CAYCE, SC (WIS) - A proposed Walmart Neighborhood Market in Cayce could mean major improvements to an intersection that has sorely needed an upgrade for years.
Cayce Mayor Elise Partin says the finalization of a deal to build the approximately 38,000 sq. ft. store at the intersection of Knox Abbott Drive and Charleston Highway still has a few steps to go before it can be approved.
One of those hurdles is how to re-engineer the intersection adjacent to the property to improve traffic flow and convenience. Partin says Lexington County and the South Carolina Department of Transportation are currently discussing options with Walmart.
"That's a nice thing for us and for West Columbia because that intersection needs to be improved," Partin said Wednesday.
The addition of a grocer on the western edge of the city is something officials had previously identified as a need.
"We know that we need another grocer in the city," Partin said. "We have room for that economically. This so happens to be the developer that came forward and wants to locate in the city."
"Size-wise, this is not a Super Walmart that's coming," Partin said.
The proposed Neighborhood Market store would be approximately one-fifth the size of an average Walmart store, which normally measure in around 200,000 sq. ft.
"I think first of all it's really important for people to understand that this is what Walmart calls their neighborhood grocery," Partin said. "It really is a grocery store."
Walmart Neighborhood Markets were designed in 1998 as a smaller-footprint option for communities in need of a pharmacy, groceries and select household merchandise. The Neighborhood Markets average less than 40,000 sq. ft. and employ approximately 95 people. The company currently operates more than 500 Neighborhood Markets nationwide.
"We are excited to bring our Neighborhood Market store to Cayce and provide our customers there the benefits of a Walmart closer to where they live and work," Amanda Henneberg, Walmart's Senior Manager of Communications for Public Affairs & Government Relations said. "Grocery is an area that customers have come to expect from Walmart because they know we can offer a broad assortment of fresh food at a low price."
"In addition to the benefits to our customers, our small format stores also benefit the communities in which they're located by generating additional tax revenue, stimulating new investment and economic growth, and providing jobs with the opportunity to build a career," Henneberg said.
According to Partin, Walmart is serious about the project. "We're glad that they're enthusiastic and optimistic."
City officials and staff have seen drawings of the proposed development, but have not been provided site plans yet. Partin says there is no meeting scheduled to discuss the project yet.
The store, if approved, will be built on a tract of land next to Love Chevrolet.
A spokeswoman for Walmart says she expects construction to begin by the end of 2015.