By Jim Tortolano/Garden Grove Journal
The world’s largest retailer is planning on opening a market at the southwest corner of Katella Avenue and Euclid Street in a shopping center that includes a K-Mart, Walgreen’s and two fast food restaurants.
According to Chris Chung, assistant planner for the City of Garden Grove, the proposal has passed plan check. The store will be located in the former Pep Boys building, which began as a Food Giant supermarket in the late 1950s.
Details about the market were not available at our deadline, but it appears that the new operators will use and modernize the existing building rather than construct a new one. “We had some people in here earlier about putting in columns to reinforce the building,” said Chung.
The “new” WalMart is in contrast to the controversial proposal made in 2008, when the giant retailer wanted to build a 170,000-square foot building on a site at the southwest corner of Chapman Avenue and Brookhurst Street in the Pavilion Plaza.
A variety of groups and individuals voiced opposition to the plan. Some worried it would hurt smaller businesses; some objected to what they saw as the troubled record of WalMart on labor relations and sexual harassment. The matter was even an issue in the city council election.
Then, without warning, Walmart dropped the project. It was unclear whether opposition to the project was a deciding factor, or instead a new direction for the company away from huge big-box stores toward smaller outlets.
The building at Katella and Euclid is a masonry structure of approximately 25,000 square feet. Because the new store would not require a zone change, it is not subject to city council approval.
An application for a liquor sales license has been made, but that matter will come before the zoning adminstrator or planning commission, according to Chung.
A call to WalMart asking for comment was not returned.