Walmart submits plan for store on Saddle Creek Road; sees up to 95 jobs

At about 38,000 square feet, Walmart's Neighborhood Markets are about half the size of a typical supermarket.

Walmart has made its interest in the old Target property on Saddle Creek Road official.

The company submitted a redevelopment plan to the city this week, proposing that it open a grocery store on the site.

Omaha City Councilman Chris Jerram said Thursday that a Walmart representative told him the company hopes to break ground for the Neighborhood Market store in the fall.

A Walmart spokesman said the company expects the store to be a multimillion-dollar investment that would create 65 to 95 permanent jobs, plus construction jobs.

“We think a store in this area will help folks who need a job or want more affordable shopping options close to where they live or work,” said the spokesman, Ryan Irsik.

The building at 360 N. Saddle Creek Road has been vacant since Target closed its store there in 2006. Walmart plans to demolish the building and hopes to open the new store by summer 2014.

Jerram, who represents the area, said not many stores have been interested in the location because the lot is narrow and has a steep slope on the west side. “The property became a blight with graffiti, vandalism, litter.”

The Walmart proposal is scheduled to be heard Feb. 6 at a Planning Board meeting, said David Fanslau, manager of current planning for the city.

The Saddle Creek Road site will be the seventh Neighborhood Market store that Walmart has proposed in the Omaha area.

Irsik said the company is not prepared to announce any other potential stores, but added: “We are always looking for opportunities to provide more convenient access to the quality jobs and low prices our stores offer.”

The Neighborhood Market stores are smaller than a Walmart Supercenter and include groceries and a pharmacy.

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