Walmart solicits bids for San Ramon store

This summer's rumors have come true as Walmart's construction company began accepting bids for a new Neighborhood Market on Alcosta Boulevard. A pre-bid meeting for potential contractors will be held at the future store on Feb. 8.

Tenant improvement plans for the 4.05-acre lot at 9100 Alcosta Boulevard (inside the Country Club Village Center) were previously approved by the city, though San Ramon officials did not know the identity of the future retailer.

"No one from Wal-Mart (sic) has contacted the City about plans to lease space and open a store in San Ramon. The City learned of the new store by determining that Wal-Mart is now seeking construction bids for the tenant improvements for a Neighborhood Market in San Ramon," city Marketing and Public Relations Analyst Nicole Blazin said in a statement.

The new store will not be a Walmart Superstore, Blazin continued, but will be a standard full service grocery store similar to a Safeway, Lucky or Nob Hill. As a neighborhood market, the store will be significantly smaller in size and focus on groceries; the owner of the building has not proposed any changes to the existing shopping center.

City officials maintain that the Walmart store will meet all city requirements and regulations, including a ban on overnight parking -- which the retail giant is well known for.

"The new store will create approximately 95 new quality jobs in the community. By using currently vacant property, the Neighborhood Market will help re-energize the existing shopping center, draw customers to neighboring businesses, and ultimately give a boost to the local economy," said Delia Garcia, Walmart West's media director.

One group of San Ramon residents are not excited about the new store, however, and are planning on protesting the Feb. 8 meeting. Pleasanton residents protested the opening of another Neighborhood Market on Santa Rita Road in September 2011. The Pleasanton market could open this summer.

"We are upset because first of all we don't like Walmart because they don't treat their employees fairly, they've got a horrible reputation for treating the environment badly and they know what a bad reputation they have," said a neighborhood resident and member of the group San Ramon for Smart Growth. "I'd rather see that site empty. I'd like to see Trader Joes in there or something that had a more healthy bend to it."

The 10-member group distributed 500 fliers to neighbors warning them of the possible store before Walmart or the city made an official announcement. The Smart Growth member, who wished to remain anonymous, said her group fears that Walmart will clear out the other shopping center tenants and evolve into a Super Walmart.

Country Club Village, which also houses CVS and Anytime Fitness, was designed after extensive public input requested a grocery store. The original anchor for the project was a Ralph's grocery store that closed in 2006. After, an independent Asian grocery briefly occupied the space before closing two years ago.

Since then, no other grocery store has expressed any interest in this location and the neighborhood has been without a local grocery store for several years, Blazin added.

"Lucky's is five minutes away, I have no problem going to Lucky. There's a Safeway in the other direction," the resident said, noting that while her group does want a grocery store, "I think it will give the neighborhood…kind of a low-class image."

According to an advertisement in Dodge Project Center, alteration construction bids are due to Walmart later this month. No construction timeline has been determined.


Like this comment
Posted by We-want-a-Wal-Mart Committee
a resident of Alamo
on Feb 3, 2012 at 3:51 pm

Oh Dear,

Once again Alamo was not considered! Don't you think an upscale Wal-Mart, as Walton's at the Water tower, some 40 or 41 floors (but that's another story), would be a wonderful replacement for Hap Magee Ranch Park?


Like this comment
Posted by Erline
a resident of San Ramon
on Feb 4, 2012 at 6:40 am

They are trying to get a store in the old Nob Hill store site in Pleasanton. Of course the city is doing everything they can to stop them.
I hope they succeed in both locations. Give Safeway and Luckys some competition

Like this comment
Posted by Derek
a resident of Danville
on Feb 5, 2012 at 11:29 am

A "Neighborhood Market"?!?
My, what a quaint name. Sort of like calling a melanoma a "cute mole".

Like this comment
Posted by Bill
a resident of Danville
on Feb 6, 2012 at 6:22 am

Funny that Walmart acting with the policies that those that are running for president extoll should find resistance in San Ramon. Walmart known for low wages, poor health insurance and anti-union stance is just practicing what the Republican candidates call solid capitalism. So let them in and the effect on the community is just, "too bad". This is all in the name of profit and capitalism what do people matter?

Like this comment
Posted by LMP
a resident of Danville
on Feb 6, 2012 at 6:36 am

If you don't like WalMart don't shop there, but don't stop people who need to watch their pennies from shopping there. I wonder how many of these people who decry WM's policies are owners of Apple products? Don't look behind the curtain at their sweatshops or how they put their manufacturing jobs overseas.

Like this comment
Posted by Joe
a resident of San Ramon
on Feb 6, 2012 at 7:16 am

There goes local business.

What wm claims they do and what they really do are two very different things.

Like this comment
Posted by Doug
a resident of Blackhawk
on Feb 6, 2012 at 7:42 am

I don't think Walmart's treatment of its employees is consistent with its claim that the new store will create lots of "quality jobs". It seems that many residents are against the new store, and if it does open, I wonder how many folks will patronize the place. Nice touch by the Danville Express to point out the typographical error in the Walmart statement.

Like this comment
Posted by Bill
a resident of San Ramon
on Feb 6, 2012 at 10:13 am

Just because a business CAN do something, doesn't mean they HAVE to do something. We have seen the results of what happens when business (and government) adopts policies that aren't ethical or humane but are legal. The argument that all of these things average out is a specious point that most corporate managements make in the name of maximizing profits for the shareholders, and putting wads of cash in their pockets. All that's left for the rest of us is counting the dead bodies.

Wal Mart has not and will never have my business.

Like this comment
Posted by Sandy K.
a resident of Danville
on Feb 6, 2012 at 10:18 am

I cannot think of anything worse than a Walmart coming to our community - they destroy jobs, communities and small businesses, not to mention they attract undesirable clientele. Seriously, do we not already have enough stores struggling to make it?

Like this comment
Posted by Busy Mommie
a resident of Danville
on Feb 6, 2012 at 10:19 pm

Just curious as what type of people "undesirables" are?
Secondly, a Walmart is not what is being put in the shopping center, one of their "Neighborhood Markets" is being put in. There was an article in the newspaper a couple of weeks ago about this new concept that Walmart is trying.

Like this comment
Posted by shopper dude
a resident of Danville
on Feb 7, 2012 at 8:42 am

I agree abnout the stifling of small businesses when Wal-Mart comes to town. However, they do not force people at gun point to go shopping there -- in today's economy, value shopping is king, and thus the pull of droves of shoppers to where the best deals are. It's ultimately the shoppers' decision where they choose to shop and spend their money. You can't blame WM. It's a business model that oviously works for many (as far as I know, people also aren't forced at gunpoint to work there, either.)So good or bad, make your own choice to either go to your nieghborhood hardware store or into WM to buy a hammer and box of nails. Can anyone tell me they feel a whole lot better buying make-up and shaving cream at their local CVS vs going to WM?

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Posted by Joe Flores
a resident of San Ramon
on Feb 7, 2012 at 9:38 am

Dear Shopper Dude-

Thank you for your interest in Wallmart. How about if we put Wallmart in Danville and I will continue to feel good about shopping at CVS, Lucky and Wallgreens, or even Costco for that matter.

Or even better, why don't we put a WM next to all the people that
want to shop there?

Like this comment
Posted by scrump
a resident of Danville
on Feb 7, 2012 at 2:59 pm

Walmart is everything that is WRONG with the USA. Imported crappy products made overseas. Our nickle and dime mentality in this nation has destroyed the local manufacturing. It's a vicious cycle; no one wants to pay just a little bit more to support US products, the jobs move overseas, the tax base dwindles, there are fewer jobs and less decent jobs. So, Walmart's "need" to exist because we don't have the money to buy quality goods. Personally, I won't shop there or buy Chinese products (yes, one can avoid lining the coffers of our future enemies).
Never mind the "sweatshops"...if one knows anything about history, we will be at war with China in 20 years. We're making them stronger. Shop Walmart, add to the Trade Deficit! Shopping at Walmart is downright unpatriotic, saving nickels and supporting the Chinese govt. in the process is the result. Our nation is going to shit because no one has the nads to just say no.

Like this comment
Posted by Derek
a resident of Danville
on Feb 7, 2012 at 8:27 pm

Amen brother Scrump !

Like this comment
Posted by Bill
a resident of Danville
on Feb 8, 2012 at 6:54 am


Well said and spot on!

Like this comment
Posted by Derek
a resident of Danville
on Feb 8, 2012 at 8:13 am

Oh, and Busy Mommie-

1) A Walmart is a Walmart is a Walmart, no matter the physical size.

2) Whether "undesirable" or "desirable" I can't say, but perhaps a partial answer to your first question can be found here-

Like this comment
Posted by tom
a resident of Danville
on Feb 8, 2012 at 8:19 am

very interesting comments..all you folks don't like the big boys,,,just wondering, valentines day is arriving.. how many boxes of flowers will arrive by ups and fed ex.. how many packages will arrive from amazon..
how many dollars will be spent in sf by all you local folks.. before you start complaining about the big boys how about spending a few bucks with the local merchants... oh by the way. i bet you all have cosco cards

Like this comment
Posted by We-want-a-Wal-Mart Committee
a resident of Alamo
on Feb 8, 2012 at 9:17 am

Dear Readers,

Part of Planning Walton's at the Water Tower to replace Hap Magee Ranch Park is Wally's wonderful world of whine and wine as a political internet cafe. Part of the service is that simultaneously broadcasts angry commentary to BLOGs everywhere.

How good is that?

All the gang @ODDs, a Saloon for Fools
The Hotel Snaysmuth
The Village at Stone Lake CA 94507

Like this comment
Posted by Derek
a resident of Danville
on Feb 8, 2012 at 1:20 pm

Good questions. Can't answer for anyone else, but in our case:

We gave up our Costco card long ago for a number of reasons that included long lines, pricing that isn't nearly as great as many Costco-ites seem to believe, very bad treatment of Costco suppliers, and the fact that our small family does not need to buy eggplant parmesan by the metric ton.

Amazon, Costco, Walmart, Home Depot, et al are each bad in different ways. Amazon for tax evasion, Costco for reasons I mentioned, and Walmart due to reasons too numerous to spell out.

Need cheap groceries that the so-called neighborhood market Walmart might provide? Be willing to not be lazy for starters.
In Dublin and San Ramon alone there are Sprouts (cheap produce and cheap, very good meats), the Grocery Outlet (mostly, though not all cheap for anything on their shelves), fruit stands, Trader Joe's, and if need be the grocery section of the slightly lesser evil Target. Yes, you may have to go to more than one place. Stop whining about it.
And yes Tom, we do support local bike shops, consignment stores, produce sellers, book stores, restaurants, and gas stations. But I will admit I don't buy many clothing items in Danville. Another big grocery store, especially one founded by evil Dr. Walton, is simply superfluous.

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