Wal-Mart Abandons Plans for Somerville Store
The retail giant will not build in Watertown, either, according to the retail giant.
Wal-Mart will not be opening a grocery store in Somerville's Assembly Square.
Steve Restivo, a spokesperson for Wal-Mart, sent Somerville Patch the following statement about the company's decision to stay out of the city.
While we continue to seek growth opportunities in Massachusetts, we are suspending our pursuit of the former Circuit City site in Somerville as well as the Arsenal Street site in Watertown. One of the primary deciding factors on any given site – whether it’s in an urban, suburban or rural market – is that it makes sense from a business perspective and contributes to our bottom line. We look at many factors when making a determination including the size of the existing structure. In the case of the Somerville and Watertown sites, we made a business decision that the projected cost of investment would ultimately exceed our expected return.
While we had not yet submitted proposals for either location, we understand that this news will be disappointing to our customers. We appreciate the positive conversations we had with Mayor Curtatone throughout this process and appreciate his willingness to be supportive of new economic development opportunities in Somerville.
We remain committed to opening stores all across the U.S. - including Greater Boston - and look forward to soon opening new Supercenters in Saugus and Raynham as well as expanding our Walpole and Avon locations. We continue to see tremendous growth opportunities for the business and think our stores can be part of the solution for families and communities here and all across the country.
Thomas Champion, a spokesperson for the city of Somerville, said the retail giant informed the city earlier on Friday about its decision.
Wal-Mart expressd concern about not being able to build from scratch and about the footprint of the former Circuit City building, near Home Depot, the location the company was considering, Champion said.
Champion noted that Wal-Mart had not formerly come forward with a proposal in Somerville, but said the company was "incredibly straight forward, open and responsive throughout this process."
Wal-Mart's unofficial proposal was to open a Neighborhood Market grocery store, which would have served the Assembly Square area.
Champion said, "It's absolutely the case that we think that would be a good location for a market to provide produce and fresh groceries."
He added, "We don't expect that this will mean the site won't get used."