Friday, April 7, 2006

Wal-Mart seeks new Suisun site

From Vacaville Reporter
By Tom Hall/Staff Writer

Wal-Mart officials maintain that they still will work to find a site for a Supercenter in Suisun City, despite the retail giant apparently having abandoned plans to become an anchor for the city's Gentry project at Highway 12 and Pennsylvania Avenue.

Scott Corey, Suisun City's spokesman, said Wednesday that since Wal-Mart has pulled out of the Gentry project, two smaller anchors may be used to fill the 721,000-square-foot retail project.

"In the place of one Supercenter, two medium big boxes could be supported," Corey said.

Bringing sales tax revenue that currently are going to neighboring cities, especially Fairfield, into Suisun City's coffers is a priority, Corey said. A local Wal-Mart would help do that.

"Our big issue has always been capturing the sales tax revenue our residents spend in other cities," Corey said. "We're just trying to keep that here."

Sean Quinn, Fairfield's chief of planning and development, said an economic analysis of a proposal to put a Wal-Mart Supercenter in the abandoned Mission Village shopping center on North Texas Street concluded that while one Supercenter in the Fairfield-Suisun area could be supported by future growth, two stores would have adverse effects on other local businesses.

A Fairfield Supercenter wouldn't be the first in Solano County, though. Dixon's existing Wal-Mart store was converted to a Supercenter in 2005, and plans are on track for Supercenters in Vallejo and American Canyon, as well.

Wal-Mart has denied plans to build a Supercenter in Vacaville. The city currently has a moratorium on new grocery stores larger than 20,000 square feet. The moratorium expires in April 2007, but may be renewed.

The city also is seeking an amendment to the Vaca Valley Business Park policy plan which would prevent any large grocery stores from locating in one of the last areas in buildable Vacaville with the space to support a big-box store.

Developers behind a large-scale retail proposal in the business park say they have no plans for a grocery store, though they have requested the city to keep all options open at the site.

Quinn said Fairfield planning commissioners likely will vote on the Mission Village proposal in July, with the City Council getting a chance in September.

Wal-Mart could not be reached for comment Thursday.

Tom Hall can be reached at

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