Business

Cost for land, construction of Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market on Buena Vista Road tops $7 million

BY TONY ADAMS

tadams@ledger-enquirer.com

The price of building a Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market is materializing in real-estate circles, with the coming store on Buena Vista Road in Columbus costing more than $7.1 million for land acquisition and construction.

The Atlanta office of Calabasas, Calif.-based commercial real-estate brokerage company Marcus & Millichap said Tuesday it handled the sale of 408,593 square feet of property — assembled in pieces — upon which the Wal-Mart store is locating at 4909 Buena Vista Road, near the intersection of Floyd Road.

The sales price for what amounts to about 9.4 acres was $3,395,000, said Michael Fasano, regional manager of the Atlanta office. The real-estate firm referred to the land being sold as “Columbus Retail Parcel,” with Fasano declining to disclose the purchaser’s name.

City building permits for the 42,436-square-foot neighborhood market — a full-line grocery store —  list Polestar Development as the owner, with construction costing $3,753,464. The Oct. 29 permit lists RPM and Associates as the contractor.

Polestar is a subsidiary of The Hutton Company, a Chattanooga, Tenn.-based real-estate development, construction and property management firm involved in nearly 1,000 developments, according to its website.

Marcus & Millichap said its investment specialists Russell Malayery and Drew Hines found the buyer of the property, which was cobbled together from various owners, primarily multi-family residential and small businesses.

“The property was quite challenging to assemble, with many moving parts needing to be managed,” Hines said in a statement from the firm. “There were nine separate parcels with six different owners. One property was an existing apartment complex consisting of 26 separate units and another two properties with commercial leases. A large portion of the assemblage had to be rezoned, which can bring challenges of its own.”

Bentonville, Ark.-based Wal-Mart has tentatively estimated the Buena Vista Road neighborhood market could be open by spring. It hasn’t said what, if anything, will happen to the nearby Wal-Mart discount store, a smaller general goods format outlet, that’s been open a quarter-century.

The retailer is constructing three neighborhood markets altogether in Columbus — on Blackmon Road, Manchester Expressway and Buena Vista Road — and one on U.S. Highway 80 in Phenix City. It also is building a 159,357-square-foot supercenter on Benning Drive, just off Victory Drive in south Columbus.

Aside from the Buena Vista Road market, the other grocery stores are scheduled to open in mid- to late January. The supercenter looks to make its debut late next year or in early 2017, the company has said.

The neighborhood markets are full grocery stores, often with fuel pumps fronting them, and aimed at making it easier for customers to get in and out compared to the much larger supercenters.

There already is a heavy presence by Wal-Mart in the area. It also operates a supercenter and Sam’s Club on Whittlesey Boulevard, supercenters on Airport Thruway and Gateway Road in Columbus, and a supercenter in Phenix City.

Supermarket competition for Wal-Mart in the locally includes Piggly-Wiggly, Publix and Winn-Dixie. An Aldi food market also opened this year on Veterans Parkway. There has been a proliferation of dollar stores in the area as well — including Dollar General, Family Dollar and Dollar Tree — each nibbling away at the overall grocery sales pie.

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