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Alachua County Today file photo

Previously submitted architectural rendering depicts typical Walmart storefront.

ALACHUA – A site plan was submitted to the City of Alachua for a new Walmart Supercenter to be located near the I-75 and U.S. Highway 441 interchange in Alachua.

CPH Engineers, Jacksonville, submitted the plan late last week.

“Due to the size of the retail store submitted by Walmart (which is over 80,000 square feet), the site plan would go before the Planning & Zoning Board and then the City Commission for approval,” said Assistant City Manager Adam Boukari. “Following site plan approval, construction can commence.

“The process typically lasts four months, but the time-frame can change depending on what deficiencies, if any, exist and the time it takes for the applicant to correct them," he said. "Of course, the site plan process ensures compliance with the City's Comprehensive Plan and Land Development Regulations."

The applicant is responsible for ensuring proper building permits are applied for and issued through the City in addition to permits that may be required by other governmental agencies.

“People really want a Walmart in Alachua,” said Mayor Gib Coerper. “They don't want to have to drive to Gainesville to do their shopping. Retail shopping is a component we have been missing. There will be other things that come with retail shopping that serve the rest of the community as well.

“People ask me all the time, 'When are they coming?'” he said. “My typical response is, 'When you see the sign go up and they start turning dirt, you'll know for sure.' Projects like this take time, just like when Publix announced they were coming to Alachua."

“There are several benefits of having a Walmart in Alachua once they complete the Planning & Zoning and City Commission approval process,” said Alachua Commissioner Robert Wilford. Among the benefits he cited are job creation, provision of retail shopping opportunities to the citizens, and income to the city in the form of property and sales taxes to help the city carry out other city services. “In addition,” said Wilford, “Walmart will help attract other businesses around the I-75 corridor."

According to the Planning & Zoning Board schedule, any application received prior to April 28 will appear on the July 12 Planning & Zoning Board agenda.

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