HOLYOKE, Mass. (WGGB) — Walmart has indicated that their retailer has plans to open its doors in the Paper City.
Walmart announced Tuesday their plans for a 160,000 square foot “supercenter” which will be located on Whiting Farms Road between Autumn and Lynch Drives.
The new store, according to Walmart, will bring about 300 new jobs and include a grocery department and a garden center.
In a statement, Chris Buchanan, Walmart’s director of public affairs and government relations, says “Walmart is excited to bring our Supercenter format to Holyoke in this convenient location to help residents save money and live better. We are pleased to be able to offer a full range of items for its customers including a full line of groceries, consisting of fresh produce, frozen foods, meat and dairy products, and organic items. We look forward to working with city officials, the business community and especially the neighbors to the site, so Walmart can make this new store a popular shopping destination in Holyoke.”
The store would be constructed on 18 acres of commercially-zoned land.
About two weeks ago, when news came out that a possible ‘big box’ retailer was looking at property, Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse told ABC40 that, “Be it Walmart, be it another big retailer, I think the important thing to remember is that it’s a vacant piece of land that’s zoned commercial. It’s an opportunity for Holyoke to get jobs and tax revenue.”
He added Tuesday that his concern is ensuring that the process is a smooth one until it reaches the planning board.
“At this time we have to let the regulations and the laws take effect, make sure they are going through the process legally,” Mayor Morse said. “That the the planning board is doing their job to protect the neighbors and making sure their changes are reflected in the site plan.
Neighbors say they are concerned about traffic and congestion with the new big box store.
“It’s going to be chaos for us, Nancy Dube said. “With this coming in, it’s just going to be way too much. Way way too much with people going to the mall, to the Big Y, it’s way too much. I don’t know what they’re thinking.”
Walmart hopes to break ground early next year.