Residents of southeastern San Diego will likely have a new neighbor soon: Walmart.
A major nonprofit that owns large swaths of land in the area is close to an agreement that would bring the company’s first store there, to a vacant parcel the nonprofit owns on Market Street near 47th Street.
A new Walmart would be one of the largest private retail investments the surrounding low income neighborhoods have seen in decades.
Chip Buttner, president of development for the nonprofit Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation, said the decision is not yet final, but the center has convened a team of staff and community members to discuss terms, conditions and other benefits they could seek from the company in exchange for the right to develop there.
The nonprofit is working on an agreement that would name Walmart as the nonprofit’s preferred choice to develop the sloping eight-acre parcel across the street from its headquarters. It could be done in the next month or so. The company requested that agreement before moving forward with a more specific development proposal, Buttner said.
Discussions have been ongoing for several months, since the nonprofit said it had attracted interest from both Walmart and Target to build a store on the parcel. It recently settled on Walmart as its preference for the site.
The Jacobs Center has been buying up property for a decade in southeastern San Diego’s lower income Diamond neighborhoods, which have long suffered a dearth of retail options. The center owns roughly 60 acres, many of them drab vacant lots near the intersection of Euclid Avenue and Market Street that it plans to develop into affordable housing, stores, and restaurants. A new Walgreens is also planned nearby.
Buttner said it was still too early to speculate on a timeline for a new Walmart’s arrival, assuming the nonprofit makes a final decision to turn its land over for the company to develop.
“It could be two or three years,” he said.
Adrian Florido is a reporter for voiceofsandiego.org. He covers San Diego’s neighborhoods. What should he write about next?
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