Mike Williams, project superintendent with Newport Beach-based HBI Construction, said his company expects to turn over the project to Walmart in early December, and a grand opening could happen in January.
Though Walmart officials have not committed to an opening deadline, spokeswoman Delia Garcia confirmed this week that the company will open a local hiring center before the end of the year.
Walmart began setting up a 3,000-square-foot hiring center next to Cheryl Lane’s Cakery at North El Circulo and Plaza Circle last week, and officials say it is slated to open soon.
“We’re moving along with construction very quickly,” Garcia said Monday, Sept. 24. “We’re very excited to open a store in Patterson, and we know customers are waiting for it. We’re eager to deliver a store and with that, new jobs, and we’re eager to serve customers in Patterson.”
Walmart officials initially announced in 2011 that they intended to open the store in time for the 2012 holiday season. In March, however, they said the project had been delayed as company and construction officials wrangled with how to proceed with soil preparation and building.
Despite the setback, progress on the project is now clear even to passers-by. HBI Construction workers have completed some of the building’s walls, and the construction site is bustling.
Williams, the project superintendent, said he was pleased with the pace of activity.
“I feel good about it,” Williams said. “We’ve got things up to full speed, and we’re making good progress on it.”
More than 100 people are working on building construction, Williams said, and an additional 30 to 40 people are working with heavy equipment on the site, he said.
Construction crews could be seen working on the intersection of Ward and Sperry avenues this week. Infrastructure improvements there will allow Walmart to connect to the city’s sewers, according to Mike Willett, public works director for the city of Patterson. Last week, Willett said, the crews added infrastructure at the same intersection to tap into the city’s nonpotable water supply for landscaping.
Walmart will also eventually pay to add an audible traffic signal at Sperry and Ward avenues to help people with limited vision, in accordance with an agreement it made with the city in 2010, though Willett was not sure when that would happen.
The Patterson Walmart will have an outdoor garden center and a pharmacy and will offer household items including electronics and apparel. It will also have a full grocery department, including produce, meat and dairy products, a bakery and a deli.
Daniel Morales, a spokesman for Walmart, said employees are typically hired 60 days before a store opens, but Garcia, the Walmart spokeswoman, said that could vary depending upon the project.
The future supercenter will employ about 300 people once it opens, according to company officials. People can apply for those positions online at http://careers.walmart.com.
In addition to the big-box retailer, the surrounding shopping center will have three outlets with a total of 20,000 square feet of shopping and restaurant space.
Chinese fast-food chain Panda Express purchased a pad in the future shopping center, Patterson City Manager Rod Butler confirmed last week. In addition, the Newport Beach-based Pacific Development Group is under contract to purchase a couple of pads in the retail development.
Pacific Development Group and its partners own and manage almost 2.5 million square feet of commercial buildings with about 700 tenants, according to the company’s website.
Its Northern California projects include the Tracy Gateway shopping center at Corral Hollow Road and 11th Street in Tracy, anchored by Save Mart Supermarkets and Walgreens, and a center near Home Depot and WinCo Foods in Tracy that includes Round Table Pizza and Jamba Juice.
Butler said the potential participation of Pacific Development Group “bodes well” for the future shopping center.
“They’re definitely a major player in terms of these shopping center pads,” Butler said
Contact Jonathan Partridge at 892-6187 or email@example.com.