With apparently zero fanfare, Walmart broke ground in Tumwater to start building their 160,000+ sq ft store between Costco and Home Depot along Littlerock Road. Ground clearing started at the beginning of August without mention in the local paper or on the City of Tumwater’s website.
This comes after years of controversy. The store was first proposed in 2004 and the City of Tumwater attempted a vote to block the building of any big box stores in the city. In December 2004, just prior to the vote, Mayor Ralph Osgood directed former City Administrator Doug Baker to notify the land owner that the City Council was going to vote to approve a moratorium on big-box stores.This provided enough time for Walmart to submit their application just hours prior to the vote taking place. Since then, the citizens group Tumwater Livable Community and the United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 367, filed an appeal with the Superior Court to block construction. The appeal failed and the building permit was issued in June 2010.
The new Walmart is scheduled to open in the Spring of 2011.
Picture Credit: Tim Reynolds