Walmart sets sights on Bellevue lot

Walmart sets sights on Bellevue lot

Walmart sets sights on Bellevue lot

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by LINDSAY CHAMBERLAIN / KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on January 6, 2012 at 1:49 PM

Updated Friday, Jan 6 at 4:43 PM

BELLEVUE, Wash. -- Walmart is focused on opening a location in Bellevue, but it won't be met without some opposition.

The nationwide chain intends to open a Walmart Neighborhood Market at Main Street and 148th Avenue Southeast by the end of this year, said Steven Restivo, Senior Director of Walmart Community Affairs. The 64,000 square-foot store would replace a former Kmart, and a new L.A. Fitness gym would also accompany the lot at Kelsey Creek Center, said Restivo.

This week, UFCW 21, a Puget Sound union of grocery, retail, health care and industry workers, denounced Walmart's Bellevue intentions, citing unsatisfactory health care benefits for part-time employees.

The union purchased an ad in the Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce on Thursday affirming their cause. Click here to view that ad.

Bellevue's Walmart would employ 95 workers, said Restivo, and currently there are more than 19,000 people employed by Walmart in Washington.

Walmart Neighborhood Markets are primarily grocery and drug stores, not vast superstores most normally associated with the company.

The eastside of Puget Sound is mostly untouched by Walmart. The closest store to Bellevue is in Renton, or Mill Creek to the north.

Editor's note: Walmart provided a picture of the general interior of a Neighborhood Market after this story was published. That picture can be found in the photo gallery. The other pictures of the construction site were taken by a Bellevue resident.

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