to begin this summer as well, although the retailer wants to have it open early next year.
It, too, will have retail around it, much of that developed by Columbus businessman Ben Billings.
DBS Corp., the general contractor for the Victory Drive supercenter, is a Walmart specialist of sorts, with much of its work geared toward the mega-retailer. That includes the supercenter built in Eufaula, Ala.
Crews have been pushing dirt at the south Columbus store site for several weeks, preparing to put storm water drainage systems in place.
The Victory Drive location will enjoy steady and, often heavy, traffic from area residents, vacationers and commercial vehicles. A Georgia Department of Transportation traffic study performed in 2012 showed 37,830 vehicles a day passing the property upon which the supercenter will be constructed.
The traffic counts fluctuate between 27,640 and 35,510 vehicles daily at different points along Victory Drive before reaching the South Commons area near downtown.
The three new stores will join an already heavy presence by Walmart in the area. The retailer now operates a supercenter and Sam's Club on Whittlesey Boulevard, supercenters on Airport Thruway and Gateway Road, and a non-supercenter on Buena Vista Road -- all in Columbus.
It also has a supercenter on U.S. Highway 280 in Phenix City.