Business

Thursday, Jun 13 2013 06:24 PM

Walmart proposes new store in Lamont

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    By Jaclyn Borowski / The Californian

    Shoppers bustle in and out of the Walmart on Rosedale Highway in this file photo.

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BY JOHN COX Californian staff writer jcox@bakersfield.com

Walmart Stores Inc. proposes to build a new store in Lamont that would anchor a 20-acre shopping center on what is now farmland.

Still in the planning stages, the 130,000-square-foot store would open within the next two or three years at the southeast corner of Weedpatch Highway and Di Giorgio Road, Walmart spokeswoman Rachel Wall said Thursday.

"Our existing stores are very popular, and we're moving forward with plans to better serve our customers in the growing Bakersfield and Kern County region," she said.

"We look forward to providing a more convenient one-stop-shopping choice for the communities of Lamont, Weedpatch and Arvin."

But first, the company needs a zoning change from Kern County, which has designated the land for agricultural uses only. The project would also require a change to the county's General Plan.

Because of this, the county Board of Supervisors is scheduled to consider an agreement Tuesday under which Walmart would pay for a $294,492 environmental review expected to take between 12 and 18 months.

Walmart has four stores in Bakersfield. It expects to open another along Highway 99 in Delano later this year.

Additionally, the company has proposed a 194,000-square-foot store just west of Highway 99 and south of Olive Drive in unincorporated Kern County, and a 160,000-square-foot in Wasco along Highway 46 at Central Avenue.

Each of the stores would anchor a new shopping center.

Wall said the Lamont store would employ about 250 people.

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